In an exclusive interview, a former homeland security official describes the precision of last week's strike against Iran's Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Israel's potential involvement in the operation, and the heinous words recently spewed on Iranian TV.
Philip B. Haney, a founding member of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, believes the intelligence-driven drone attack against Soleimani not only exhibited extraordinary precision, but may have also included cooperation with Israel. In a previous remark, Haney told OneNewsNow the human intel surrounding the operation was very likely coordinated with Israel.
In a follow-up interview with OneNewsNow, Haney explains his reasoning. When he first become aware of the strike leading to Soleimani's death, he was immediately reminded of another recent precision strike against a well-known terrorist.
In that operation – codenamed "Operation Kayla Mueller" – the U.S. military conducted an assault on a secluded compound in the outskirts of Syria in late October 2019. The Barisha raid, which Haney describes as "a high-precision raid," resulted in the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS at the time of the attack.
Haney sees parallels between that kind of precision to eliminate a deadly terrorist and the precision it took to execute Soleimani.
"He stepped off a plane, got into a vehicle, and at a very precise moment in time, he was terminated," he summarizes, pointing out there was virtually no collateral damage with the exception of those who were part of his entourage.
"This means someone knew the exact plane he would be on, when it took off, it's course and destination, when it would taxi on a runway, and even when it came to a stop," Haney explains. "And this kind of intel requires an interesting fact with regard to communication" – specifically, the fact that there was a very high likelihood that the human resources involved in the operation were native Farsi-speakers.
Arabic, he points out, is the predominate language used in Iraq, while someone who speaks Farsi would mostly likely be a native of Iran and/or from one other very likely place – Israel.
"There are thousands of Israelis who have mothers or fathers who may have taught their children Farsi around the kitchen table," he shares – adding it is this kind of individual who could enter Iran and blend right into the population; and because they possess these language and intel skills that means "they can literally walk right up to a person and touch them, as if you were in a crowd."
This kind of precision is not "random" or "arbitrary," but "very precise," Haney explains. He also argues that the closeness of this intelligence operation to the person himself says a lot about America's worldview.
"We didn't obliterate a vast amount of acreage, or untold numbers of people just to go after one person," he notes.
Haney suggests a clandestine operation of this magnitude also sends America's enemies in the region a two-fold message, just as it did with Baghdadi.
"It means America has personnel – an asset or an ally – on the ground, but Iran does not know who they are," he adds. "Not only are they looking up into the sky or over their shoulder for drones, but they're also wondering who around them might be an asset for America and Israel – and that puts them on edge, placing them at a huge psychological and tactical disadvantage."
Haney believes President Donald Trump responded appropriately, while also pinpointing 52 targets of attack in Iran. "[The president] is not talking about the death and destruction of an entire nation, but of specific targets – nor is he talking about killing tens of thousands of people," as they have been in Iran recently.
Pay attention to what they're saying
Paralleling the recent threats for retaliation against the United Starts for killing Soleimani, a significant number of Iranian protestors are willing to risk death – by the thousands – while opposing their government. This appears to showcase an ever-increasing divide between the country's citizens and the regime.
However, a November 26 interview on Channel 1 of the Iranian TV shares frightening words for anyone taking part in opposing the government, which threatens the lives of tens of thousands of people.
The interviewee was Abolfazl Bahrampur, an Iranian Quran interpreter and translator, who explains that "according to the Quran, the punishment of the people we arrested is that they be slaughtered. They must not be killed with a single bullet, and that's it. After all, they would like if they could die quickly."
He continues: "First, they should go through all these torments and they should be crucified for all the people to see, so that the people who wait behind the scenes for America's orders will see that these people were hanged and they will serve as an example for others.
In regard to this heinous call for "death in agony or chopping off their hands and feet" of protesters, Haney – a learned scholar of Islamic theology – believes Bahrampur's interview is "horrifying" and has "serious foreign policy & national security implications" as America flirts with the potential for an escalated conflict in Iran.
A few weeks ago, the former homeland security officer informed an undisclosed, high-ranking official within the executive department of the federal government about Bahrampur's choice of words.
"America's top leadership – including the president – should at least be aware of what is being publicly discussed in Iran, in real time," Haney insists. He explains the Quran expert is citing verbatim from the Quran (5:33). "The fine shades of the meaning of the word 'slaughter' (qital) that the Quran expert so casually discusses are worth carefully noting."
The expert says the verses in the Quran that include the verb qital, or slaughter, often appear in the imperative tense.
"These are the words being cited every day by Jihadists around the world," Haney explains, "in Burkina Faso, Gaza, Nigeria, etcetera." The words are also used by leaders of Islamic regimes in Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, and more, as they call for death to America and to Israel, he shares.
In addition, Haney states, "there are also two other companion verbs which are often closely affiliated with qital, or slaughter." One is kharaj, which means to violently displace. And the other is fitnah, which means oppression.
"Together," Haney says, "these three verbs are not only dimensions more violent in meaning than the word Jihad, but also occur four times more frequently in the Quran than Jihad does."
Haney adds that since these actions are being played out on a global stage, this is something that the highest level of the U.S. chain-of-command should be aware of, especially as tensions increase in the Middle East.
In a concluding thought, Haney suggests America must also keep a watchful eye on the city, Zahedan, which is located near Pakistan and Afghanistan. Strategically, it is approximately 25 miles south of a tripoint of borders which includes Iran.
Zahedan, he says, is the "funnel connection point" for terrorists going east. "Could the Taliban or their affiliates enter the scene from Afghanistan?" he questions. After all, Iran is an ally with the Taliban, and the Taliban has made it quite clear it has no intentions of a peace deal with America.