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Debunking the Iran "Terror Plot"


By Gareth Porter	

At a press conference on October 11, the Obama administration unveiled
a spectacular charge against the government of Iran: The Qods Force of
the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had plotted to assassinate the
Saudi ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, right in
Washington, DC, in a place where large numbers of innocent bystanders
could have been killed. High-level officials of the Qods Force were
said to be involved, the only question being how far up in the Iranian
government the complicity went.

The US tale of the Iranian plot was greeted with unusual skepticism on
the part of Iran specialists and independent policy analysts, and even
elements of the mainstream media. The critics observed that the
alleged assassination scheme was not in Iran’s interest, and that it
bore scant resemblance to past operations attributed to the foreign
special operations branch of Iranian intelligence. The Qods Force, it
was widely believed, would not send a person like Iranian-American
used car dealer Manssor Arbabsiar, known to friends in Corpus Christi,
Texas as forgetful and disorganized, to hire the hit squad for such a
sensitive covert action.

But administration officials claimed they had hard evidence to back up
the charge. They cited a 21-page deposition by a supervising FBI agent
in the “amended criminal complaint” filed against Arbabsiar and an
accomplice who remains at large, Gholam Shakuri. [1] It was all there,
the officials insisted: several meetings between Arbabsiar and a man
he thought was a member of a leading Mexican drug cartel, Los Zetas,
with a reputation for cold-blooded killing; incriminating statements,
all secretly recorded, by Arbabsiar and Shakuri, his alleged handler
in Tehran; and finally, Arbabsiar’s confession after his arrest, which
clearly implicates Qods Force agents in a plan to murder a foreign
diplomat on US soil.

A close analysis of the FBI deposition reveals, however, that
independent evidence for the charge that Arbabsiar was sent by the
Qods Force on a mission to arrange for the assassination of Jubeir is
lacking. The FBI account is full of holes and contradictions,
moreover. The document gives good reason to doubt that Arbabsiar and
his confederates in Iran had the intention of assassinating Jubeir,
and to believe instead that the FBI hatched the plot as part of a
sting operation.

The Case of the Missing Quotes

The FBI account suggests that, from the inaugural meetings between
Arbabsiar and his supposed Los Zetas contact, a Drug Enforcement
Agency informant, Arbabsiar was advocating a terrorist strike against
the Saudi embassy. The government narrative states that, in the very
first meeting on May 24, Arbabsiar asked the informant about his
“knowledge, if any, with respect to explosives” and said he was
interested in “among other things, attacking an embassy of Saudi
Arabia.” It also notes that in the meetings prior to July 14, the DEA
informant “had reported that he and Arbabsiar had discussed the
possibility of attacks on a number of other targets,” including
“foreign government facilities associated with Saudi Arabia and with
another country,” located “within and outside the United States.”

But the allegations that the Iranian-American used car salesman wanted
to “attack” the Saudi embassy and other targets rest entirely upon the
testimony of the DEA informant with whom he was meeting. The informant
is a drug dealer who had been indicted for a narcotics violation in a
US state but had the charges dropped “in exchange for cooperation in
various drug investigations,” according to the FBI account. The
informant is not an independent source of information, but someone
paid to help pursue FBI objectives.

The most suspicious aspect of the administration’s case, in fact, is
the complete absence of any direct quote from Arbabsiar suggesting
interest in, much less advocacy of, assassinating the Saudi ambassador
or carrying out other attacks in a series of meetings with the DEA
informant between June 23 and July 14. The deposition does not even
indicate how many times the two actually met during those three weeks,
suggesting that the number was substantial, and that the lack of
primary evidence from those meetings is a sensitive issue. And
although the FBI account specifies that the July 14 and 17 meetings
were recorded “at the direction of law enforcement agents,” it is
carefully ambiguous about whether or not the earlier meetings were
recorded.

