The United States said Wednesday its assessment aligns with a United Nations report concluding that the new de facto head of the al-Qaida terror group, Saif al-Adel, is based in Iran.
“When it comes to his presence there, offering safe haven to al-Qaida is just another example of Iran’s wide-ranging support for terrorism, its destabilizing activities in the Middle East and beyond,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters during a daily briefing.
The U.N. based its report on member state intelligence, concluding that the former Egyptian special forces officer had taken over leadership of al-Qaida following the July 2022 killing of former leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in an airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Iran’s mission to the United Nations denied the U.N. and U.S. assessments in a tweet Wednesday.
“It is worth noting that the address for the so-called newly appointed Al-Qaeda leader is incorrect. This misinformation could potentially hinder efforts to combat terrorism,” it said.