Thursday, October 27, 2005

Iran sheltering Bin Laden sons and Al-Qaeda members: report

Yahoo News:

AFP Wed Oct 26, 5:56 PM ET

Iran is providing refuge to around 25 leading members of the Al-Qaeda terror group including three of Osama bin Laden's sons, a German magazine reported.

Cicero magazine said Saad, Mohammed and Othman bin Laden as well as other Al-Qaeda members from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, north Africa and Europe were living in and around Tehran under the protection of Iran's Republican Guard. The magazine quoted a "top-ranking Western secret service agent" as saying the Al-Qaeda members were free to move around.

"They are not under arrest or house arrest," the unnamed source told the respected monthly Cicero. "They can do what they like."

Saad bin Laden, who is around 25, is thought to have played a key financial and logistical role in several Al-Qaeda attacks and is on a US most-wanted list. Osama bin Laden is believed to have more than 20 sons by several wives. The article was written by journalist Bruno Schirra.

Cicero and Schirra made national headlines in Germany last month when police raided the magazine's offices and Schirra's Berlin home after he wrote a story alleging links between Iran and Al-Qaeda's frontman in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

The police were searching for evidence to identify Schirra's sources after he quoted classified German documents in that story.

Interior Minister Otto Schily was forced to appear before a parliamentary committee to explain his order to carry out the raid.

Cicero was launched in March 2004 and describes itself as a "magazine of political culture".


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