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‘Saddam had ordered Atta training’
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA ^ | 12/14/03

Posted on 12/15/2003 6:19:31 PM PST by Sonny M

LONDON, DECEMBER 14: The mastermind of the September 2001 attacks in the US, Mohammad Atta, was trained in Baghdad by a Palestinian terrorist at the instance of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, a media report said today.

Atta, who was trained by Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal, visited Baghdad just weeks before the terror attack, The Sunday Telegraph reported. The details of Atta’s visit are contained in a secret memo, written to Hussein by the former head of Iraqi intelligence service Tahir Jalil Habbush Al-Tikriti, it said.

The handwritten memo, a copy of which has been obtained by the daily is dated July 1, 2001 and provides a short resume of a three-day ‘‘work programme’’ Atta had undertaken at Nidal’s base in Baghdad. In the memo, Habbush reports that Atta ‘‘displayed extraordinary effort’’ and demonstrated his ability to lead the team that would be ‘‘responsible for attacking the targets that we have agreed to destroy.’’

Although Iraqi officials refused to disclose how and where they had obtained the document, Ayad Allawi, a member of Iraq’s ruling seven-man presidential committee, said the document was genuine.

‘‘We are uncovering evidence all the time of Saddam’s involvement with Al Qaeda,’’ Allawi said. ‘‘But this is the most compelling piece of evidence that we have found so far. It shows that not only did Saddam have contacts with Al Qaeda, he had contact with those responsible for the September 11 attacks.’’


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 911; 911hijackers; abunidal; alqaedaandiraq; atta; habbush; iraq; iraqandalqaeda; waronterror
Its all coming out now.
1 posted on 12/15/2003 6:19:31 PM PST by Sonny M
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To: Sonny M
I hope this can be verified.
2 posted on 12/15/2003 6:21:30 PM PST by Eva
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To: Sonny M
I hope so cause the American Media so far isn't touching this....
3 posted on 12/15/2003 6:23:05 PM PST by cmsgop (Whatever You Do,..... Do Not PING Arthur McGowan)
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To: Sonny M
A great result would be for the current Dem slate to
hang their heads in shame and withdraw, opening the door for HC to enter the race in haste and fury.
4 posted on 12/15/2003 6:23:13 PM PST by Fitzcarraldo
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To: Sonny M
Shhhhhhhh. Don't tell the DemocRATS.
5 posted on 12/15/2003 6:24:23 PM PST by doug from upland (Hillary would get 100% of the Islamist Terrorist vote)
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To: Eva
Its being verified, check the post on the UK telegraph, I posted that one also.
6 posted on 12/15/2003 6:25:24 PM PST by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant")
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To: Sonny M
at the instance

huh? insistence, perhaps?

7 posted on 12/15/2003 6:25:35 PM PST by InvisibleChurch (George Bailey: You call this a happy family? Why do we have to have all these kids?)
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To: cmsgop
‘‘responsible for attacking the targets that we have agreed to destroy.’’

If that is an accurate translation, that's pretty damning.

8 posted on 12/15/2003 6:25:43 PM PST by Howlin (Bush has stolen two things which Democrats believe they own by right: the presidency & the future)
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To: Sonny M
"......responsible for attacking the targets that we have agreed to destroy......"
9 posted on 12/15/2003 6:27:07 PM PST by DoctorMichael (Thats my story, and I'm sticking to it.)
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To: Howlin
Oh, I agree, we were discussing this article on Sat Night from the Telegraph.
10 posted on 12/15/2003 6:29:04 PM PST by cmsgop (Whatever You Do,..... Do Not PING Arthur McGowan)
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To: Sonny M
This would pretty much take away the rats "just cause" propaganda.
11 posted on 12/15/2003 6:30:25 PM PST by muslims=borg (Behind enemy lines in New Jersey)
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To: Howlin
so damning that I have my suspecions as to its legitimacy.

We already know that Saddam had his goons live with Nidal after 9-11 went down. They monitored every communication he had for two weeks. They did not show up until just AFTER it went down. That to me makes it seem that Saddam was afraid that Nidal WAS in on 9/11 and he wanted to make sure Nidal had nothing to do with it. As it was, he offed Nidal later anyway.

