http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Co...=968332188854&col=968350060724&tacodalogin=no Sept. 11 panel finds long Bin Laden link to Iran DAN EGGEN SPECIAL TO THE STAR WASHINGTONThe commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has concluded Osama bin Laden's terror network had long-running contacts with Iran. Al Qaeda, the commission determined, may even have played a "yet unknown role" in aiding Hezbollah militants in the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers complex in Saudi Arabia, an attack the United States has long blamed solely on Hezbollah and its Iranian sponsors. That possibility, largely overlooked in the furor of revelations last week by the commission, comes amid worsening relations between the U.S. and Iran, which said Thursday it would resume building equipment necessary for a nuclear weapons program. Commission investigators said intelligence "showed far greater potential for collaboration between Hezbollah and Al Qaeda than many had previously thought." Iran is a primary sponsor of Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based anti-Israel group the U.S. has designated a terrorist organization. But perhaps most startling was the commission's finding that bin Laden may have played a role in the Khobar attack, which killed 19 U.S. soldiers. A June, 2001, indictment of 14 defendants in the case makes no mention of Al Qaeda or bin Laden and blames the attack solely on Hezbollah and Iran. The commission's findings on Khobar Towers, if confirmed, would deepen the known relationship between Al Qaeda, Iran and Hezbollah. A June 16 commission report said in addition to evidence the attack had been carried out by Saudi Hezbollah with assistance from Iran, "intelligence obtained shortly after the bombing ... also supported suspicions of bin Laden's involvement." "There were reports in the months preceding the attack that bin Laden was seeking to facilitate a shipment of explosives to Saudi Arabia. On the day of the attack, bin Laden was congratulated" by Al Qaeda militants, the report says.