Interviews with al-Qaeda members and bin Laden’s family reveal a pact that allowed the group to prepare for its next phase.
By Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark; The Atlantic:
The last Islamic State redoubts have been falling in quick succession in recent weeks, with the U.S.-backed coalition taking the caliphate’s self-declared capital of Raqqa last month, and then Syrian forces reclaiming the strategic oil city of Deir al-Zour. But while the group’s experiment in a statehood built on rape, slavery, and execution nears its end, an older terror front has been quietly reconstituting itself. Against all odds, and despite the most costly counter-terrorism campaign ever waged by the West, al-Qaeda has flourished—its comeback assisted by a remarkable pact with Iran.
President Trump recently pointed to this relationship to justify de-certifying the Iran nuclear deal. Facing overwhelming European opposition to that move, CIA director Mike Pompeo suggested the al-Qaeda-Iran pact had been an “open secret” during the Obama administration, which had failed to act.
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