Osama bin Laden’s hiding place was pinned down for the first time Monday, June 7, by the Kuwaiti Al-Siyassa Monday, June 7, as the mountainous town of Savzevar in the northeastern Iranian provinceof Khorasan, 220 km west of Mashhad. He is said to have lived there under Tehran’s protection for the last five years, along with Ayman Al-Zawahiri and five other high-ranking al Qaeda leaders.
DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources disclosed Monday night that Turkish prime minister Recep Erdogan and his intelligence chiefs are well aware that Bin Laden and Zawahiri are hiding in Iran. The leak to the Kuwait paper was intended to show the Obama administration that the Turkish leader’s ties with Iran had grown intense enough for him to be fully in the picture of Iran’s secret sanctuary for the authors of the 9/11 attacks on the United States.
Savzevar, a small town of about a quarter of a million inhabitants, is connected by road toTehran and Mashhad and has a small airport. A center for producing grapes and raisins, its location is remote and difficult to access because it is enclosed by lofty mountains and a salt desert 50,000 square kilometers in area.