I remember looking at this issue when the 9/11 Commission's report came out. There were, as the YNet article points out, tantalizing hints about an al-Qaeda-Iran connection. There seemed to be a lot of smoke, but no fire.
What has been uncovered in the process of investigation for a lawsuit filed by a 9/11 widow may answer some of those original questions:
At the end of the day, the commission noted in its report that the issue deserves further scrutiny by the US Administration. However, such examination was not undertaken and may have never materialized. Indeed, this entire affair may have remained buried in the three abovementioned pages, had it not been for one brave woman: Ellen Saracini.
Saracini is not an intelligence analyst or counter-terrorism expert. She is the widow of pilot victor Saracini, the captain of the Boeing jet that took off from Boston aboard United flight 175, which was crashed into the southern tower. However, Ellen was unwilling to see the death of her husband and father of her two daughters end with yet another line in the commission's report; she decided to seek justice on her own.
Saracini approached attorney Thomas Mellon, who specializes in lawsuits against large corporations. Mellon's team members launched an investigation. They met potential witnesses, interviewed intelligence officials, CIA agents, Iranian defectors, a French judge and others. They even reached Israel in their search (in the interest of full disclosure, the writer of this article was also summoned to testify in the trial, as one of nine expert witnesses.)
The investigation kept progressing, diving deep into the dark corners of the global world of intelligence and terrorism. Ten years later, Mellon and his team are convinced that they possess the "smoking gun" that will tie Iran to the September 11 attacks.
The legal team drafted a huge lawsuit, recently submitted to the Manhattan District Court. What hides inside it is far from being routine. The lawsuit is premised on a dramatic charge: The responsibility for the 9/11 attacks lies not only with al-Qaeda, but also with Iran and Hezbollah, based on what attorneys say is clear, unequivocal evidence.
Read the rest of the article and decide for yourself. But I remain skeptical. Still a lot of smoke and little illumination. I'm not saying it isn't possible - quite the opposite. I'm only saying that they don't appear to have nailed it down yet.
Too much testimony from too many people who may have an agenda in play, or wish to appear more in the know than they actually are. We'll never hear the intercepts, of course, but even with them, it is difficult to sort out what was being said or what the topic of conversation might have been. No one comes out and says that they are assisting al-Qaeda with a plot against America. Both AQ and Iran are much too smart and too aware of US ELINT capabilities to use anything but the most guarded of language.
What is significant is that a link has been definitely established between Hezb'allah and AQ - something only hinted at in the Commission's report. This makes the lawsuit explosive, indeed, and may cause trouble for the terrorists in Lebanon.