The lack of quotations is a crucial problem for the official case for
a simple reason: If Arbabsiar had said anything even hinting in the
May 24 meeting or in a subsequent meeting at the desire to mount a
terrorist attack, it would have triggered the immediate involvement of
the FBI’s National Security Branch and its counter-terrorism division.
The FBI would then have instructed the DEA informant to record all of
the meetings with Arbabsiar, as is standard practice in such cases,
according to a former FBI official interviewed for this article. And
that would mean that those meetings were indeed recorded.

The fact that the FBI account does not include a single quotation from
Arbabsiar in the June 23-July 14 meetings means either that Arbabsiar
did not say anything that raised such alarms at the FBI or that he was
saying something sufficiently different from what is now claimed that
the administration chooses not to quote from it. In either case, the
lack of such quotes further suggests that it was not Arbabsiar, but
the DEA informant, acting as part of an FBI sting operation, who
pushed the idea of assassinating Jubeir. The most likely explanation
is that Arbabsiar was suggesting surveillance of targets that could be
hit if Iran were to be attacked by Israel with Saudi connivance.

“The Saudi Arabia” and the $100,000

The July 14 meeting between Arbabsiar and the DEA informant is the
first from which the criminal complaint offers actual quotations from
the secretly recorded conversation. The FBI’s retelling supplies
selected bits of conversation -- mostly from the informant -- aimed at
portraying the meeting as revolving around the assassination plot. But
when carefully studied, the account reveals a different story.

The quotations attributed to the DEA informant suggest that he was
under orders to get a response from Arbabsiar that could be
interpreted as assent to an assassination plot. For example, the
informant tells Arbabsiar, “You just want the, the main guy.” There is
no quoted response from the car dealer. Instead, the FBI narrative
simply asserts that Arbabsiar “confirmed that he just wanted the
‘ambassador.’” At the end of the meeting, the informant declares,
“We’re gonna start doing the guy.” But again, no response from
Arbabsiar is quoted.

Two statements by the informant appear on their face to relate to a
broader set of Saudi targets than Adel al-Jubeir. The informant tells
Arbabsiar that he would need “at least four guys” and would “take the
one point five for the Saudi Arabia.” The FBI agent who signed the
deposition explains, “I understand this to mean that he would need to
use four men to assassinate the Ambassador and that the cost to
Arbabsiar of the assassination would be $1.5 million.” But, apart from
the agent’s surmise, there is no hint that either cited phrase
referred to a proposal to assassinate the ambassador. Given that there
had already been discussion of multiple Saudi targets, as well as
those of an unnamed third country (probably Israel), it seems more
reasonable to interpret the words “the Saudi Arabia” to refer to a set
of missions relating to Saudi Arabia in order to distinguish them from
the other target list.

Then the informant repeats the same wording, telling Arbabsiar he
would “go ahead and work on the Saudi Arabia, get all the information
that we can.” This language does not show that Arbabsiar proposed the
killing of Jubeir, much less approved it. And the FBI narrative states
that the Iranian-American “agreed that the assassination of the
Ambassador should be handled first.”  Again, that curious wording does
not assert that Arbabsiar said an assassination should be carried out
first, but suggests he was agreeing that the subject should be
discussed first.

The absence of any quote from Arbabsiar about an assassination plot,
combined with the multiple ambiguities surrounding the statements
attributed to the DEA informant, suggest that the main subject of the
July 14 meeting was something broader than an assassination plot, and
that it was the government’s own agent who had brought up the subject
of assassinating the ambassador in the meeting, rather than Arbabsiar.

The government reconstruction of the July 14 meeting also introduces
the keystone of the Obama administration’s public case: $100,000 that
was to be transferred to a bank account that the DEA informant said he
would make known to Arbabsiar. The FBI deposition asserts repeatedly
that whenever Arbabsiar or the DEA informant mention the $100,000,
they are talking about a “down payment” on the assassination. But the
document contains no statement from either of them linking that
$100,000 to any assassination plan. In fact, it provides details
suggesting that the $100,000 could not have been linked to such a
plan.