That suggests many possiblities. I don't know what to make of it.
12 posted on 12/15/2003 6:30:40 PM PST by Ahban
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To: cmsgop
I hope so cause the American Media so far isn't touching this....

It's been on every major cable channel, and O'Reilly has pledged to bird-dog it to a conclusion, one way or the other.

If this letter is verified, it means the end of those who say "there's no tie between Hussein and 9/11."

It will also be the end of any chance of the Democrats taking the White House.

13 posted on 12/15/2003 6:31:39 PM PST by sinkspur (Adopt a shelter dog or cat! You'll save one life, and maybe two!)
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To: Sonny M
OK, but let's not let this distract us from the prize. Dubya is trying to reform the Mid-East, starting with Iraq for a purely strategic reason. Even if Saddam had absolutely no contact with Al-Quaida, this war would still be critical to the war on terror. Finding the Saddam-9/11 link would only be icing on the cake.
14 posted on 12/15/2003 6:31:40 PM PST by Starve The Beast (I used to be disgusted, but now I try to be amused)
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To: cmsgop
Tom Brokaw had the author of the Telegraph story live on "Meet the Press" Sunday. He went over this with detail, and Brokaw seemed interested. Hopefully corroboration will come soon. (Shoot Saddam up with some Sodium Pentathol already and let him "sing like a Canary")
15 posted on 12/15/2003 6:32:43 PM PST by Al Simmons
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To: All
Geez I had know idea it was getting legs, I missed some shows, stop persecuting me!!! LOL!!!!!
16 posted on 12/15/2003 6:34:41 PM PST by cmsgop (Whatever You Do,..... Do Not PING Arthur McGowan)
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To: Sonny M
Anyone got a link to the Telegraph article?
17 posted on 12/15/2003 6:39:53 PM PST by Monti Cello (is)
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To: Monti Cello
Link:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/12/14/wterr114.xml
18 posted on 12/15/2003 6:41:55 PM PST by John Valentine ("The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits." - Albert Einstein)
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To: Starve The Beast
"Even if Saddam had absolutely no contact with Al-Quaida, this war would still be critical to the war on terror. Finding the Saddam-9/11 link would only be icing on the cake."


Factually, you are correct. Politically, you are incorrect. A proved link between Saddam and the 9/11 terrorists would turn next year's election into a 1972 or 1964 style rout in the GOP's favor.
19 posted on 12/15/2003 6:42:13 PM PST by Al Simmons
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To: John Valentine
Arcticle from the Telegraph:

Does this link Saddam to 9/11?
(Filed: 14/12/2003)


A document discovered by Iraq's interim government details a meeting between the man behind the September 11 attacks and Abu Nidal, the Palestinian terrorist, at his Baghdad training camp. Con Coughlin reports.


For anyone attempting to find evidence to justify the war in Iraq, the discovery of a document that directly links Mohammed Atta, the al-Qaeda mastermind of the September 11 attacks, with the Baghdad training camp of Abu Nidal, the infamous Palestinian terrorist, appears almost too good to be true.

Ever since four hijacked civilian jets devastated the United States' eastern seaboard on September 11, 2001, there have been any number of reports circulating Western intelligence agencies suggesting that Saddam Hussein's Iraq had close links to al-Qaeda.

Most of the claims relate to meetings between al-Qaeda and Iraqi intelligence to discuss co-operation on matters such as funding, training and equipment.

Prior to the discovery of the document published today by the Telegraph, the most controversial report related to the suggestion that Atta had met Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani, a senior Iraqi intelligence officer, in Prague in April 2001.

But while both President Bush and Tony Blair have dropped numerous hints that they believe there was a significant level of co-operation between Saddam and al-Qaeda, their respective intelligence agencies have actively sought to downplay the significance of the relationship, especially the suggestion that Saddam was in any way involved in the September 11 attacks.

To this end America's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), with the backing of Britain's MI6, have poured scorn on Atta's Prague meeting.

