The traditional and social media are all abuzz with Canada’s announcement it thwarted an Al-Qaeda sponsored attack with ties to Iran. The noise level is particularly high among Tehran’s usual apologists.
The head scratching seems to be about this Sunni-Shiite marriage of convenience. Iran’s military and financial support for Palestinian (ie Sunni) terrorist groups should have put that confusion to bed long ago. Nevertheless, apparently a reminder is in order – such as this, from the Canadian press:
“As for 9/11, the Commission clearly states that there is “no evidence that Iran or Hezbollah was aware of the planning for what later became the 9/11 attack.” But at least eight of the 19 al-Qaida hijackers travelled into or out of Iran between 2000 and 2001. Iranian border guards were even directed not to stamp certain passports, which likely eased the movement of some of the 9/11 terrorists.”
The article adds:
“And after 9/11, Iran continued to turn a blind eye to al-Qaida. For example, with the toppling of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in October 2001, some al-Qaida operatives found refuge in Iran. And between his stints fighting U.S. forces in Afghanistan and later, in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, future leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, lived openly in Tehran. U.S. terrorism expert Matthew Levitt has suggested Zarqawi did so “with the full knowledge” of the Iranian regime.”
This breaking story may be as much about Ottawa’s evolving relationship with Tehran as the Al-Qaeda – Iran axis. As we have pointed out on several occasions (here and here and here), in the past year especially Canada has not been shy about taking a principled stand vis-à-vis Tehran on the entire range of issues of concern: WMD, terrorism/subversion, and human rights. The point is reinforced by this Canadian review of the two countries’ bilateral relations.
And what about the apologists? Well, just have a look at the following excerpts from this Twitter conversation among UANI, Barbara Slavin, Dina Esfandiary and Ali Gharib (the truly committed are invited to read the conversations in their entirety):
ALI GHARIB: “Canadian officials made clear that they weren’t connecting the alleged plot to the Iranian gov’t”
BS: @Ali_Gharib well that’s a relief; who precisely in Iran are they connecting it to?
You get the picture…. Some media types simply refuse to be confused by the facts.