U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday warned about Al-Qaeda’s presence in Iran.
He confirmed that Abu Muhammad al-Masri—the terror group’s second in command—was shot and killed by Israeli operatives on behalf of the United States. The New York Times first reported his death in November. In his remarks, Pompeo did not say whether or not Israel was behind the operation.
Pompeo warned that “Al-Qaeda has a new home base: It is the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
He mentioned, “In the early ’90s, Al-Qaeda operatives traveled to Iran and the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon—the heartland of Hezbollah—for explosives training.”
Hezbollah is, like Al-Qaeda, a U.S.-designated terrorist group and an Iranian proxy.
Pompeo blamed Iran for giving safe harbor to Al-Qaeda.
“Let’s not tolerate Iran giving [it] a second wind,” he said. “Let’s not downplay the danger of Sunni-Shia cooperation in terror.”
Finally, Pompeo announced that the United States sanctioned Al-Qaeda leaders on Tuesday and that the U.S. State Department will give a $7 million “for information that leads to the location or identification” of Muhammad Abbatay, also known as Abd al-Rahman al-Maghrebi.
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