The US Pentagon states that the senior al Qaeda operative was captured by the CIA at an undisclosed location while attempting to reach his native Iraq after meeting al Qaeda operatives in Iran. DEBKAfileâ€™s counter-terror sources say this disclosure points to four significant developments:
1. Iran is again providing al Qaeda members with a path to Iraq from Afghanistan and Pakistan. In 2002, the Islamic Republic afforded defeated al Qaeda groups an escape route from Afghanistan.
2. Iran is allowing al Qaeda terrorists operating in Iraq to strike from within its borders. Evidence of this, if confirmed by al Hadi ,would further exacerbate the military tensions between Washington and Tehran.
3. DEBKAfileâ€™s sources surmise that he was picked up crossing the Iranian border into Iraq.
4. Word is awaited to clarify if the CIAâ€™s capture of al Hadiâ€™s capture was a fluke or the result of a tip-off by an Iraqi informant, whether in Kurdistan or from inside Iran.