The FBI deposition states that the informant and Arbabsiar “discussed
how Arbabsiar would pay [the informant],” but offers no statement from
either individual even mentioning a “payment,” or any reason for
transferring the money to a bank account. Furthermore, it does not
actually claim that Arbabsiar made any commitment to any action
against Jubeir at either the July 14 or 17 meetings. And when the
informant is quoted in the July 17 meeting as saying, “I don’t know
exactly what your cousin wants me to do,” it appears to be an
acknowledgement that he had gotten no indication prior to July 17 that
Arbabsiar’s Tehran interlocutors wanted the Saudi ambassador dead. The
deposition does not even claim that Arbabsiar’s supposed handlers had
approved a plan to kill Jubeir until after the Iranian-American
returned to his native country on July 20.

Nevertheless, Arbabsiar is quoted telling the informant on July 14
that the full $100,000 had already been collected in cash at the home
of “a certain individual.” Preparations for the transfer of the
$100,000 had thus commenced well before the assassination plot
allegedly got the green light.

The amount of $100,000 does not even appear credible as a “down
payment” on a job that the FBI account says was to have cost a total
of $1.5 million. It would represent a mere 6 percent of the full
price. Bearing in mind that the DEA informant was supposed to be
representing the demand of a ruthlessly profit-motivated Los Zetas
drug cartel for a high-stakes political assassination well outside its
purview, 6 percent of the total would represent far too little for a
“down payment.”

The $100,000 wire transfer must have been related to an understanding
that had been reached on something other than the assassination plan.
Yet it has been cited by the administration and reported by news media
as proof of the plot -- and key evidence of Iran’s complicity therein.
[2]

The Qods Force Connection

The FBI account of the July 17 meeting shows the DEA informant leading
Arbabsiar into a statement of support for an assassination. The
informant, obviously following an FBI script, says, “I don’t know what
exactly your cousin wants me to do.” But the deposition notes “further
conversation” following that invitation for a clear position on a
proposal coming from the informant, indicating that what Arbabsiar was
saying did not support the administration’s allegation that
assassination plot was coming from Tehran.

After the FBI evidently sought again to get the straightforward answer
it was seeking, however, Arbabsiar is quoted as saying: “He wants you
to kill this guy.” The informant then presents a fanciful plan to bomb
an imaginary restaurant in Washington where Arbabsiar was told the
Saudi ambassador liked to dine twice a week and where many “like,
American people” would be present. “You want me to do it outside or in
the restaurant?” asks the informant, to which question the
Iranian-American replies, “Doesn’t matter how you do it.” At another
point in the conversation, Arbabsiar goes further, saying, “They want
that guy done. If the hundred go with him, fuck ‘em.”

These statements appear at first blush to be conclusive evidence that
Arbabsiar and his Iranian overseers were contracting for the
assassination of Jubeir, regardless of lives lost. But there are two
crucial questions that the FBI account leaves unanswered: Was
Arbabsiar speaking on behalf of the Qods Force or some element of it?
And if he was, was he talking about a plan that was to go into effect
as soon as possible or was it understood that they were talking about
a contingency plan that would only be carried out under specific
circumstances?

The deposition includes several instances of Arbabsiar’s bragging
about a cousin who is a general, out of uniform and involved in covert
external operations, including in Iraq -- clearly implying that he
belongs to the Qods Force. Arbabsiar is said to have claimed that the
cousin and another Iranian official gave him funds for his contacts
with the drug cartel. “I got the money coming,” he says. Subsequently,
in one of the most extensive quotations from the recorded
conversations, Arbabsiar says, “This is politics, so these people they
pay this government…he’s got the, got the government behind him…he’s
not paying from his pocket.” The FBI narrative identifies the person
referred to here as Arbabsiar’s cousin, a Qods Force officer later
named as Abdul Reza Shahlai, but again, there is not a single direct
quotation backing the claim. And the reference to “these people” who
“pay this government” suggests that “he” is connected to a group with
illicit financial ties to government officials.

