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IRAN is permitting around 25 high-ranking al-Qaeda members to roam free in the country's capital, including three sons of Osama bin Laden, a German monthly magazine reports.
Citing information from unnamed Western intelligence sources, the magazine Cicero said in a preview of an article appearing in its November edition that the individuals in question are from Egypt, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia and Europe.
They are living in houses belonging to Iran's Revolutionary Guards, the report said.
"This is not incarceration or house arrest," a Western intelligence agent was quoted as saying.
"They can move around as they please."
The three sons of Osama bin Laden in Iran are Saeed, Mohammad and Othman, Cicero reported.
Another person enjoying the support of the Revolutionary Guards is al-Qaeda spokesman Abu Ghaib, the report said.
Iran first said late last year that it had arrested and would try a number of foreigners suspected of having links to al-Qaeda, a loose network of military groups that Washington blames for the attacks of September 11, 2001 and bomb attacks in Spain, Indonesia, Egypt and elsewhere.
The report in Cicero also accused the Revolutionary Guards' secret service of offering logistical support and military training to senior al-Qaeda leaders.
Iran has repeatedly denied any link to or support of al-Qaeda.