WikiLeaks: The Iran-Al Qaeda Connection

A State Department cable released by WikiLeaks earlier this week contains a stunning new detail about the relationship between Iran and al Qaeda. The Saudis have privately complained to the Obama administration that Iran harbors a dangerous network of al Qaeda operatives who are targeting the kingdom. And at the heart of the relationship is one of Osama bin Laden’s little-known sons.

One cable recounts a meeting that took place on September 5, 2009 between President Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, and Saudi Prince Nayif bin Abdulaziz, the kingdom’s second deputy prime minister and longtime interior minister.

Just eight days prior to the meeting, Prince Nayif’s son, Muhammad, survived an assassination attempt by al Qaeda. Muhammad is the head of Saudi Arabia’s counterterrorism and jihadist rehabilitation programs. Prince Nayif stressed to Brennan that the kingdom’s efforts to combat terrorism and extremism would not waver even though the attack highlighted the risk to members of the royal family.

After exchanging diplomatic niceties, Prince Nayif turned the conversation to Iran. The State Department’s cable reads:

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