GUESS WHO’S COMING TO AMERICA?
TERRORISTS WANT OUT OF IRAN
Yes, Omar bin Laden, the son of Osama bin Laden, is a terrorist who fought with his father in Afghanistan
Yes, Omar and other al Qaeda members are holed up in Iran where they sought shelter in the wake of the US-led attack on Tora Bora.
Yes, this noted jihadi leader is a threat to America’s national security.
And, yes, Omar and 20 other members of the bin Laden may be coming to America – – not as prisoners of war but political refugees.
In an interview today with al-Arabiya, Omar bin Laden said that his family is negotiating with officials from the Obama Administration on terms of sanctuary in the U.S.
Omar said that he and his family remain stranded in Iran since the Iranian government refuses to permit them to return to their ancestral home in Saudi Arabia.
“The Americans offered to help us out of Iran and even hinted at the possibility of receiving us in the U.S.,” he said in the interview, which was aired late yesterday and posted on the Dubai-based channel’s website.
Omar said neither he nor his brothers have been officially accused of terrorism by the U.S. or any other country.
A daughter of bin Laden, Iman, 17, was allowed to leave Iran for Syria earlier this year after taking refuge in the Saudi Embassy in Tehran. Her brother, Bakr, 16, also left Iran for the Syrian capital of Damascus in December.
In December 2001, more than five hundred al Qaeda and Taliban operatives, including Omar and Said bin Laden (Osama’s eldest son) escaped from their mountain fortress in Tora Bora, which is situated in the White Mountains of eastern Afghanistan.
The terrorist band scaled the mountains in the south along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and cut through Afghanistan’s southernmost provinces to head west to Iran, where they found safe haven.
In addition to Said and Omar bin Laden, the group included Mohammed Islam Haani, the mayor of Kabul during the Taliban regime; Saif al-Adel, the military commander of al Qaeda; and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who used his new place of refuge to launch attacks on the US troops in Iraq.
Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda’s second in command, also traveled to Iran, where he was spotted in the disguise of an Iran cleric with a black turban and dyed red beard.
Upon their arrival in Iran, the al Qaeda and Taliban band was received by Imad Mugniyah, the leader of Hezbollah, who had formed an alliance with Osama bin Laden in 1995.
The al Qaeda and Taliban guests were placed in safe houses controlled by SAVAMA, the Iranian intelligence services. These villas, in southern Iran, with swimming pools and saunas, were lavish even by American standards.
The refusal of the Iranian government to grant Omar bin Laden and his family permission to leave the country hints that a fissure may have opened between Sunni and Shiite terror groups in recent months.