Thursday, August 27, 2015

With Friends Like These...

Problems with rapproachment?

The Saudi Arabian terrorist suspected of leading a deadly, Iranian-financed attack on a U.S. base has reportedly been captured. State Department officials refused to comment on the reported arrest of Ahmed al-Mughassil, a leader of the Saudi chapter of Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed terrorist group. The group has long been regarded as responsible for the 1996 bombing of Khobar Towers, a U.S. Air Force housing complex, which killed 19 U.S. personnel and wounded hundreds of other people.

Though al-Mughassil has been on the FBI’s list of most wanted terrorists for years, his arrest might have come at an inconvenient time for President Obama’s team. Congress is just weeks away from voting on a deal negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry that would ease sanctions on Iran as part of an accord that is supposed to halt the regime’s nuclear program for the next decade.
A federal judge ruled in 2006 that Iranian “senior leadership” organized the 1996 attack, which al-Mughassil is suspected of leading. “The totality of the evidence at trial . . . firmly establishes that the Khobar Towers bombing was planned, funded, and sponsored by senior leadership in the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth wrote. “The defendants’ conduct in facilitating, financing, and providing material support to bring about this attack was intentional, extreme, and outrageous.”

Under the terms of the pending nuclear deal, Iran would get as much as $150 billion in sanctions relief. The administration has admitted that at least some of this money will be used to finance more terrorism. “We’ve decided that we need to address the nuclear threat and then turn to the terrorism,” Adam Szubin, acting undersecretary of the treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, told a Senate panel August 5.