However, the tantalising detail provided in the intelligence document uncovered by Iraq's interim government suggests that Atta's involvement with Iraqi intelligence may well have been far deeper than has hitherto been acknowledged.

Written in the neat, precise hand of Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, the former head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) and one of the few named in the US government's pack of cards of most-wanted Iraqis not to have been apprehended, the personal memo to Saddam is signed by Habbush in distinctive green ink.

Headed simply "Intelligence Items", and dated July 1, 2001, it is addressed: "To the President of the Ba'ath Revolution Party and President of the Republic, may God protect you."

The first paragraph states that "Mohammed Atta, an Egyptian national, came with Abu Ammer (an Arabic nom-de-guerre - his real identity is unknown) and we hosted him in Abu Nidal's house at al-Dora under our direct supervision.

"We arranged a work programme for him for three days with a team dedicated to working with him . . . He displayed extraordinary effort and showed a firm commitment to lead the team which will be responsible for attacking the targets that we have agreed to destroy."

There is nothing in the document that provides any clue to the identity of the "targets", although Iraqi officials say it is a coded reference to the September 11 attacks.

The second item contains a report of how Iraqi intelligence, helped by "a small team from the al-Qaeda organisation", arranged for an (unspecified) shipment from Niger to reach Baghdad by way of Libya and Syria.

Iraqi officials believe this is a reference to the controversial shipments of uranium ore Iraq acquired from Niger to aid Saddam in his efforts to develop an atom bomb, although there is no explicit reference in the document to this.

Habbush writes that the successful completion of the shipment was "the fruit of your excellent secret meeting with Bashir al-Asad (the Syrian president) on the Iraqi-Syrian border", and concludes: "May God protect you and save you to all Arab nations."

While it is almost impossible to ascertain whether or not the document is legitimate or a clever fake, Iraqi officials working for the interim government are convinced of its authenticity, even though they decline to reveal where and how they obtained it. "It is not important how we found it," said a senior Iraqi security official. "The important thing is that we did find it and the information it contains."

A leading member of Iraq's governing council, who asked not to be named, said he was convinced of the document's authenticity.

"There are people who are working with us who used to work with Habbush who are convinced that it is his handwriting and signature. We are uncovering evidence all the time of Saddam's dealings with al-Qaeda, and this document shows the extent of the old regime's involvement with the international terrorist network."

This is the second document published by this newspaper that appears to highlight Saddam's links with al-Qaeda. Earlier this year the Telegraph published details of another Iraqi intelligence document that indicated Saddam's regime was attempting to set up a meeting with Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader, who was then based in Sudan.

Intelligence experts point out that a memo such as that written by Habbush would of necessity be vague and short. "Trained intelligence officers hate putting anything down in writing," said one former CIA officer. "You never know where it might turn up."

Certainly the memo's detail concerning Mohammed Atta and Abu Nidal fits in with the known movements of the two terrorists in the summer of 2001. Abu Nidal, the renegade Palestinian terrorist responsible for a wave of outrages in the 1980s, such as the 1985 bomb attacks on Rome and Vienna airports, was based in Baghdad, under Saddam's personal protection, for most of his career.

Having briefly relocated to Libya, Abu Nidal returned to Baghdad at some point in early 2001. At the time it was assumed that Saddam had lured the Palestinian terrorist back to help the Iraqi leader plan a number of terrorist attacks aimed at destabilising American plans to remove him.

In particular, Saddam wanted Abu Nidal to revive his network of "sleeper cells" in Europe and the Middle East to carry out a new wave of attacks. During 2001 Abu Nidal lived in a number of houses in the Baghdad area, including a spacious home in the al-Dora district where he is reported to have met Atta.

The relationship between Abu Nidal and Saddam, however, quickly turned sour, mainly because - as the Telegraph reported at the time - the ageing Palestinian leader was reluctant to accede to Saddam's request to train al-Qaeda fighters in sophisticated terrorist techniques.

Abu Nidal was murdered in August 2001, although the Iraqis tried to claim that he had committed suicide. Habbush appeared at a hastily arranged press conference in Baghdad in an attempt to persuade the sceptical Arab media that Abu Nidal had taken his own life after Iraqi investigators had uncovered a plot to assassinate Saddam.

