5,063. 5/15/2003

In May 2003, “the Iranians approached the United States…offering to turn over top al Qaeda lieutenants, including both Saif al-Adel, al Qaeda’s chief of operations, and Saad bin Laden, Osama bin Laden’s son. …the Iranians wanted a trade; in return for the al Qaeda leaders, Tehran wanted the Americans to hand over members of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), an Iranian exile terrorist organization that had been supported by Saddam Hussein and based in Iraq since 1986. …Hard-liners at the Pentagon dug in and ultimately torpedoed any talk of an agreement with the Iranians. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz seemed to think that the MEK could be useful in a future war with Iran, and so they appeared eager to keep the group in place inside Iraq.” [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – James Risen, State of War, Pages 216-217

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