A sample of recently released documents of Al Qaeda
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Al-Qaeda documents recently released by the United States shows some form of contact between the extremist group and Iran, particularly on the situation in Iraq where the two sides sought to reach a deal.
The documents show that despite strong ideological difference between Tehran and the al-Qaeda the two had a pragmatic deal whereby Iran would allow passage of al-Qaeda money and logistics through the country in return for the protection of Shiite shrines in Iraq.
A letter written by an al-Qaeda operative is one of the documents. In it he tells a fellow al-Qaeda operative named Taqfik that he has met with someone in Tehran and that the Iranians want to build contacts with someone representing the ‘mayor’ (a password for bin Laden) especially about the situation Iraq where they believe brother Azraq (code for Zarqawi) and his group are involved in attacking Shiite holy places,”
The letter goes on to say that the Iranians want to meet a bin Laden envoy to “discuss the issues and ways to cooperate and offer us help,”
“They want, at least, to receive a letter from the mayor (bin Laden) himself explaining that the Shiite sites will not be a target of the strikes,” says the letter that was among documents the US commandos seized in bin Laden’s compound in 2011 in Pakistan.
The same documents show that Iran had detained al-Qaeda families to use as trump card to bring the group into a deal.
In reaction bin Laden writes a letter saying “undoubtedly the wise men in Iran would be asking themselves in whose interest are they doing this to the families of the Sunni muhjadeen, and they should release them soon and let them go back to where they come from,”
Bin Laden then refers to some of his own close family members, including his son and his wife, and is worried about having lost contact with them while passing through Iran.
The documents show that Iran sought different ways to put pressure on the al-Qaeda to make sure they have an agreement in Iraq on protecting Shiite sites, possible deal on attacking the Americans and in return Iran would turn a blind eye on the passage of money and operatives through Iran.