Monday, December 06, 2004

ABC News: Report: Iran Has Tried Arrested Al Qaeda Members

ABC News: Report: Iran Has Tried Arrested Al Qaeda Members: "Report: Iran Has Tried Arrested Al Qaeda Members

Dec 6, 2004 — TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's judiciary has tried a number of arrested al Qaeda members and verdicts have been issued, a senior judiciary official was quoted as saying on Monday.

Tehran Justice Department head Abbasali Alizadeh told the semi-official Fars news agency Iran's "high-ranking officials are satisfied with the issued verdicts," but did not elaborate on what the verdicts had been.

News of the trials is likely to anger Washington, which has repeatedly called on Iran to hand over all al Qaeda suspects it is holding. Guilty verdicts sentencing them to long jail terms would make that an even more distant prospect.

Reuters could not immediately reach judiciary or government officials for comment.

Iran has extradited scores of suspected al Qaeda militants who fled Afghanistan and Pakistan in the last three years. But it has rebuffed U.S. calls to hand them all over and last year announced plans to put around a dozen on trial.

Hossein Mousavian, secretary of the foreign policy committee of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, said in June that the suspects were middle-ranking al Qaeda members.

He said they had been: "plotting against the national security of Iran and they have planned for terrorist activities inside Iran."

The United States has long believed Iran was harboring al Qaeda militants who escaped Afghanistan after U.S. troops invaded in late 2001 after the September 11 attacks.

It has said Iran-based al Qaeda militants plotted suicide bombings in Saudi Arabia and that Tehran gave safe passage to several of the 19 hijackers who carried out the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

Iran acknowledges that al Qaeda members have managed to cross into Iran over its long and difficult-to-police borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan.

But it denies providing safe-haven to al Qaeda members and says it deeply opposes the group's methods and philosophy.

The most important figure that Western intelligence agencies say may be there is Saif al-Adel, an Egyptian. He is widely believed to have taken charge of al Qaeda operations after Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the suspected mastermind of the September 11 attacks, was captured in Pakistan.

Saudi sources said last year that Iran had also detained Saad bin Laden, a son of Osama, as well as al Qaeda spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, who is a Kuwaiti.

Iran has refused to name the al Qaeda members it is holding.

Alizadeh said the trials had been conducted by a "special judge" after taking into account information presented by security and intelligence officials.

Copyright 2004 Reuters News Service."

Iran Hands Over Suspect in Assassination Attempt

Iran Hands Over Suspect in Assassination Attempt: "Iran Hands Over Suspect in Assassination Attempt

From Times Wire Reports
Iran has turned over to Egypt the alleged mastermind of a 1995 assassination attempt on President Hosni Mubarak, a significant step toward mending relations between the two countries.

An Egyptian security official confirmed that Mustafa Hamza, leader of Gamaa al Islamiya, was in Egyptian custody.

Hamza, 48, has been widely believed to have been under house arrest in Iran since October 2003. In Iran, a senior Foreign Ministry advisor denied knowledge of the matter."