KABUL (Pajhwok): US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has alleged Al Qaeda’s new base of operations is in Iran, according to a media report on Wednesday.
Pompeo tied together two of what he called the world’s greatest threats but offering no underlying intelligence as evidence, reported the NY Times.
His conclusions were quickly tempered, and even contradicted, by some current and former American officials who said there was little new intelligence to suggest that Iran was any kind of active headquarters, much less a hub where Al Qaeda’s leaders can direct operations with the support of the government in Tehran.
Mr. Pompeo, who was President Trump’s first C.I.A. director for a year, called Iran “the new Afghanistan” for Qaeda militants. He described the ties between Tehran and Qaeda leaders in much starker terms than what most counterterrorism officials view as a very complicated relationship.
“They are partners in terrorism, partners in hate,” Mr. Pompeo told an audience at the National Press Club in Washington, where he did not take questions from journalists afterward.