Iran Tops up Stock of US Hostages to Squeeze Washington

Tehran has another trick up its sleeve for holding America to ransom for further nuclear concessions.
In Vienna, Secretary of State John Kerry believed that the prisoner/hostage swap was in the bag. But at the critical moment on Saturday, Jan. 17, he learned that the Swiss plane flying out of Tehran to Geneva carried three released American hostages instead of the four promised.
They were Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, Marine veteran Amir Hekmati and Christian pastor Saeed Abedini.
While their families rejoiced, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had already acted to top up its stock of American hostage chips by abducting three US military advisers in Baghdad.
Our Iranian sources report that the snatch was orchestrated at the highest level by IRGC chief Gen. Ali Jaafari and its Navy commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, who also organized the capture of 10 US sailors last week.
They passed the kidnap order for two men and a woman – Amro Mohamed al-Wael and Mahdawi and Rusul Farad – to Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, head of the Popular Mobilization PMF, an umbrella organization of predominantly Iraqi Shiite militias.
US military and intelligence sources often rub shoulders with this same Muhandis in his capacity as their collaborator in the war on ISIS in Iraq. He takes care to hide his real identity as a general in the IRGC’s Al Qods Brigades.
For the abduction operation, Muhandis enlisted Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, (League of the Righteous), a Shiite Iraqi militia established by the IRGC for the specific mission of attacking American targets in Iraq.
DEBKA Weekly’s counterterrorism sources disclose that Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (aka the Khazali Network) is a paramilitary Shiite Iraqi group, which has been responsible for over 6,000 attacks on American and allied forces between 2004 and 2013.
It operates under the direct command of the Al Qods chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
Certain Persian Gulf intelligence sources told DEBKA Weekly said that the new round of kidnaps did not take place on Jan. 16, when first reported, but earlier in the week, while the 10 American sailors and their two patrol boats were still in the hands of the Revolutionary Guards.
Teheran has thus come up with a new method for squeezing the United States by sending its terrorist minions to snatch small numbers of Americans and hold them as bargaining chips for extra concessions on its nuclear and missile programs, in the knowledge that the State Department will stand by to launder those concessions for public consumption.

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