Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune has a story about a German court questioning a source tying Iran to 9/11.
[Hamid Reza] Zakeri says the supreme Iranian leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the country's former president, Hashemi Rafsanjani, both were fully informed well before Sept. 11, 2001, that a brutal attack on America was planned.Apparently, Zakeri admits to being an Iranian intelligence agent and acknowledges that he is not revealing his real name.
"They were informed by Al Qaeda," which "needed the Iranian government's help," Zakeri says.
He says he knows this because he was working for a security and intelligence unit operating out of Khamenei's office in early 2001, when Iran was visited by Osama bin Laden's chief deputy.
Then, "four months and five days before 9/11," Zakeri says, one of bin Laden's sons, Saad bin Laden, turned up in the Iranian capital, met with Khamenei and Rafsanjani and gave them the details of the Sept. 11 plot.
His account, he says, can be corroborated by the Iranian security agent who served as Saad bin Laden's bodyguard during the visit, and who now is living quietly in Najaf, Iraq.
Before anyone gets too excited, consider this:
Ali Nouri Zadeh, a Iranian-born writer for the London-based Arab newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat who first interviewed Zakeri more than a year ago, has mixed feelings about the man's veracity.I wonder how long it takes for Doug Feith or John Bolton to mention this?
"What he says is partly correct--30 percent," Zadeh says. "Partly exaggerated--20 percent. And 50 percent is nonsense."
Told that some German and American intelligence officials had greeted his revelations with pronounced skepticism, Zakeri replied: "I don't know why they say that. We got lots of evidence."
At least some of what Zakeri says is inconsistent with known facts. Zakeri told the BKA, for example, that he had seen one of the hijack pilots, Ziad Jarrah, at a terrorist training camp in Iran in 1997, four years before Sept. 11.
"I did not recognize the person then," he said. Only after seeing Jarrah's picture in the wake of Sept. 11, Zakeri said, did he remember that "I had seen the person on the picture in Iran. ... I did not know his name before."
However, 1997 is the year that Jarrah arrived in Hamburg from his native Lebanon to study aircraft design at Hamburg's University of Applied Sciences. By all accounts he was the antithesis of a radical fundamentalist Muslim, spending his free time drinking, driving sports cars and living with a Turkish girlfriend. BKA interviews with Jarrah's neighbors and fellow students suggest that Jarrah didn't become radicalized until 1999, the same year he and several of the other hijackers visited an Al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan.