back to article Iran linked to al-Qaeda's web jihadi crew by old-school phone line

New information has since come to light following the publication of this article, revealing the real identity of the leased line owner. An organisation that attempts to recruit Westerners to carry out terrorist attacks on their home soil was backed by the Iranian state, according to an unlikely source of information: leased …


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  1. Mark 65

    It could also be...

    ...a file created by a large, perhaps Government funded, organisation in order to point the finger as a precursor to some sort of action. Just saying.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It could also be...

      Files like that are usually referred to as "dossiers".

      Having said that, what's the surprise here? Iran are implacably opposed to the Taliban (because the Taliban operate against Shia moslems), but even so Iran are known to offer modest levels of support to the Taliban to attack US forces in Afghanistan. It would seem highly probable that although Al Qaeda are (like the Taliban) implacably opposed to Shia beliefs, the Iranians would maintain contacts with a view to stirring up trouble for the Americans should it suit them.

      1. Fibbles

        Re: It could also be...

        Iran helping al-Qaeda isn't that strange an idea. How many terrorist organisations / freedom fighters has the US supported over the decades even though they find the beliefs of such people distasteful? Iran, like the US, will offer these people support whilst it aligns with their own goals (c.f. the Taliban in the 80's).

        The enemy of my enemy is my friend and all that...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It could also be...

      Something to "sex up" you mean?

      Nah, that would never work.

      Oh, wait...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It could also be...

        The problem is that what we jokingly call "our" side hasn't been as straightforward as it ought to be with reality - nor with just how much they have been poking this specific fire themselves. After all, every time it says "bang" in another "shock and awe" campaign, the $10M a Tomahawk missile costs (assuming a volume discount) becomes the quickest and least questioned conversion possible of tax dollars to hard profit. And that is the whole name of the game. Nothing is as clear an indication of who wants war than simply following the money..

        Not that there aren't a serious amount of idiots out there, I just cannot help the feeling that being less public about digging a hole for them would be better. But hey, that doesn't buy votes, does it?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "included a line allocated to Ansar Al-Mujahideen"

    They may have paid for it - who knows what's used for.

    X.25 - must be ancient, I remember installing CASE 8500 X.25 packet switches in the late 1980s - I wonder what kit the Iranians are using and where they get spare parts...

  3. envmod


    i think it's quite obvious to anyone with a brain that iran sponsors, sanctions and encourages terrorism against the west on a regular basis. so this news does not surprise me in the least.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: durrr

      In other news, The West has just delisted Mojahedin-e Khalq, usually referred to as MEK, a lovely group of Islamist-Marxist bend with a cultish leadership whose main purpose in life seems to be to blow up civilians in Iran and elsewhere. This has been done mainly through the concerted push of the "three amigos". They can now be funded and trained at will. I think it's quite obvious to anyone with a brain that The West sponsors, sanctions and encourages terrorism against their "enemy du jour" on a regular basis. so this news does not surprise me in the least.

    2. asdf

      Re: durrr

      Dumb and dumber at work. Both take care of #1 first damn with the rest of the world. The unfortunate thing is my government has a lot more money and spends as much on defense as the rest of the world combined. Anybody that wonders why the Brits on here rip on us need only look at the views of the Neocons Mittens has surrounded himself with to understand why.

      1. asdf

        Re: durrr

        What I meant is it is unfortunate we spend such a massive amount of money on showing how big our dick is when it turns outs RPG and AKs show how vulnerable we are to VD. Not to defend Iran though. The reason they have no money has less to do with our sanctions like we want Israel to believe and more to do with the absolute incompetence of their dumbass mullah ran government.

    3. Psyx

      Re: durrr

      "A curious twist to this story is that al-Qaeda, which Ansar Al-Mujahideen is so closely linked to, is a radical Sunni Muslim movement - whereas Iran is overwhelmingly a Shi'ite nation. These two denominations of Islam are so strongly split on their beliefs that it has led to conflict and strife across the Middle East for centuries."

      Not very curious. Plenty of tinpot terrorist backing sh*t-stirrers have a record of bunging cash and arms to unlikely bedfellows under "The enemy of my enemy..." logic.

      ie: Sponsorship of far-left organisations and the IRA by despotic Near/Mid-Eastern regimes.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So is the X.25 system hack proof? Or could someone hack their own X.25 provision bypassing the government?

    1. Christian Berger

      Actually it's probably heavily lagged

      After all connections on X.25 actually cost money. So it's fairly trivial who connected to them.

      BTW, usually if you don't have X.25 connections to your home. What you do is you dial into a PAD (Packet Assembler and Disassembler) and then use its X.25 stack to create virtual connections.

