Iran's Fingerprints Keep Showing Up All Over Iraqi Terrorism
Although he had little choice in the matter, I asked him why he wants to talk to an American journalist. “I am very bored. I want to be executed now.” He has betrayed his country and everyone—his family, his girl friend, his former colleagues in the security service—who was ever close to him. He has no visitors and, as he says, “no hope.” The interview about his life is just a way to pass the time.
Born in Halabja, Mustafa was nearly two when Saddam Hussein carried out the infamous poisonous gas attacks there that killed tens of thousands in 1988.
....When he worked for an Iranian intelligence service, he would be given a document that would allow him to move freely through checkpoints and to avoid the official harassment that is a daily routine for Iraqi Kurds working inside the Islamic republic.
Higher-ranking terrorist leaders are given laminated cards that make them untouchable by all Iranian officials, aside from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Mustafa was told that these cards were issued on the personal orders of Ali Khamane’i, Iran’s ruler. The cards, which include a picture and other identifying details, simply say that the holder is a “political refugee”—or “Karti Panahandayi” in Persian—but everyone in Iran knows what it means. Ordinary refugees do not get these cards. The plastic cards, which he compared to a paid phone cards, are hard to forge, Mustafa insists.
....As Mustafa waited for his first mission, he began to learn more about Iran’s sponsorship of terrorist attacks inside Iraq. “I was told that Ansar al Islam members met with [Iranian] Brigadier [General] Qasim Sulemani,” a high ranking member of Iran’s Quds Force, on April 4, 2005, Mustafa said. “The meeting was in Kermanshah, at the head office” of Iran’s intelligence service there. He said that the Itilaat service also briefed him on upcoming missions of the al Qaeda-linked terror group. Iran often has advance knowledge of these attacks and helps fund and plan them, he said.
He was paid $400 a month, but he was eager for the bonuses that came with missions inside Iraq. Those could pay as much as $1500. By contrast, his police salary in Iraq was $220 per month in 2005.
At last, after four months, the mission came. He was given a small digital camera and sent to the Iraqi city of Kirkuk to photograph U.S. bases. From the window of taxi, he shot movies and stills of American checkpoints and base perimeter security operations. Over the course of a long day he shot some 55 minutes of movies of guards, bomb-sniffing dogs, and base buildings vulnerable to attack.
When he returned with the “flash movies,” Iranian intelligence officers were very happy.
Next, they sent him to photograph Iranian opposition figures in Iraq, especially those connected to the Democratic Kormala party. Col. Yacubi also wanted Mustafa to discover their home addresses. These men, Mustafa was told, would be targeted for assassination. Later, I would speak to the head of that party at his secret base in the steep hills east of Sulaimaniya. A charming former communist and now self-proclaimed “neo-conservative” who advocates a federal democracy in Iran, Secretary General Abdullah Mohtadi confirmed that the Iranians have tried to kill him several times. (I will post an interview with Mohtadi when I return to the U.S. next week.)
Then, one day in the summer of 2005, the Iranians asked Mustafa to kill. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ chief of sabotage, Mr. Amiri, wanted Mustafa to go to the Iraqi Kurdish mountain town of Koya, a farming community of low-slung concrete homes that climb the hillsides above sharply graded sheep pastures, and murder the head of Kurdish Democratic Party with three blocks of TNT. He was told to put it in a trash can near the official’s office window.
....Most insurgents either come from Iran or are somehow tied to that Islamic Republic, he says. “Iran knows about these groups and their movements,” he says matter-of-factly. He cites a number of towns just over the border with Iran, which his investigators believe that safe houses for terrorists are maintained: Mariwan,
Pejwan, Bokan, Sina, and Serdai.
“Iran is the top in terror in all the world,” he says. “If you want peace in all of the world, you change the authority in Iran.”
Is Iran actually in control of these groups, as Osman Ali Mustafa would lead us to believe? He scoffs. “If they want to close the border, no one can cross.”
Read more at the source.