This excerpt could be particularly significant in light of press
reports quoting a US law enforcement official saying that Arbabsiar
had offered “tons of opium” to the drug cartel and that he and the
informant had discussed what the New York Times called a “side deal”
on the Iranian-held narcotics. [3] If these reports are accurate, it
seems possible that Arbabsiar approached Los Zetas on behalf of
Iranians who control a portion of the opium being smuggled through
Iran from Afghanistan, while seeking to impress the drug cartel
operative with his claim to have close ties to the Qods Force through
Shahlai. But if the DEA informant then pressed him to authenticate his
Qods Force connection, he may have begun discussing covert operations
against Iran’s enemies in North America.

The only alleged evidence that Arbabsiar was speaking for Shahlai and
the Qods Force is Arbabsiar’s own confession, summarized in the
criminal complaint. But, at minimum, that testimony was provided after
he had been arrested and had a strong interest in telling the FBI what
it wanted to hear.

The deposition makes much of a series of three phone conversations on
October 4, 5 and 7 between Arbabsiar and someone who Arbabsiar tells
his FBI handlers is Gholam Shakuri, presenting them as confirmation of
the involvement of Qods Force officers in the assassination scheme.
But the FBI apparently had no way of ascertaining whether the person
to whom Arababsiar was talking was actually Shakuri. After the October
4 call, for example, the FBI account merely records that Arbabsiar
“indicated that the person he was speaking with was Shakuri.”

On their face, moreover, these conversations prove nothing. In the
first of the three calls, the person at the other end of the line,
whom Arbabsiar identifies to his FBI contact as Shakuri but whose
identity is not otherwise established, asks, “What news…what did you
do about the building?” The FBI agent again suggests, “based on my
training, experience and participation in this investigation,” that
these queries were a “reference to the plot to murder the Ambassador
and a question about its status.”

But Arbabsiar is said to have claimed in his confession that he was
instructed by Shakuri to use the code word “Chevrolet” to refer to the
plot to kill the ambassador. In a second recorded conversation,
Arbabsiar immediately says, “I wanted to tell you the Chevrolet is
ready, it’s ready, uh, to be done. I should continue, right?” After
further exchange, the man purported to be “Shakuri” says, “So buy it,
buy it.” Despite the obvious invocation of a code word, it remains
unclear what Arbabsiar was to “buy.” “Chevrolet” could actually have
been a reference to either a drug-related deal or a generic plan
having to do with Saudi and other targets.

In a third recorded conversation on October 7, both Arbabsiar and
“Shakuri” refer to a demand by a purported cartel figure for another
$50,000 on top of the original $100,000 transferred by wire earlier.
But there is no other evidence of such a demand. It appears to be a
mere device of the FBI to get “Shakuri” on record as talking about the
$100,000. And here it should be recalled that the account in the
deposition shows that the transfer of the $100,000 had been agreed on
before any indication of agreement on a plan to kill the ambassador.

The invocation of a fictional demand for $50,000, along with the
dramatic difference between the first conversation and the second and
third conversations, suggests yet another possibility: The second and
third conversations were set up in advance by Arbabsiar to provide a
transcript to bolster the administration’s case.

Terrorist Plot or Deterrence Strategy?

Even if Qods Forces officials indeed directed Arbabsiar to contact the
Los Zetas cartel, it cannot be assumed that they intended to carry out
one or more terrorist attacks in the United States. The killing of a
foreign ambassador in Washington (not to speak of additional attacks
on Saudi and Israeli buildings), if linked to Iran, would invite swift
and massive US military retaliation. If, on the other hand, the Qods
Force men instructed Arbabsiar to conduct surveillance of those
targets and prepare contingency plans for hitting them if Iran were
attacked, the whole story begins to make more sense.

