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Western intelligence agencies suspect that Osama bin Laden and his son have been traveling to Iran for meetings with the al-Qaida leadership, reports intelligence newsletter Geostraegy-Direct.

Intelligence sources said the bin Ladens have been shuttling from Afghanistan into the Iranian frontier, holding strategic sessions, relaying orders and then leaving. The sources said Iran has been aware of the activity.

Bin Laden junior lives in Iran. His father never stays in one place, but has been to Iran at least once this year. An Italian intelligence report said bin Laden senior brought seven of his colleagues, including Ayman al-Zawahiri, to Iran in early May when he approved plans for attacks in Europe and Asia. The attacks were said to have included the May 12 suicide strikes in Riyadh, which were engineered by al-Qaida operations chief Seif Al Adel.

The Italian report said bin Laden and his boys used Iranian passports and identified themselves as businessmen. The report said the delegation was even seen in Tehran.

At this point, the intelligence sources said, Iran responded. Bin Laden senior was allowed to leave, but al-Zawahiri and bin Laden’s son were arrested days before the May 12 attacks. It is not clear whether they are still being held by Iran, which admits to capturing al-Qaida operatives, but denies arresting Bin Laden.

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