Feb. 17 – The de facto leader of militant group Al Qaeda, Seif al-Adel, was reported to be in Iran, according to a briefing published by the United Nations.

A high ranking member of Al Qaeda and a former Egyptian special forces officer, al-Adel is the subject of a $10 million US bounty, for his involvement in attacks around the world, including indictments for his role in bomb attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania which killed more than 200 people and wounded more than 5,000 others.

Al Qaeda has not yet formally announced a new leader, following the death of Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is thought to have been killed last year in a U.S. missile strike in Kabul.

The UK presented evidence to the UN that it had seized weapons linked to the IRGC, which it said had been smuggled on speedboats driving through international waters south of Iran.

Weapons seized included surface-to-air-missiles and engines for land attack cruise missiles, which the UK said were in violation of two UN Security Council resolutions.

The UK also provided evidence contained in the hard drive of an Iranian drone, which appeared to show test flights at the IRGC’s aerospace headquarters. The drone was found among the weapons seized by the British Royal Navy.

And the US said it was in indirect talks with Iran’s government to secure the release of three US citizens detained in Iran. Siamak Namazi, Emad Shargi and Morad Tahbaz were accused of spying for western countries, charges which the men have always denied.

US news outlet NBC said the UK and Qatar were acting as intermediaries in the negotiations and that the parties had made some progress during the discussions.

The deal, if it goes ahead, could include a prisoner swap and the release of billions of dollars belonging to Iran, which were frozen by South Korea under US sanctions.

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