Iran lacks the conventional means to deter attack by a powerful
adversary. In its decades-long standoffs with the United States and
Israel, amidst recurrent talk of “preemptive” strikes by those powers,
Iran has relied on threats of proxy retaliation against US and allied
state targets in the Middle East. [4] The Iranian military support for
Lebanon’s Hizballah, in particular, is widely recognized as prompted
primarily by Iran’s need to deter US and Israeli attack. [5]

In one case in 1994-1995, Saudi Arabian Shi‘i militants carried out
surveillance of potential US military and diplomatic targets in Saudi
Arabia, in a way that was quickly noticed by US and Saudi
intelligence. [6] Although the consensus among US intelligence
analysts was that Iran was preparing for a terrorist attack, Ronald
Neumann, then the State Department’s intelligence officer for Iran and
Iraq, noted that Iran had done the same thing whenever US-Iranian
tensions had risen. He suggested that Iran could be using the
surveillance for deterrence, to let Washington know that its interests
in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere would be in danger if Iran were
attacked. [7]

Unfortunately for Iran’s deterrent strategy, however, Osama bin
Laden’s al-Qaeda was also carrying out surveillance of US bases in
Saudi Arabia, and in November 1995 and again in June 1996, that group
bombed two facilities housing US servicemen. The bombing of Khobar
Towers in June 1996, which killed 19 US soldiers and one Saudi
Arabian, was blamed by the Clinton administration’s FBI and CIA
leadership on Iranian-sponsored Shi‘a from Saudi Arabia, with prodding
from Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan, despite the fact that
bin Laden claimed responsibility not once but twice, in interviews
with the London-based newspaper, al-Quds al-‘Arabi. [8]

Hani al-Sayigh, one of the Saudi Arabian Shi‘a accused by the Saudi
and US governments of conspiring to attack the Khobar Towers, admitted
to Assistant Attorney General Eric Dubelier, who interviewed him at a
Canadian detention facility in May 1997, that he had participated in
the surveillance of US military targets in Saudi Arabia on behalf of
Iranian intelligence. But, according to the FBI report on the
interview, al-Sayigh insisted that Iran had never intended to attack
any of those sites unless it was first attacked by the United States.
And when Dubelier asked a question later in the interview that was
based on the premise that the surveillance effort was preparation for
a terrorist attack, al-Sayigh corrected him. [9]

With threats of an Israeli or US bombing attack on Iran, with Saudi
complicity, mounting since the mid-2000s, a similar campaign of
surveillance of Saudi and Israeli targets in North America would fit
the framework of what the Pentagon has called Iran’s “asymmetric
warfare doctrine.” If Arbabsiar spoke of such a campaign in his
initial meeting with the DEA informant, he certainly would have piqued
the interest of FBI counter-terrorism personnel. And this scenario
would also explain why the series of meetings in late June and the
first half of July did not produce a single statement by Arbabsiar
that the administration could quote to advance its case that the
Iranian-American was interested in assassinating Adel al-Jubeir or
carrying out other acts of terrorism.

A plan to conduct surveillance and be ready to act on contingency
plans would also explain why someone as lacking in relevant experience
and skills as Arbabsiar might have been acceptable to the Qods Force.
Not only would the mission not have required absolute secrecy; it
would have been based on the assumption that the surveillance would
become known to US intelligence relatively quickly, as did the
monitoring of US targets in Saudi Arabia in 1994-1995.

