Killing Trump, and Other Iranian Ambitions

January 26, 2020 Updated: January 27, 2020
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Commentary

From Adam Kredo of the Washington Free Beacon:

“Following Iran’s announcement of a three million dollar bounty for the assassination of President Donald Trump, U.S. officials and terrorism experts are warning that Tehran has significantly expanded its terror capabilities in America, potentially allowing the Islamic Republic to conduct a domestic attack.”

Iran has expanded its capacity to strike at the United States and Israel, and the risk of an Iranian attack on both countries has substantially increased. Although the Iranians have repeatedly failed to pull off armed attacks against these countries, they keep on trying, and they only have to get lucky once.

Meanwhile, jail sentences mount up over the various failed schemes of Iranians in both countries, from blowing up cars and trucks in Times Square, to smuggling bombs onto trains between Canada and the United States, to setting off explosives in front of a posh Italian restaurant in downtown Washington.

Iran will certainly get other opportunities. They have created Hezbollah cells throughout the Western hemisphere, from Canada on down to South America. There is a particularly strong concentration of the Hezbollahi around Venezuela, which became Iran’s major base in this hemisphere. It was from there that Iran supported the bombing of the Jewish center for social services in Buenos Aires.

Israelis and Americans continue to strike down would-be attackers. Abdolhossein Mojaddami was shot and killed by two masked gunmen on a motorcycle in front of his home in Iran’s Khuzestan Province.

Mojaddami led a branch of the Basij forces, a branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps responsible for maintaining public order. He was a close working associate of Gen. Qasem Soleimani and was responsible for the deaths of many protestors. Nobody knows who killed him, but in the past, many such killings have been blamed on Israeli agents.

Israel has accounted for many blows against the Iranians in the past year. The chief of Israel’s domestic security force, Nadav Argaman, announced that Shin Bet had thwarted more than 560 “significant attacks” in 2019.

Then, three Syrian members of al-Qaeda, pretending to be Colombians, were arrested in Dallas after their phony passports were discovered. They are about to be indicted for their membership in the terrorist network.

The U.S. Department of Defense, exercising caution, held back a press release that would have announced the death of Asim Umar, the emir of al-Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent, because it “would complicate future negotiations with the Taliban,” military officials told the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Long War Journal.

Still looking for an agreement with the Taliban that the Afghanis would cut its ties with al-Qaeda (as Zalmay Khalilzad, our chief negotiator in these matters, has claimed would be the case for a long time), the Pentagon feared that Umar’s presence with the Taliban would bring an end to these efforts.

The Long War Journal stated: “The U.S. military killed Umar in the Taliban stronghold of Musa Qala in Helmand province, Afghanistan on Sept. 23, 2019. Umar was killed just two weeks after President Donald Trump canceled a possible deal between the U.S. and the Taliban. As part of that accord, the U.S. was willing to accept the Taliban’s supposed counterterrorism assurances.

“The Sept. 23 raid exposed the ongoing ties between the Taliban and al Qaeda’s branch in South Asia. Among the 17 people killed was Haji Mahmood, the Taliban’s military commander for the neighboring district of Naw Zad, which is also controlled by the Taliban.”

It is likely that U.S. intelligence brought confirmation of the al-Qaeda presence in the Taliban forces, and led the president to call a halt to the doomed negotiations.

And back in Iran, 139 movie personalities are boycotting the Tehran Film Festival. In the past, movie stars, directors, and producers have tended to take the regime’s money for their films, but their patience has run out.

As the Iranian regime continues to seek ways to stay on top of the ongoing protests throughout the country and neighboring Iraq, the men in charge of the nuclear weapons program have announced that the development of enriched uranium surges ahead. They claim to have enough low-enriched uranium to produce one atomic bomb.

Is it true? It may be, but even so, the mullahs would require a year to make such a weapon, and the regime leaders’ penchant for exaggeration is well known.

As we go to press, there are reports of ongoing protests in Iraq, and a claim that demonstrators have taken control of Nasiriyah, where Iranian-supported militias were attempting to assert hegemony. At a minimum, that suggests the Iranian efforts have failed.

It certainly looks like a failed state.

Michael Ledeen is a freedom scholar at Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He has served as a consultant to the National Security Council and the departments of State and Defense, and as a special adviser to the secretary of state. He is the author of 35 books, most recently “Field of Fight: How to Win the War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies,” co-authored with retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.