Was this NYT Article an Attempt to Tipoff Qassem Soleimani?

An op-ed published by the New York Times one day before Iranian General Qassem Soleimani assassination contained an interesting hypothetical scenario.

Qassem Soleimani

Wikimedia Commons: Khamenei.ir

An op-ed published by the New York Times one day before the assassination of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani by a US airstrike contains an eerily specific scenario.

This week perhaps one of the greatest espionage and military minds of the last century Major General Qasem Soleimani was killed by a US airstrike at Baghdad airport. 4 others were killed in the strike.

Before and after

Qassem Soleimani organised asymmetrical warfare in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. His assassination has sparked renewed fears of regional escalation and World War 3.

The New York Times Article

The piece by former National Security Council Senior Director Steven Simon discussed the game changing strategic breakthrough provided by hypersonic missiles.

Entitled ‘Hypersonic Missiles Are a Game Changer‘ (archived here), the hypersonic missile was said to represent “a new class of missiles capable of reaching hypersonic velocity” that would be able to breach existing anti-missile defense systems.

“No existing defenses, in the United States or elsewhere, can intercept a missile that can move so fast while maneuvering unpredictably” the piece said.

Now for the interesting part:

Two thirds of the way into the article, this particular hypothetical scenario stands out as being far too specific. It’s identical to the circumstances of Qassem Soleimani’s assassination.

What if the former commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Qassem Soleimani, visits Baghdad for a meeting and you know the address? The temptations to use hypersonic missiles will be many.

Steven Simon – ‘Hypersonic Missiles Are a Game Changer‘ – New York Times Jan 2 2020
Screengrab of the archived article

Questions Raised

Did Steven Simon know ahead of time that this strike was going to go ahead? At the foot of the article, his qualifications are listed as “analyst at the Quincy Institute, professor of the practice of international relations at Colby College and a co-author of “Our Separate Ways: The Struggle for the Future of the U.S.-Israel Alliance,” was senior director for the Middle East and North Africa on the National Security Council from 2011 to 2012 and for counterterrorism from 1995 to 1999.” (Emphasis added)

It seems likely that with connections like that, Steven would still have some contacts in the industry.

Ultimately this isn’t a smoking gun, but it is interesting given that the NYT described dead ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as a man with a “spiritual gift”. Whose side are they on?

ABC corrensondant Matt Brown described Qassem Soleimani as a “hero to many”. Indeed there were some within Iran who considered him instrumental in the downfall of ISIS.


Was this NYT article an attempt to tipoff Qassem Soleimani? What do you think?

If you liked this article, you may also enjoy my coverage of the Jeffrey Epstein saga here.

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