The Qods Force officials were certainly well aware that the Drug
Enforcement Agency had penetrated various Mexican drug cartels, in
some cases even at the very top level. US court proceedings involving
Mexican drug traffickers who were highly placed in the Sinaloa drug
cartel between 2009 and early 2011 reveal that the US made deals with
leaders of the cartel to report what they knew about rival cartel
operations in return for a hands-off approach to their drug
trafficking. [10] Further underlining the degree to which the cartels
were honeycombed with people on the US payroll, the DEA informant in
this case was not merely posing as a drug trafficker but is reportedly
an actual associate of Los Zetas with access to its upper echelons,
who has been given immunity from prosecution to cooperate with the
DEA. [11]

When Did Arbabsiar Become Part of the Sting?

The Obama administration’s account of the alleged Iranian plot has
Arbabsiar suddenly changing from terrorist conspirator to active
collaborator with the FBI upon his September 29 arrest at John F.
Kennedy Airport in New York. He is said to have provided a confession
immediately upon being apprehended, after waiving his right to a
lawyer, and then to have waived that right repeatedly again while
being interviewed by the FBI. Then Arbabsiar cooperated in making the
series of secretly recorded phone calls to someone he identified as
Shakuri.

For someone facing such serious charges to provide the details with
which to make the case against him, while renouncing benefit of
counsel, is odd, to say the least. The official story raises questions
not only about what agreement was reached between Arbabsiar and the
FBI to ensure his cooperation but about when that agreement was
reached.

One clue that Arbabsiar was brought into the sting operation well
before his arrest is the DEA informant’s demand in a September 20
phone conversation with Arbabsiar in Tehran that he either come up
with half the $1.5 million total fee or come to Mexico to be the
guarantee that the full amount would be paid.

Yet the FBI account of that conversation shows Arbabsiar telling the
informant, without even consulting with his contacts in Tehran, “I’m
gonna go over there [in] two [or] three days.” Later in the same
evening, he calls back to ask how long he would need to remain in
Mexico. Even if Arbabsiar were as feckless as some reports have
suggested, he would certainly not have agreed so readily to put his
fate in the hands of the murderous Los Zetas cartel -- unless he knew
that he was not really in danger, because the US government would
intercept him and bring him to the United States. Making the episode
even stranger, Arbabsiar’s confession claims that when he told Shakuri
about the purported Los Zetas demand, Shakuri refused to provide any
more money to the cartel, advised him against going to Mexico and
warned him that if he did so, he would be on his own.

Further supporting the conclusion that Arbabsiar had become part of
the sting operation before his arrest is the fact there was no reason
for the FBI to pose the demand -- through the DEA informant -- for
more money or Arbabsiar’s presence in Mexico except to provide an
excuse to get him out of Iran, so he could provide a full confession
implicating the Qods Force and be the centerpiece of the case against
Iran.

The larger aim of the FBI sting operation, which ABC News has reported
was dubbed Operation Red Coalition, was clearly to link the alleged
assassination plot to Qods Force officers. The logical moment for the
FBI to have recruited the Iranian-American would have been right after
the FBI recorded him talking about wiring money to the bank account
and casually approving the idea of bombing a restaurant and before his
planned departure from Mexico for Iran. The only way to ensure that
Arbabsiar would come back, of course, would be to offer him a
substantial amount of money to serve as an informant for the FBI
during his stay in Iran, which he would receive only upon returning.
If Arbabsiar had already been enlisted, of course, it would also mean
the keystone of the case -- the wiring of $100,000 to a secret FBI
bank account -- was a part of the FBI sting.

FBI Trickery in Terrorism Cases

FBI deceit in constructing a case for an Iranian terror plot should
come as no surprise, given its record of domestic terrorism
prosecutions based on sting operations involving entrapment and
skullduggery. Central to these stings has been the creation of
fictional terrorist plots by the FBI itself. In 2006 the “Gonzales
Guidelines” for the use of FBI informants removed previous
prohibitions on actions to “initiate a plan or strategy to commit a
federal, state or local offense.” [12]

Perhaps the most notorious of all these domestic terrorism sting
operations is the case in which Yassin Aref and Mohammed Hossain,
leaders of their Albany, New York mosque, were sentenced to 15 years
in federal prison for allegedly laundering profits from the sale of a
shoulder-launched missile for a Pakistani militant group that was
planning to assassinate a Pakistani diplomat in New York City.

