Skip to comments.Iranian Alert - December 15, 2004 [EST] - Congressman Warns of Iranian Attack on U.S.
Posted on 12/14/2004 10:13:13 PM PST by DoctorZIn
Top News Story
Congressman Warns of Iranian Attack on U.S.
BY ELI LAKE - Staff Reporter of the Sun
December 14, 2004
WASHINGTON - A senior Republican congressman has been warning America's intelligence community for more than a year of an alleged Iranian plot to crash commercial airliners into a New Hampshire nuclear reactor.
Since February 2003, Rep. Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania has held a series of secret meetings in Paris with a former high-ranking official in the Shah's government who has correctly predicted, according to Mr. Weldon, a number of internal developments in Iran ranging from the regime's atomic weapons programs to its support for international terrorism, including Al Qaeda.
Based on two informants inside the mullahs' inner circle, Mr. Weldon's source, whom he code-named "Ali," relayed allegations to the Pennsylvania lawmaker that an Iranian-backed terrorist cell is seeking to hijack Canadian airliners and crash them into an American reactor. The target of the operation was only identified by Ali as SEA, leading Mr. Weldon to predict it was the Seabrook reactor in New Hampshire, about 40 miles north of Boston. Ali told the congressman that the attack was first planned for between November 23 and December 3, 2003, but was postponed to take place after this year's presidential election.
For nearly two years, Mr. Weldon tried to quietly press the CIA and a Senate panel that oversees Langley to follow up on the intelligence his Iranian source in Paris was providing. But these efforts came to nothing, according to Mr. Weldon. So now Mr. Weldon is going public. The congressman said in an interview last week that he intended to publish a book early next year outlining the intelligence he has collected from various sources that he said will detail an Iranian plot to conduct a more lethal attack on America than September 11, 2001.
"I get a lot of wackos who come to see me, who claim to have information," he said. "In this case, this source came to me from a former member of Congress, a Democrat. I followed up a lead. That lead developed an ongoing process of information-sharing for two years that I took to the highest levels of the intelligence community."
In Washington, the new book from Mr. Weldon, based in part on his meetings with Ali, will provide fresh ammunition for the Republicans against an intelligence community perceived by the White House as hostile to the president's policies.
Last month, the new director of the CIA, Porter Goss, a former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, sent many of the most senior analysts and operations officers into early retirement. In a speech he gave to the staff at Langley, Mr. Goss had to remind the employees that the president sets national security policy.
But if Mr. Weldon's source turns out to be right, America could also be losing a valuable intelligence asset on Iran, a country where most intelligence analysts in America concede the CIA has too few human sources.
The congressman's experience with America's spy service in the last year echoes frustrations from other American officials and analysts who have cultivated Iranians willing to provide America with intelligence, but who have been ignored. After a December 2001 meeting in Rome between Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin and Iran-Contra figure Manucher Ghorbanifar, the State Department and CIA went out of their way to shut down the channel. Mr. Franklin is now the target of a grand jury investigation into alleged espionage activities for passing information to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
A summary of Ali's predictions were outlined in a November 2003 letter to the Republican chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senator Roberts from Kansas. In its opening lines, Mr. Weldon wrote, "This letter is to warn you of an intelligence failure in the process of happening."
Later in the letter, Mr. Weldon, who is the vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, wrote, "I am not asserting that such an attack shall occur. But given [Ali's] record of accurate predictions, shouldn't the Intelligence Community at least be investigating his story?"
The letter and an accompanying memo titled, "Ali: a Credible Source," goes into detail about information Mr. Weldon's source provided that was later confirmed in the press. For example, Ali first passed on the Iranian threat to the reactor at a Paris meeting on May 17, 2003.
On August 22, 2003, the Toronto Star reported the arrest of 19 people in Canada for immigration violations who were suspected of being connected in a terrorist conspiracy. One of the men in the cell was taking flight lessons and had flown an airplane directly over an Ontario nuclear power plant, according to the newspaper.
So, impressed with the quality of his source's information, Mr. Weldon met in 2003 with the director of central intelligence, George Tenet, to plead his case to get funding for Ali. But the CIA, according to the Pennsylvania lawmaker, demanded to know the identities of Ali's sources inside Iran, a condition Mr. Weldon said was unreasonable given the high-risk espionage.
"I took this straight to the top," Mr. Weldon said in an interview. "I wanted to work through the channels but I did not get anywhere."
Frustrated with the CIA's response, Mr. Weldon took his case to the Senate panel that oversees the agency.
He pressed them in the 2003 letter to hold a hearing on the matter and urge the CIA to get Ali the money to continue to pay off his sources inside the Islamic republic. According to Mr. Weldon, the committee did not respond in any meaningful way. "One or two senior people called the chief of staff. Not the kind of response I wanted. I had to get this off my shoulders," he said in an interview.
Mr. Weldon said more of Ali's intelligence will be shared in his forthcoming book, which he promised would "shake Washington."
He said that the manuscript, which he has just completed, details how Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameini, "has set up a separate entity in the government the president does not know about, which includes all the terrorist groups connected to bin Laden and others. They are avowed to consummate a major attack inside the United States. In the book I name this plot."
