ONE of Osama bin Laden’s oldest sons has emerged as a key player in the al-Qaida network and is part of a small group of leaders running the terror group from Iran.
Citing US and European intelligence sources, the Washington Post reported Saad bin Laden and other senior al-Qaida operatives in Iran were in contact with an al-Qaida cell in Saudi Arabia just before the May 12 suicide bombing in Riyadh that killed 35 people.
The contacts led them to conclude the attacks were planned in Iran.
Saad bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders in Iran are protected by a secretive Iranian security force loyal to the nation’s clerics and beyond the control of the central government.
Saudi Arabia has been trying to persuade Iran to extradite bin Laden and other suspects in the Riyadh bombing. Saudi officials estimate there are up to 400 al-Qaida members in Iran.