[Pages H9524-H9525]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                         CIA RELEASES DOCUMENTS

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Zeldin) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Speaker, the Trump administration recently made the 
important decision to release hundreds of thousands of documents in the 
possession of the CIA which were found in the May 2011 raid on Osama 
bin Laden's compound in Pakistan. These documents reveal a much more 
intimate relationship between Iran and al-Qaida than previously 
suspected.
  While it will take time to analyze the extent of the 470,000 
documents, some important conclusions can already be made:
  The Obama administration selectively released 571 of these documents 
during his term, none of which identified the significant relationship 
between Iran and al-Qaida.
  While President Obama claimed al-Qaida was ``on the path to defeat,'' 
these documents showcase al-Qaida strategically reorganizing its 
operational base. One of these documents describes Iran as al-Qaida's 
``main artery for funds, personnel, and communications,'' and instructs 
members to ``refrain from attacking Iran and devote your total 
resources . . . to the fight against the crusaders and the apostates.''
  On the one hand, al-Qaida would publicly declare all Shiites to be 
apostates; on the other hand, internal deliberations by the 
organization called for a transactional relationship with the mullahs 
of Tehran.
  Another finding in a 19-page document written by senior al-Qaida 
operative Abu Hafs al-Mauritani outlines a detailed arrangement between 
al-Qaida and Iran. The relationship between al-Qaida and Iran was based 
on their mutual hatred of the United States. Iran agreed to provide 
shelter, financial support, and coordinate efforts with al-Qaida across 
the region.
  In this document, a senior al-Qaida operative confirms that Iran and 
al-Qaida's ``interests intersect.'' He goes so far as to describe the 
Iranian regime as ``the best example . . . of pragmatism in politics. 
Anyone who wants to strike America, Iran is ready to support them with 
money and arms and all that is required as long as they are not 
directly and clearly implicated.''
  Iran offered al-Qaida everything it needed, including ``money, 
arms,'' and ``training in Hezbollah camps in Lebanon, in exchange for 
attacking U.S. interests in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.''

[[Page H9525]]

  Al-Qaida operatives were safeguarded in Iran, with the consent of the 
military. In fact, the 9/11 Commission report confirms that 8 out of 
the 14 hijackers passed through Iran during the period from October 
2000 to February 2001.

                              {time}  1045

  Iranian intelligence facilitated the travel of some operatives with 
visas while sheltering others. In these documents, there is even a 
wedding video of bin Laden's son with al-Qaida members in attendance 
in--you guessed it--Iran.
  As Sun Tzu famously said in ``The Art of War'': ``The enemy of my 
enemy is my friend.'' We are their shared enemy.
  It is shameful that the Obama administration deliberately withheld 
this information. If these files exposing Iran's outreach and 
association with al-Qaida had been released, support for the Iran 
nuclear deal would have eroded even further, and rightfully so.
  Since the JCPOA was entered into, Iranian aggression in the Middle 
East, including Iraq and Syria and elsewhere, has only increased. These 
bad activities have only gotten worse. Now it is even clearer why that 
is.
  Any terrorist group that wants to attack U.S. interests will have 
Iran's financial and material support. By providing Iran with $150 
billion sanctions relief, we are giving Iran the resources it needs to 
carry out its bad activities threatening the United States and our 
allies.
  While we already know of Iran's close ties with Hezbollah and 
political influence in Iraq, these documents exhibit the extensive 
reach that Iran has in the region. Keeping these documents hidden from 
the general public while the JCPOA was being debated and approved was 
blatant politicization of intelligence, and it was totally 
reprehensible.
  Thankfully, the current administration has released these documents 
to let the American public know the truth. I commend the CIA Director, 
our former colleague in this House, Mike Pompeo, who has hit the ground 
running as the new CIA Director and made the bold decision to take 
these 470,000 documents and release them for the American public and 
for the world to see. They shouldn't have been hidden in the first 
place. They should not have been hidden for so long. Now we can know 
the truth of the relationship that absolutely existed between Iran and 
al-Qaida.
  I encourage my colleagues to view these documents. I encourage the 
media to view these documents for the American public and the 
international community.
  I thank, again, the administration for their leadership in this very 
important decision.

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