Although Western intelligence agencies have attempted to trace Atta's movements in the months preceding September 11, there remain several periods during which his precise whereabouts are unknown. Having moved to Florida from Hamburg in 2000, Atta is known to have made at least two trips from the US to Europe in 2001.

In early January he flew to Madrid for a few days. His next confirmed trip was to Zurich in early July. In between, American investigators have concluded from a detailed examination of Atta's credit cards and phone records, that he spent most of the spring and early summer of 2001 in Florida, interspersed by occasional domestic trips. The only confirmed sighting of Atta during this period, however, was on April 26 when he was pulled over for a traffic violation in Florida.

This traffic offence, taken with other evidence collated by FBI agents, is one of the reasons that CIA officials have discounted the report that Atta met an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague earlier in the month (the Czech authorities claim Atta was in Prague on April 8). Yesterday the New York Times reported that Ani, who was taken into US custody last July, had told American interrogators that he had not met Atta in Prague.

"The Prague meeting does not appear very convincing," said Lorenzo Vidino, a terrorism analyst at The Investigative Project, a non-profit organisation that investigates international terrorism, in Washington. "But even if that meeting did not take place you have to remember that Atta used a large number of aliases when he travelled. It is not inconceivable that Atta slipped out of the US undetected sometime in the first half of 2001."

The US Congressional report into the September 11 attacks states that Atta used 16 to 17 known aliases, although American intelligence experts concede that there may have been others.

It is entirely conceivable, then, that Atta secretly made his way to Baghdad to undertake training with Abu Nidal a few months before the September 11 attacks. But as long as Saddam and his senior intelligence operatives remain at large, it is impossible to assess just how much they knew about, and were involved in, the planning and execution of the September 11 atrocities.

•Con Coughlin is the author of Saddam: The Secret Life (Macmillan)
20 posted on 12/15/2003 6:43:12 PM PST by John Valentine ("The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits." - Albert Einstein)
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To: cmsgop
I hope so cause the American Media so far isn't touching this....

All over talk radio, though....

21 posted on 12/15/2003 6:46:58 PM PST by Rocko
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To: Sonny M
bttt
22 posted on 12/15/2003 6:48:19 PM PST by WinOne4TheGipper (All your ruthless tyrants are belong to us.)
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To: sinkspur
Or, as I said in a mass e-mailing to virtually everone I know:

"Anyone that can comprehend the significance of this find and still maintain that "there is no link between Iraq and Al Queda" or that "there is no proof that Iraq was involved in 9-11" has a head so far rectally inserted as to be capable of ... voting for Howard Dean."
23 posted on 12/15/2003 6:49:15 PM PST by John Valentine ("The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits." - Albert Einstein)
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To: Rocko
Thats great news
24 posted on 12/15/2003 6:49:24 PM PST by cmsgop (Whatever You Do,..... Do Not PING Arthur McGowan)
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To: Eva
Eva, no matter how authentic, no matter what the provenance of the document, no matter tests are performed, or handwriting analysis, or analysis of the paper, the ink, and all the rest, no matter even if the Las Vegas crime lab goes over it and pronounces it authentic on CSI, Noam Chomsky and George Galloway will never believe it.

As far as I'm concerned I'm already OK with it. It's already been authenticated sufficiently for me when Ayad Allawi says that the document is authentic.
25 posted on 12/15/2003 6:56:00 PM PST by John Valentine ("The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits." - Albert Einstein)
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To: Sonny M
Here's an older story that links the former Iraqi government to the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group in the Philippines:

http://www.time.com/time/asia/magazine/article/0,13673,501030224-423566,00.html
26 posted on 12/15/2003 7:12:14 PM PST by Ben Hecks
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To: Sonny M
But don't you realize, there's no connection between Iraq and 9/11? /sarcasm.
27 posted on 12/15/2003 7:25:17 PM PST by bdeaner
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To: Al Simmons
The Dems look like they are on an accelerating train headed for a thick brick wall.