      1. Christian Berger

        Re: Actually it's probably heavily logged

        Sorry typo. I meant it's heavily lOgged, not lagged.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No surprises

    One of Bin Laden's son's has been living under "house arrest" in Iran for years, and Iran spent quite a lot of money on the nastier type of Sunni terrorist groups in Iraq, even the ones that enjoyed suicide bombing large groups of Shia pilgrims. No surprise to anyone who has been paying attention

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: No surprises

      Yeah, it's just that nothing concrete has come to light on this except spittle from Fox News and Neocon "think tanks". Maybe YOU should be paying attention.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        Re: No surprises

        "....t's just that nothing concrete has come to light on this...." Don't you wish the Faithful would go do a little reading before they started ranting and frothing? Hint - Saad bin Laden, who was heir to the AQ leadership until one of those nasty CIA drones allegedly fried him in Pakistan (, who spent years "under arrest" in Iran. Other members of bin Laden's family also were "under arrest" in Iran, including his third wife, Khairiah Saber, who was at the Attbottabad compund when Osama bin Laden got his suprise SEALogram ( I'm guessing you ignored her known jihadi beliefs and links to other known AQ activists, and think she just randomly wandered around Pakistan until she stumbled upon Osama, yes?

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          Re: Re: No surprises

          LOL! a reflexive downvote from the Faithful already! I'm not surprised to see they don't try and disprove any of the evidence to show Destroy All Monsters was wrong. How childish! Guess I'll really upset them by pointing out that Iran was caught supplying weapons to the Taleban in that same period:

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

            Re: No surprises

            Ooohh a Telegraph reference. But two can play that kind of game, and I really believe Gareth Porter more than some Telegraph writer.


            "The Bush administration initially claimed it had evidence of Iranian aid to the Taliban in 2007 that didn’t exist, only to have it refuted by the U.S. command in Afghanistan.

            In April and May 2007, NATO forces in Helmand province found mortars, C-4 explosives and electrical components believed to have been manufactured in Iran. Then Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns asserted that the United States had "irrefutable evidence" that those weapons were provided to the Taliban by the Qods Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

            When State Department spokesman Sean McCormack was questioned about the Burns statement on Jun. 13, 2007, McCormack admitted that the charge was an inference.

            Gen. Dan McNeill, then the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, rejected the idea that any official Iranian role could be reasonably inferred from Iranian weapons showing up in Afghanistan."

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

              Re: No surprises

              "Ooohh a Telegraph reference. But two can play that kind of game, and I really believe Gareth Porter....." OK, so you'd rather believe a blog over an established and proper journalist source? Fine, you go ahead if that sits well with your blinkers. Maybe that's why you missed reports on how the US caught an Iranian Revo-dupe-anary Guard in Afghanistan supplying weapons to the Taleban:


              Oh, and it was also reported by those well-known-to-be nasty right-wingers at Google, straight of AFP:


              Maybe you need to stop just looking at sources that support your mindset and avoid exposing you to nasty realities. Enjoy!

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: No surprises

                Okay Armchair Generals, let me tell you something from where the rubber meets the road here. I did time in both Ghazni and Farah provinces in Afghanistan in 2007-2008 and again in 2010-2011, and it always seemed to us while doing attack analysis that Iran had no problem selling weapons to anyone, as long as they were going to use them on us and that the buyer was not Iranian (it seems they don't want to arm their own people, go figure). They sold stuff to the Jordanians in al-Qaeda in the Land of the Two Rivers (Iraq) left and right even though they were killing Iranians as well as people in Sadr's Madhi Army who are decidedly pro-Iranian and the Qods Force (who was doing the sales and training, they're sort of like the IRGC's Special Forces, they mostly train other people for irregular warfare) most certainly knew it. If we knew it, which we did, they sure as hell knew it, probably all the way up to the Guardian Council and Supreme Moron.

                They sell stuff to the Taliban, at the same time they extort al-Qaeda Central, as they're holding one of Bin Laden's sons and one of his wives. Iran has a big problem with coherent strategy, most of the time noone in an Iranian Government apparatus, like the IRGC, Army, or Intelligence/Security forces knows the strategy behind what's really going on so I wouldnt be surprised at all if they were leasing a line to someone they dislike for a temporary expedient. Its not as if they can't turn around and start executing people if they need to.

                Hell, maybe its a honeypot, an X.25 honeypot would be weird, but weirdness can pay off with cloak and dagger shit.

                Iran is a great deal like the west in this regard, they will deal with whoever to gain an advantage over their adversaries.

  6. Ted Treen

    Poor michael..

    "Security researcher Michael Kemp found a list of the Middle East nation's leased lines..."

    AND went public with it...

    So that's a fatwah on him then...


    I had a quick read on and it is pretty racy verbiage, so long as you lived a thousand years ago. Im my opinion it's a load of crazy-preacher talk.

    A wonderful example of super superfluous twaddle is here:

    "And may prayers and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family, his companions, and those who follow him. Thereafter:

    Our hearts bleed and our eyes shed tears for the passing of our beloved preaching Mujahid scholar Sheikh Abu Yahya al-Libi, may Allah have wide mercy upon him and accept him among the martyrs. He was a model and example to the Ummah, a man who put Jihad for the sake of Allah above all else. Even with the cowardly drones of the kufaar flying over him, our Sheikh feared no one but Allah the Almighty and waged Jihad with his tongue, his pen, and himself, and may Allah give him the greatest of rewards for his efforts and make him reside with the martyrs in the Gardens of Paradise."

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Sheikh Abu Yahya al-Libi

      I'm sorry, but Sheikh Abu Yahya al-Libi can't come to Paradise right now as his compound has been blown to bits. Pieces of masonry be upon him.

