Former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer told me on CNBC last night that Eli Lake’s New York Sun report on the new National Intelligence Estimate of the global terrorist threat concerning al Qaeda in Iran was wrong. Scheuer casually dismissed the report as a function of that newspaper’s obsession in defending Israel. Oh really? In fact, Lake culled his information from the NIE report itself.
As the Sun editorializes this morning, one of the two policy-making councils running al Qaeda and planning attacks — they are called Shura Majlis — meets in eastern Iran. One of the participants in the Iran council happens to be Saad bin Laden, one of Osama’s sons and a possible successor.
An Investor’s Business Daily editorial today supports the Sun’s version of events, adding that senior al Qaeda members have taken up residence in Lavizan, a military base near Tehran; Chalous, a Tehran suburb; Mashod, a Shiite holy city; and Zabul, a town near the Afghanistan border.
The speculation is that these al Qaeda groups are operating under an umbrella of support from Iran’s Quds Force. As IBD points out, the Quds Force is the Iranian terrorist support group helping both Shiite and Sunni militias in Iraq kill American soldiers and Iraqi civilians.
So why would Scheuer dismiss the Iranian connection?
Well, ace military reporter Rowan Scarborough, formerly with the Washington Times and now with the Washington Examiner, fingers Scheuer in his new book Sabotage: America’s Enemies Within the CIA. Turns out Scheuer wrote Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror. It’s a Bush-bashing exercise that got him on 60 Minutes and produced a free-reign platform for Bush opponents.
Of course, Scheuer and his pals at the CIA never caught bin Laden. So if the West was really losing, aren’t the CIA analysts partly responsible?
I’m still waiting to see if any of the bigger mainstream-media newspapers pick up the story of al Qaeda activity inside Iran. So far they haven’t. In fact, the media seems to be arguing — in the face of all the facts — that al Qaeda in Iraq does not pose a threat to the United States. Moreover, the MSM blames the Bush administration for the retooling of al Qaeda in Pakistan.
The reality here is that all three al Qaeda branches — in addition to its jihadist cohorts elsewhere — are coming at us.
The question now becomes whether the U.S. government will stay on the offensive, maintain all of its Patriot Act tools, and beat down the bad guys.