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Sounds like Weldon is pumping up the PR before he strikes it rich with his new book. Pathetic.
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We will see..
U.S. Has No Intention of Joining EU-Iran TalksDecember 14, 2004
The Associated Press
Ali Akbar Dareini
TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran is willing to talk with the United States about a nuclear program that Washington alleges is aimed at secretly acquiring the bomb, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said Monday. The White House, however, rejected the idea.
Germany, Britain and France launched new negotiations with Iran on Monday to try to persuade Tehran to abandon any nuclear program that could be used for weapons, in return for aid to build up its civilian energy program.
Kharrazi told a news conference that talks with Washington could also be possible. The United States broke diplomatic relations with Iran after militant students seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979.
"If negotiations are on the basis of equality and mutual respect in the same way we are talking to Europeans now, there is no reason not to talk to others," Kharrazi said when asked whether Tehran was also willing to talk to the United States about its nuclear program.
The White House made plain it has no intention of joining the talks.
"When it comes to Iran, we are very supportive of the efforts by our European friends to get Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions. And we stay in close contact with our European friends on their discussions and the progress that they have made ... That's the way we're approaching this issue," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said. "What we believe is important is that ultimately Iran agree to end its nuclear weapons program, not just suspend it."
Iran's reformers support dialogue with Washington but hard-liners are opposed to any rapprochement, arguing that the only U.S. goal is to bring about the collapse of the ruling Islamic establishment.
Some Europeans have hoped America's possible engagement in talks with Iran would increase pressure on Tehran to permanently abandon any weapons program and reassure its rulers that Washington was not seeking their overthrow.
Kharrazi, addressing the news conference with his South African counterpart, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, said Iran will assess the talks with European countries within three months if new negotiations do not meet Iran's demand to use its nuclear program for domestic energy purposes.
"If we see that talks are waste of time and have no results, definitely we will make our own decisions," he said.
Kharrazi described the talks as "very serious" and dismissed allegations that Tehran was stalling, insisting that Iran had "no interest in wasting time."
Iran agreed to a temporary deal with the Europeans last month to suspend uranium enrichment but has insisted that the freeze is voluntary and short.
Zuma, whose country is an influential member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, said South Africa defends "Iran's right for peaceful use of nuclear technology," but was opposed to a weapons program.
And they would do this because...they want regime change imposed on them?
What do you think Doc?
Iran has already declared war on the US.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Iran's supreme leader Khamenei has already declared war against the US back in July:
"We are at war with the enemy," Iran's Supreme Guide Ali Khamenehi told a meeting of mullahs in the city of Hamadan, west of Teheran, last Monday. "The central battlefield [of this war] is Iraq."
Iran has already declared its own preemptive strike doctrine, according to ABC News Online:
Iranian Defence Minister Ali Shamkhani has warned that Iran might launch a preemptive strike against US forces in the region to prevent an attack on its nuclear facilities. ABC News reported:
"We will not sit [with arms folded] to wait for what others will do to us," Mr Shamkhani told Al Jazeera television when asked if Iran would respond to an American attack on its nuclear facilities.
"Some military commanders in Iran are convinced that preventive operations which the Americans talk about are not their monopoly.
"America is not the only one present in the region. We are also present, from Khost to Kandahar in Afghanistan; we are present in the Gulf and we can be present in Iraq.
"The US military presence [in Iraq] will not become an element of strength [for Washington] at our expense. The opposite is true, because their forces would turn into a hostage" in Iranian hands in the event of an attack, he said.
And the Supreme Leaders security advisor, Hassan Abbassi said:
There are 29 sensitive sites in the U.S. and in the West. We have already spied on these sites and we know how we are going to attack them.'
And they would do this because...they want regime change imposed on them? ...
They don't believe we have the means nor the will to take them on at this time.
And soon they will be a nuclear power.
So they blow up one of our nuclear plants for the heck of it?
IMHO, I seriously doubt this would happen. An attack on an operating nuclear power plant could be percieved as a nuclear attack to the American public. If this did happen I'm sure that Americans would demand that Tehran become a radioactive sheet of glass and in the very least, Iran be bombed to the days of Adam and Eve.
--when Baer was jerked out of the region, back to DC to be interrogated by FBI agents in what Tony Lake said was a plot to assassinate Saddam Hussein. Baer remains certain the bombing was an act of Iran. . .
The Islamic Republic remains the supreme state sponsor of terrorism in the world, coming into existence thanks to Jimmy Carter, armed with Russian, Chinese and North Korean missile technology (see Bill Gertz Betrayal), becoming a nuclear power thanks to the UN and the usual suspects.
Before 911 there was Bojinka; the reactor attack Weldon warns of may simply be a precursor plan.
And where between nuclear Pakistan and antenuclear Iran is OBL?
What is your source on this? Granted, they obviously don't like us and want all kinds of bad stuff to happen to us, but why would they fly a plane into a nuke plant and then face annihilation?
Is he an author or is he a Congressman?
Perhaps when Scott Peterson sits in the chair or when he!! freezes over, whichever comes first, they will.
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