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U.S. Skeptical of Iran's Al Qaeda in Custody Claim

The United States on Wednesday reacted skeptically to Iran’s claim that it was holding top members of al Qaeda, days after President Bush accused Tehran of sheltering terrorists. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said he was unable to confirm a statement from Iranian intelligence minister Ali Yunesi that a large number of al Qaeda, including some senior figures from Osama bin Laden’s network, had been arrested, expelled or were in custody. McClellan said Washington was “not exactly sure” what the Iranians meant by the term “custody,” but that Tehran’s statement appeared to confirm “what we believe to be a significant al Qaeda presence in Iran.” “We have expressed concerns about their support and harboring of terrorists,” he said. “I think the Iranians know who they are and what they need to do.” It was the first public admission by a top Iranian government official that Tehran is holding some key members of al Qaeda, the group Washington holds responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, hijacked plane attacks on U.S. cities. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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