[Congressional Record Volume 157, Number 143 (Friday, September 23, 2011)]
[House]
[Pages H6447-H6448]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                     THE AL QAEDA-QODS FORCE NEXUS

  (Mr. DUNCAN of South Carolina asked and was given permission to 
address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
  Mr. DUNCAN of South Carolina. Mr. Speaker, with the U.N. General 
Assembly meeting in New York this week and with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of 
the Islamic Republic of Iran giving his usual anti-American rant 
yesterday, I would like to make a few points about my concerns over 
Iran's strategic aims in the Middle East and here in the Western 
Hemisphere.
  My friends at Kronos Advisory, including Medal of Honor winner Major 
General James Livingston of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, released 
their Al Qaeda-Qods Force Nexus report in April, the text of which I 
ask to be inserted into the Record. Their report goes to the heart of 
the matter detailing that ``Iran has quietly forged a strong working 
relationship with core al Qaeda leaders.''
  I am greatly concerned about Iran's growing influence in Latin 
America. The Treasury Department has stated that Hezbollah's operating 
center is in the tri-border region of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. 
Hezbollah's state sponsor, Iran, has opened six embassies in South 
America over the last 5 years.
  When the lives of Americans could face threats from Iran's growing 
reach through Hezbollah, why would this administration even consider 
giving President Ahmadinejad a visa to attend the United Nations 
General Assembly meeting?

                             [From Kronos]

                     The Al-Qa'ida-Qods Force Nexus


             SCRATCHING THE SURFACE OF A ``KNOWN UNKNOWN''

       Kronos is a strategic advisory firm founded by 
     Congressional Medal of Honor recipient MajGen James E. 
     Livingston, USMC (Ret), Mallory Factor, and Michael S. Smith 
     II to provide global stakeholders the situational awareness 
     solutions they need to address strategic and tactical threats 
     to their interests. We help our clients achieve their 
     organizational goals by providing them the resources they 
     need to better understand and define their operational 
     environments--rather than allowing their organizational 
     capabilities and goals to be defined by them.
       Kronos harnesses the resources of a diverse international 
     network of talented professionals with highly valuable skill 
     sets who have extensive experience helping officials address 
     complex national security threats, both domestic and foreign.
       Kronos investigative project case teams consist of counter-
     intelligence professionals, accomplished field investigators, 
     seasoned security analysts, and preeminent subject experts. 
     We seek to help our clients detect, deter, and neutralize 
     eminent challenges posed by gray area phenomena and collusive 
     adversarial regimes.
       Through independent missions, our teams collect and analyze 
     unique and often otherwise inaccessible information that 
     reveals key threat features like emerging partnerships, 
     operational capabilities and the objectives of transnational 
     terrorist networks. Our teams also gather information that 
     exposes implications of important emerging theater-specific 
     and regional trends. We then use this data to produce tailor 
     made strategic threat assessments that provide holistic 
     explanations of imminent threats, and can be used by 
     officials to identify new opportunities to reduce them.
       Kronos is strongly positioned to assist private companies 
     who support official missions, defense and intelligence 
     organizations operating in mission critical zones, as well as 
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     officials identify strategic opportunities to strengthen 
     relationships with key foreign partners.
                                  ____


                     The Al-Qa'ida-Qods Force Nexus


                   ISSUE SUMMARY, KRONOSADVISORY.COM

       Despite a nearly decade-long effort to dismantle al-Qa'ida 
     and its affiliates, these terrorists still pose the most 
     immediate threats to America's security. Al-Qa'ida and 
     affiliated movements also threaten many other major and 
     emerging powers alike. Yet one ascendant power, Iran, has 
     quietly forged a strong working relationship with Core al-
     Qa'ida's leaders. This relationship has been established to 
     counter American influence in the Middle East and South Asia. 
     Through it, Iran will likely also help al-Qa'ida mobilize 
     terrorists to carry out attacks against the U.S. and our 
     allies, providing the support required to extend al-Qa'ida's 
     operational reach.