In fact, there was no such terrorist plot, and the alleged crime was
the result of an elaborate FBI scam directed against two innocent men.
[13] It began when an FBI informant pretending to be a Pakistani
businessman insinuated himself into Hossain’s life and extended him a
$50,000 loan for his pizza parlor. Only months after the informant had
begun loaning the money did he show Hossain a shoulder-launched
missile, and suggest that he was also selling arms to his “Muslim
brothers.” It was a devious form of entrapment; the prosecutors later
argued that Hossain should have known the loan could have come from
money made in the sale of weapons to terrorists and was therefore
guilty of money laundering.

The FBI approach to entrapping Hossain’s friend Aref was even more
underhanded. Aref was never even made aware of the missile or the
phony story of the illegal arms sale. But on one occasion, when he was
present to witness the transfer of loan money, what was later said to
have been the missile’s trigger system was left on a table in the
room. Prosecutors then argued the theory that Aref had seen the
trigger, which looks much like a staple gun, and thus had become part
of a conspiracy to “assist in money laundering.”

Many other domestic terrorism cases have involved deceptive tactics
and economic inducements deployed by the FBI to involve American
Muslims in fictional terrorist plots. The Center for Human Rights and
Global Justice at New York University’s Law School found more than 20
terrorism cases that involved some combination of “paid informants,
selection of investigation based on perceived religious identity,
[and] a plot that was created by the government.” [14] This history
makes it clear that the Justice Department and FBI are prepared to go
to extraordinary lengths to fabricate terrorism cases against targeted
individuals, and that misrepresenting these individuals’ intentions
and actual behavior has long been standard practice. The trickery and
deceit in past “counter-terrorism” sting operations provides further
reason to question the veracity of the Obama administration’s
allegations in the bizarre case of Manssor Arbabsiar.

Endnotes
[1] The full text of the “amended criminal complaint” is online at:
http://www.jdsupra.com/post/documentViewer.aspx?fid=a334ea94-9f4f-4364-8...
[2] See New York Times, October 12, 2011 and Reuters, October 12, 2011.
[3] See New York Times, October 12, 2011 and Bloomberg, October 12, 2011.
[4] For an official US recognition of Iran’s “assymetric warfare
doctrine” as a tool of deterrence of “any would-be invader,” see
Department of Defense, Unclassified Report on Military Power of Iran,
April 2010, p. 1.
[5] See, for example, Michael Young, “Another Israel-Hezbollah War?”
Middle East Security at Harvard, National Security Study Program,
February 28, 2008:
http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/mesh/2008/02/another_israel_hezbollah_war/
[6] See Los Angeles Times, October 15, 1997 and Steve Coll, Ghost Wars
(New York: Penguin Books, 2004), p. 276.
[7] Gareth Porter, “US Officials Leaked a False Story Blaming Iran,”
Inter Press Service, June 24, 2009.
[8] Gareth Porter, “FBI Ignored Compelling Evidence of Bin Laden
Role,” Inter Press Service, June 25, 2009.
[9] Gareth Porter, “US May Have Concealed Deterrent Aim of Iranian
Plan,” Inter Press Service, October 21, 2011.
[10] New York Times, October 24, 2011.
[11] So said ProPublica reporter Sebastian Rotella in his podcast of
October 18, 2011, online at:
http://www.propublica.org/podcast/item/podcast-sebastian-rotella-on-the-...
[12] Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, Targeted and
Entrapped: Manufacturing the “Homegrown Threat” in the United States
(New York, 2011), p. 14.
[13] This account of the case is drawn from Petra Bartosiewicz, “To
Catch a Terrorist,” Harper’s (August 2011).
[14] Targeted and Entrapped, pp. 50-52, fn 17.


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