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    27,164 posts.
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    Iran to unleash terrorists
    in response to Iraq attack
    Tehran preparing to green-light all operatives against Western targets, say intelligence reports

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    Posted: December 31, 2002
    1:00 a.m. Eastern


    By Joseph Farah
    © 2002 WorldNetDaily.com


    WASHINGTON – U.S. military and intelligence sources expect Iran to launch major terrorist attacks against Western targets in anticipation of or in response to a U.S.-led attack on Iraq.

    All Iranian-sponsored terrorist groups, including Hezbollah, which is increasingly seen as more potent and more dangerous than Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network by many U.S. analysts, will be unleashed simultaneously on U.S. and allied targets around the world, according to WorldNetDaily intelligence sources.

    Complicating the detection and prevention of such attacks, those sources say, is a breakdown in the National Security Agency's ability to collect information on activities in Iran.

    While some officials in Washington have downplayed Shiite Iran's interest in "defending" Sunni Saddam Hussein's Iraq, the motivation for Tehran goes beyond the theological or an interest in preserving the current Baghdad regime, say the intelligence sources. For more than a decade, Iran and Iraq have backed many of the same anti-U.S. terror groups, including al-Qaida, because of their mutual interest in keeping U.S. military forces out of the Persian Gulf. Tehran is also wary U.S. forces might seek to destabilize its government, which is increasingly losing popular support.

    A recent study leaked from Iran's Interior Ministry revealed nearly 90 percent of the public is dissatisfied with the present government. Of this total, 28 percent wants "fundamental" changes in the regime's structure, and 66 percent desires "gradual reforms." Less than 11 percent – most probably those on the government dole – is satisfied with the status quo. Other private polls show an even greater degree of unhappiness with the government.

    While the eroding popular support could lead to the fall of the regime, tottering governments often resort to risky and desperate measures to maintain their power, say intelligence analysts. Iran has invested a small fortune building terrorist networks for undermining other regimes. Now, some sources believe, Tehran will use those resources for propping up and protecting its own.

    "Tehran is connected to nearly every major terror operative in the world," said one source. "Iran is just going to give a "go" order to all of them at the same time."

    U.S. intelligence agencies – particularly the NSA – are said to be extremely concerned about the role of Iran in the impending Iraq conflict.

    In addition to approving terrorist strikes, there is also concern about the possibility of Iranian naval disruptions in the Persian Gulf.

    Because the U.S. has lost many of its intelligence assets in Iran, no one is quite certain of the extent of Tehran's terrorist capabilities – but intelligence sources say it is dangerous to underestimate them.

    "We don't know what Iran has got any more, and that's a major concern," said one source.

    Israeli military officers have warned that Hezbollah, based in southern Lebanon, is just waiting for an opportunity to use missiles and other weapons from Syria and Iran to wreak havoc with the advent of the campaign against Iraq.

    Perhaps the most dangerous component of Hezbollah's arsenal is its army of trained suicide bombers.

    Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's secretary general, has stepped up his denunciations of the U.S., along with Israel, and is open in his praise and support of suicide bombers.

    "We face a plan by the United States and the Zionists to control the region, to redraw the political map of the region," he told a rally in Nabatiye, Lebanon, Nov. 29. "What will protect Jerusalem, its holy places, and get it and Palestine back, is the path of the Palestinian people, through martyrdom seekers who astonish the world each day and night."

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