Intelligence: Crippling Irans Terrorism Kings

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March 20, 2007: In the last month, two senior officers of Irans Quds Force have defected, or been abducted, and at least one more was captured inside Iraq. At first, Iran tried to ignore this development. But apparently the word got out in Iran (mainly via opposition web sites based outside Iran). That caused the government to start a campaign to discredit the missing officers, and any damage they could do to Quds (an intelligence and commando operation that supports Islamic terrorism overseas). The three officers have each served Quds for over a decade, and know a lot of secrets. But the most important thing they know is who else in Quds is interested in getting out of Iran, or overthrowing the current government. Actually, most Quds members don't want to remove the Islamic dictatorship that runs the country, but do object to the extreme conservatives that are becoming more powerful. The recent disappearances appear to have caused a panic at Quds headquarters, and Quds people, and family members, are being arrested, or just brought in for questioning. Some Iranian officials are openly talking of kidnapping Americans and Europeans in retaliation. This particular intelligence windfall appears to be having interesting side effects.

Quds always attracted very bright and able people, but also got personnel with a wide range of views on just what constituted an "Islamic Republic" or the proper role for the Quds Force itself. One of the few things Quds officers could agree on was the need to remove Saddam Hussein from power. Many Quds officers actually warmed to the United States for doing the deed for them. Quds operatives were sent to Iraq in 2003 to see if they could establish another Islamic republic there. But they quickly found that Iraqi Shias were very divided on that subject. This got many Quds officers disagreeing with their commanders back home. The feeling was that the officials back in Iran were living in a dream world. This was reinforced by the debate over al Qaeda. Even though this Sunni terrorist organization was violently anti-Shia, and had killed many Shia in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan, some Quds officials backed supporting al Qaeda, because of a common enemy, the United States in particular, and the West in general. The sort of thing can happen because the Iranian leadership is more a federation than a dictatorship. So Quds can keep being nice to al Qaeda as long as not too many other Iranian factions get mad at Quds.

The Iranian leadership, despite their radical sounding pronouncements, have actually been quite cautious. This is in line with ancient Iranian custom. Thus most of the Hizbollah violence in Lebanon was at the behest of Lebanese Hizbollah leaders. The same pattern has occurred elsewhere. The Quds guys usually counsel restraint, although in Iraq there has been more enthusiasm for violence. Iraq is a special case, as several hundred thousand Iranians died fighting Saddam in the 1980s, and Iranians have not forgotten.

The secretive al Quds Force consists of men trained to spread the Islamic revolution outside Iran. The Quds force has a major problem in that they are spreading a Shia Islamic revolution, while only 15 percent of Moslems are Shia. Most of the rest are Sunni, and many of those consider Shia heretics. Worse, Sunni Arabs tend to accuse all Shai of being part of an Iranian conspiracy to take over the Moslem world. In several countries, there is constant violence between Shia and Sunni conservatives. This has been going on long before the clerics took control of Iran in 1979 (al Qaeda showed up in the 1990s).

The core operatives of the Quds force comprises only a few thousand people. But many of them are highly educated, most speak foreign languages, and all are Islamic radicals. They are on a mission from God to convert the world to Shia Islam, and the rule of Shia clergy. The Quds Force has been around since the 1980s, and their biggest success has been in Lebanon, where they helped local Shia (who comprise about a third of the population) form the Hizbollah organization.

The Quds Force has eight departments, each assigned to a different part of the world. While the one that works in the Palestine/Lebanon/Jordan area have been the most successful, the other departments have been hard at it for two decades.

The Western Directorate has established a recruiting and fund raising network in Western nations. Many recruits are brought back to Iran for training, while Shia migrants are encouraged to donate money, and services, to Quds Force operations. Because many of these operations are considered terrorist operations, Quds Force is banned in many Western nations.

The Iraq Department long maintained an army of anti-Saddam fighters in exile (in Iran) as well as running an intelligence operation inside Iraq. After the coalition toppled Saddam in 2003, Quds Force moved people, money and weapons into Iraq, to form pro-Iranian political forces and militias.

The South Asia Department (Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India) was active in aiding Afghan Shia who were being persecuted by the Taliban (a Sunni operation) and al Qaeda (a very Sunni operation). Quds has also been caught operating in Pakistan, where Sunni terrorists have been attacking Shia for decades.

The Turkey Department has been active encouraging Shia Kurds to commit terrorist acts.

The North Africa Department has an operation in Sudan, that functions in the open, despite the Sunni conservatives who run the country. This department was recently caught providing weapons to the Sunni Islamic Courts militia in Somalia.

The Arabian Department supports terrorist groups that exist in all the Persian Gulf Arab countries. The Arab Sunni governments in these nations does not appreciate Irans support for this sort of thing.

The Central Asian Department supports Shia and Sunni terrorists in countries that used to be part of the Soviet Union. So does al Qaeda, but the Quds operation has been more discreet.

 


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