[[Page H6448]]

       Attention to the longstanding ties between top Iranian 
     officials and al-Qa'ida leaders, including Osama bin Laden's 
     top lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has been eschewed by a 
     pervasive fundamental attribution error: ``Shiite Iran will 
     not work with Sunni militants comprising the ranks of al-
     Qa'ida.'' This assessment fully ignores readily available 
     evidence to the contrary. Indeed, such relationships span 
     back to the early 1990s, when top officials from the Iranian 
     Revolutionary Guards Corps' clandestine Qods Force, working 
     in concert with Iran's chief global terrorist proxy, Lebanese 
     Hizballah, began training and equipping bin Laden's warriors. 
     Then, following the 1996 attack on the Khobar Towers in Saudi 
     Arabia that killed 19 Americans, more evidence surfaced of 
     operational linkages between al-Qa'ida and the Qods Force, an 
     official Iranian paramilitary organization which possesses a 
     mandate from Iran's Supreme Leader to fund, train, and equip 
     Islamist terrorists. These very operational linkages are 
     referenced within the 9/11 Commission Report, whose authors 
     acknowledged the relationship between al-Qa'ida and Iran 
     demonstrates that Sunni-Shiite divisions ``did not 
     necessarily pose an insurmountable barrier to cooperation in 
     terrorist operations.''
       Since 9/11, these partnerships have become all the more 
     pronounced. Hundreds of al-Qa'ida members, along with family 
     members of Core al-Qa'ida leaders like Osama bin Laden, have 
     found refuge inside Iran. Officials now know Iran's minister 
     of defense, formerly a commander of the Qods Force, furnished 
     safe houses for many of these terrorists. Officials also know 
     that while under ``house arrest'' inside Iran al-Qa'ida's top 
     military commanders like Saif al-Adl were able to coordinate 
     attacks against Western targets. Examples of these attacks 
     include the May 2003 bombings in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia that 
     killed eight Americans.
       Since 2005, Iran has rapidly evolved from a theocracy into 
     a garrison state. With help from the Islamic Republic's 
     unelected officials, notably Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali 
     Khamene'i, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (a 
     former member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps), the 
     IRGC has seized control of most critical sectors inside Iran. 
     Having secured their future grips on power by elevating the 
     domestic roles of the IRGC, Iran's leaders are now pursuing 
     their lust for regional hegemonic status. Their strategy 
     entails both a persistent quest for nuclear weapons--the 
     acquisition of which Iran's leaders view as the means to 
     ensure their recent regional gains will be irreversible--and 
     support of terrorist organizations which are able to help 
     Iran destabilize unfriendly states, and perhaps even Iran's 
     entire neighborhood.
       Today, the Middle East is more volatile than at any time 
     since the Islamic Revolution's leaders seized control of 
     Iran, and hardliners in Tehran are better positioned than 
     ever before to influence the future of this critical region. 
     Concurrently, with support from a state sponsor like Iran, 
     al-Qa'ida will be better positioned than ever before to 
     strike the West and our allies, and to foment chaos in both 
     the Arab world and South Asia that would ultimately benefit 
     Iran. As the implications of working partnerships between 
     Iran and al-Qa'ida carry weighty implications for not just 
     the security of the Middle East and South Asia, but also 
     America's national security interests, it is incumbent upon 
     policy makers in Washington to address this issue. For if 
     left unchecked, Iran's relationship with al-Qa'ida could cost 
     America and our allies dearly.
       This report focuses on the history of Iran's relationship 
     with al-Qa'ida, and briefly addresses potential implications 
     of these ties. Additionally, its author provides a list of 
     recommended action items for Members of the United States 
     Congress, as well as a list of questions that may help 
     Members develop a better understanding of this issue through 
     interactions with defense and intelligence officials.

                          ____________________