U.S. Charges Iran has “Secret Deal” with al Qaeda

       The U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced the designation of six members of an al-Qa’ida network headed by Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil, a prominent Iran-based al-Qa’ida facilitator, operating under an agreement between al-Qa’ida and the Iranian government. Today’s action, taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, demonstrates that Iran is a critical transit point for funding to support al-Qa’ida’s activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This network serves as the core pipeline through which al-Qa’ida moves money, facilitators and operatives from across the Middle East to South Asia, including to Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, a key al-Qa’ida leader based in Pakistan, also designated today.

        “Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world today. By exposing Iran’s secret deal with al-Qa’ida allowing it to funnel funds and operatives through its territory, we are illuminating yet anotheraspect of Iran’s unmatched support for terrorism,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen. “Today’s action also seeks to disrupt this key network and deny al-Qa’ida’s senior leadership much-needed support.”
 
        As a result of today’s action, U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in commercial or financial transactions with the designees, and any assets they may hold under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen. Treasury designated the following individuals today:
 
Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil
        Khalil (a.k.a. Yasin al-Suri)is an Iran-based senior al-Qa’ida facilitator currently living and operating in Iran under an agreement between al-Qa’ida and the Iranian government.Iranian authorities maintain a relationship with Khalil and have permitted him to operate within Iran’s borders since 2005. Khalil moves money and recruits from across the Middle East into Iran, then on to Pakistan for the benefit of al-Qa’ida senior leaders, including Atiyah Abd al-Rahman. Khalil has collected funding from various donors and fundraisers throughout the Gulf and is responsible for moving significant amounts of money via Iran for onward passage to al-Qa’ida’s leadership in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has also facilitated the travel of extremist recruits for al-Qa’ida from the Gulf to Pakistan and Afghanistan via Iran. Khalil requires each operative to deliver $10,000 to al-Qa’ida in Pakistan.
 
        As al-Qa’ida’s representative in Iran, Khalil works with the Iranian government to arrange releases of al-Qa’ida personnel from Iranian prisons. When al-Qa’ida operatives are released, the Iranian government transfers them to Khalil, who then facilitates their travel to Pakistan.
 
Atiyah Abd al-Rahman
        Al-Rahman is al-Qa’ida’s overall commander in Pakistan’s tribal areas and as of late 2010, the leader of al-Qa’ida in North and South Waziristan, Pakistan. Rahman was previously appointed by Usama bin Laden to serve as al-Qa’ida’s emissary in Iran, a position which allowed him to travel in and out of Iran with the permission of Iranian officials.
 
Umid Muhammadi
        Muhammadi is an al-Qa’ida facilitator and key supporter of al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI). Muhammadi has petitioned Iranian officials on al-Qa’ida’s behalf to release operatives detained in Iran. Muhammadi has been involved in planning multiple attacks in Iraq and has trained extremists in the use of explosives. He has also received training in Afghanistan on the use of rockets and chemicals.
 
Salim Hasan Khalifa Rashid al-Kuwari
        Al-Kuwari provides financial and logistical support to al-Qa’ida, primarily through al­-Qa’ida facilitators in Iran. Based in Qatar, Kuwari has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in financialsupport to al-Qa’ida and has provided funding for al-Qa’ida operations, as well as to secure the release of al-Qa’idadetainees in Iran and elsewhere. He has also facilitated travel for extremist recruits on behalf of senior al-Qa’ida facilitators based in Iran.
 
Abdallah Ghanim Mafuz Muslim al-Khawar
        Al-Khawar has worked with Kuwari to deliver money, messages and other material support to al-Qa’ida elements in Iran. Like Kuwari, Khawar is based in Qatar and has helped to facilitate travel for extremists interested in traveling to Afghanistan for jihad.
 
‘Ali Hasan ‘Ali al-’Ajmi
        Al-’Ajmi is a Kuwait-based associate of Khalil who provides financial and facilitation support to al-Qa’ida, AQIand the Taliban. ‘Ajmi has collected money from individuals in Gulf countries and provided these funds to AQI facilitators as well as to the Taliban. He has also supported al-Qa’ida by facilitating travel for individuals associated with the group so that they could take part in fighting in Afghanistan.
 

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