RealNews

Iran denies ever holding bin Laden's son, top lieutenants

Iran denied that it had ever held al-Qaeda leader Osama’s bin Laden’s son or two principal lieutenants after an Arabic daily charged that the trio were being allowed to slip out of the country. A foreign ministry official told the Iranian Student News Agency that longstanding reports that Saad bin Laden and al-Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri and number three Saif al-Adel had been detained in Iran were untrue. He strongly denied Wednesday’s report by the London-based Asharq al-Aswat daily that Zawahiri might already have slipped across the border into Afghanistan or Pakistan with the help of elements of the hardline Revolutionary Guard and that Adel and bin Laden junior were trying to follow him. “The individuals named by Asharq al-Awsat have never been arrested in Iran and so the allegation that they have left Iran is completely meaningless,” the official told ISNA on Thursday. “All al-Qaeda members who were arrested in Iran remain in custody.” Full Story

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