      It's possible that convicted Latino AQ member Bryant Neal Vinas (AKA Bashir al-Ameriki) gave up al-Libi's location. By ironic coincidence, the rockets used by Vinas for at least two attacks on US forces in Afghanistan are reputed to have been Iranian Fajr-1 launchers.

    2. Dave Bell

      Some of those phrases are very conventional in Islamic texts. We don't go for it in the same way, but you don't have to go to many funerals to realise that we do have our own conventions in such things. That fragment comes across to me as funerary oration.

      But I do get the feeling of an extremist, trying a bit too hard to look like a proper follower of the Prophet. It's like the people who sign up for an armed rebellion, and call themselves "loyalists".

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Anonymous Coward

    George Bush II is Calling

    ..and wants his False Accusations back.

    Folks, this is just one more message from the MIC and Zion so that they can condition the Western Sheeple for the war they currently contemplate.

  10. LordHighFixer
    Black Helicopters

    Just be glad

    The US has not found a way to clean up radioactive oil. If they do that whole region will be nothing more than a glass parking lot for US owned oil rigs in short order.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Just be glad

      Radioactive oil burns as well as non-radioactive one. The persons in charge will just allocate the non-radioactive part for cars and plastics in Washington DC and their various holiday resorts.


    2. Marshalltown

      Re: Just be glad

      "The US has not found a way to clean up radioactive oil. If they do that whole region will be nothing more than a glass parking lot for US owned oil rigs in short order."

      Ever hear of a neutron bomb? The nice thing about them is that they don't leave much residual radiation behind, even though they are enhanced radiation weapons.

      1. Psyx

        Re: Just be glad

        Still a fair amount though, because they're triggered by a regular nuke.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OMG We're All Gonna Die (TM)

    Was this also found on the laptops with plans for Iran's nuke?

  12. John Deeb


    "A curious twist to this story is that al-Qaeda, which Ansar Al-Mujahideen is so closely linked to, is a radical Sunni Muslim movement - whereas Iran is overwhelmingly a Shi'ite nation."

    It's not just a curious twist, it's a strong indicator that the story is bonkers, improbable and reads more like hearsay or someone's rigid propaganda. Why even elevate it to a news article in this form?

    Iran is known to have a rather large bureaucratic government apparatus, so its bordering on wide eyed crazy to imply "the government" at the highest levels would have arranged this as some vile terrorist support to annoy the West.

    Apart from that, there are even some other reasonable explanations possible. In Shi'a Islam "Jihad" describes one of the ten fundamental religious practices (practice, struggle) and has a larger meaning than just armed struggle as it's more often used by Sunni activists. The peaceful notion is commonly used in many religious organizations and of course their names. And "Ansar Al-Mujahideen" just means "helpers of the people who do Jihad" but the document was Arab and Farsi so it's unknown if the translated title was even the original name or a translation.

    1. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: clue

      If I remember correctly, Iran and Iraq had a long and nasty war back in the days of Saddam. It is hardly unthinkable that the government of Iran would feel more secure with various Iraqi factions fighting and killing each other than with a unified Iraq. Similarly with Afghanistan, with the bonus that keeping the local factions at war also targets US/NATO forces. If supporting some Sunnis is what it takes, I guess they would be alright with that.

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: clue

      Dear John Dweeb, I think you need to go read up on a few facts. "....It's not just a curious twist, it's a strong indicator that the story is bonkers, improbable and reads more like hearsay or someone's rigid propaganda...." What, just like how Shia Iran just could in no way, shape or form support or supply Sunni Hamas or Alawite-lead Syria?

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: clue

      I see where you're coming from, but it's about as curious a twist as the US supporting the Taliban, or indeed Iran it's self back in the 80s.

      There is no political marriage of convenience dubious enough to place it outside the realms of possibility.

  13. John Deeb


    Now according to the logic demonstrated in the current article the next suspicious country and organization are the NETHERLANDS (considering the location) and RIPE (since they instead of the government administer the addresses needing for routing the traffic). Read all about it here:

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @John Deeb

    given your ref'd article refers to the "Jihadist magazine", surely a subscriber list from them would help ....

  15. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Clearly not a historian

    Kemp may be a security researcher, but he's clearly not much of a historian, if he described X.25 as "the network that existed before there was the internet".[1]

    The X.25 standard was published in 1976. The Internet didn't switch to TCP/IP until 1983, but TCP/IP itself was published in 1974, and the ARPANET began in 1969. While it's debatable what event actually marks the beginning of the Internet, it's naive to claim X.25 predated it. And certainly the X.25 network wasn't the network before the Internet, or before anything else; there were any number of large WANs in the 1970s and 1980s. And X.25 is a protocol suite, not a network per se. Tymnet, for example, included X.25 links, but also used SDLC and other protocols.

    X.25 and TCP/IP coexisted, and continue to do so, though X.25 has lost all but a sliver of market share due to TCP/IP's economies of scale.

    [1] And that should be "the Internet", with a capital I. It's a proper noun, distinguishing the public Internet from any number of private internets (interconnected networks).

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