Iran denies U.S. claims linking Tehran to Al Qaeda's leader - foreign minister
DUBAI, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Iran denied U.S. claims that Al Qaeda's leader Seif al-Adel is based in the country, foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian wrote on Twitter on Thursday, a day after Washington aligned itself with a U.N. statement locating Adel in Iran.
"I advise the officials of the White House to stop the failed game of Iran-phobia, making news about the leader of Al-Qaeda and linking him to Iran is laughable," Amirabdollahian wrote.
Seif al-Adel, a former Egyptian special forces officer who is a high-ranking member of al Qaeda with a $10 million U.S. bounty on his head, is now the "uncontested" leader of the militant group, according to a new U.N. report on the organisation. read more
The U.S. State Department said on Wednesday it aligned with U.N. assessments that Seif al-Adel is based in Iran.
Adel was indicted and charged in November 1998 by a U.S. federal grand jury for his role in the bomb attacks on the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya that killed 224 civilians and wounded more than 5,000 others.
Following the African bombings, the former Egyptian army lieutenant colonel moved to southeastern Iran, where he lived under the protection of the country's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp, according to the U.S. State Department's Rewards for Justice programme.
He and other Al Qaeda leaders were placed under house arrest in April 2003 by Iran, which released him and four others in exchange for an Iranian diplomat who was kidnapped in Yemen.
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