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Saudi Arabia: Al-Qaeda Using Iran as Base of Operations | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat-The latest list of 85 wanted militants issued by the Saudi ministry of interior has renewed the issue of an al-Qaeda link with Iran. According to information received by Asharq Al-Awsat from an informed official source; thirty-five Saudi nationals who are currently on the most wanted list were last seen in Iran, or in the Iranian-Afghan-Pakistani triangle.

According to the information obtained by Asharq Al-Awsat, al-Qaeda elements in Iran are plotting an attack on Saudi or Jordanian interests, and that a number of these individuals intend on returning to their home countries to personally participate in these terrorist operations, while others intend on joining the al Qaeda cell in Yemen to participate in terrorist activities there.

The Saudi interior ministry on Tuesday released a list of 85 wanted militants, all but two of them Saudis. One of the men on the list, Abdullah al-Qarawi, is a Saudi who has been operating from Iran for three years, the ministry claimed.

Al-Qarawi, 35, is believed to have been behind recent terror attacks in Saudi Arabia and leads Al-Qaeda’s operations in the Persian Gulf and Iran, as well as recruiting jihadist fighters for Afghanistan. It is believed al-Qawari has more than 100 Saudis working for him in Iran, where they move about freely.

His current alias is Najim, and is believed to be an expert in the use of sophisticated weapons and allegedly provides jihadists with cash and false IDs and has created a base in Iran that supports Al-Qaeda cells in Iraq and Lebanon.

Al-Qarawi has purportedly been in Iran since 2006 and is reported to have helped several Saudi Al-Qaeda fugitives flee to Iraq and Lebanon where they have trained to carry out attacks.

The source also revealed that the Saudis who joined al-Qaeda in Iran had to pass through a number of different countries to arrive there, including Bahrain, the UAE, Qatar and Syria.

Moreover, a wanted individual by the name of Abdullah al-Abaed, who is wanted by Saudi authorities for the murder of Major General Nasser al-Othman, a senior Saudi police officer, is now currently in Iran after using forged travel documents to get there.

Al-Abaed is known for issuing Fatwas that condone his terrorist activates, as well as labeling others “infidels”, and is active in obtaining financial support to the network’s elements.

Another wanted suspect on the list is Mohamed Abul-Khair, who is known to have over eleven aliases. Abul-Khair is also known for being one of Osama Bin Laden’s bodyguards and is also the terror chief’s son-in-law. Abul-Khair who had established ties with 9/11 hijacker Ramzi Bin al-Shaiba, is currently believed to be in the Iranian-Afghan-Pakistani triangle.

On Monday, the Kingdom issued a list of 85 wanted militants based overseas and called on them to turn themselves in to authorities and “return to a normal life.”

Since 2003, Saudi Arabia has issued a number of lists of dozens of wanted militants, most of whom have been killed in shootouts with security forces or arrested.

In October, Saudi Arabia said it had indicted 991 suspected al Qaeda militants for carrying out 30 attacks since 2003.