Their instincts are 180 degrees out of phase with their best interests.

I'm astounded by how far some will go out on a limb to express their contempt for Bush when I read it in minor web discussions. But then I see the same stuff coming out of the mouth of their lead candidate.

The rationale for this war is not difficult to comprehend or even genuinely controversial compared to recent US actions. Add in 9/11......

The left is utterly unable to comprehend, to mentally step out of their shoes and see things from another perspective. When that train hits the wall there's a little part of me that's afraid of what their desperation would entail. Not in terms of being unable to combat it, but what that combat will mean to the Republic.

28 posted on 12/15/2003 7:43:44 PM PST by Monti Cello (is)
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To: Fitzcarraldo
A great result would be for the current Dem slate to hang their heads in shame and withdraw, opening the door for HC to enter the race in haste and fury.

And then making George McGovern and Michael Dukakis look like viable Presidential candidates. :)

29 posted on 12/15/2003 7:47:26 PM PST by El Gato (Federal Judges can twist the Constitution into anything.. Or so they think.)
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To: Monti Cello
The Dems look like they are on an accelerating train headed for a thick brick wall.

More like steel reinforced concrete, I'd say. Of course we won't be able to call them on it by getting together and buying some TV time, when one of the 9 dwarfs or BroomHillary start pulling out the "No Connection" stuff come about September 2nd. The Supreme Court says we can't.

30 posted on 12/15/2003 7:53:49 PM PST by El Gato (Federal Judges can twist the Constitution into anything.. Or so they think.)
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To: Sonny M; John Valentine
Great news, I was not questioning the veracity, only hoping for the proof.
31 posted on 12/15/2003 7:59:47 PM PST by Eva
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To: Sonny M
"Atta, who was trained by Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal,..."

Wasn't Abu Nidal the guy that Ollie North named as the reason his house was security wired back in the eighties? Remember right after 9-11, when the internet rumor mill credited him with naming Osama years in advance, when in fact it was Abu Nidal? Anyone else remember that?

Perhaps he was right after all....

32 posted on 12/15/2003 8:01:14 PM PST by oprahstheantichrist
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To: Eva
The memo IS the proof.

Let's put it this way: If I were on a jury at a murder trial, on this evidence, I'd vote to convict.

33 posted on 12/15/2003 8:07:27 PM PST by John Valentine ("The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits." - Albert Einstein)
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To: oprahstheantichrist
Wasn't Abu Nidal the guy that Ollie North named as the reason his house was security wired back in the eighties?

As a matter of fact, you are correct. If you go to snopes.com, they list the urban legend about North and Bin Laden, and also give the real version, which was North speaking about......Abu Nidal.

34 posted on 12/15/2003 11:12:26 PM PST by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant")
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To: Monti Cello
The left is utterly unable to comprehend, to mentally step out of their shoes and see things from another perspective. When that train hits the wall there's a little part of me that's afraid of what their desperation would entail.

Based on the history of the left wing in this country, and based on the numerious statements made on left wing websites I have a bad feeling I know how they will react next year after election day. If we are lucky, they will just be demoralized and quit and leave america alone.

That is not likely, I fear that alot of lefty's will go off the deep end, and make accusations that the elections were rigged, thus giving themselves rationalization to commit acts of terror against people, in the misguided belief that they are actually quite popular. Some of these people are showing signs of mental illness, and I think next years election is going to make them go over the edge and start doing alot of rash things.

35 posted on 12/15/2003 11:17:31 PM PST by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant")
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To: Sonny M
BTT
36 posted on 12/15/2003 11:23:25 PM PST by nopardons
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To: cmsgop
I hope so cause the American Media so far isn't touching this....

And thanks to the idiotic Supreme Court decision on the "campaign finance reform' law we can't buy televison air time to counter the networks' passivity on the issue.

37 posted on 12/15/2003 11:49:29 PM PST by Paleo Conservative (Do not remove this tag under penalty of law.)
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To: Sonny M
Yeah-

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/3741646/
38 posted on 12/19/2003 5:36:46 PM PST by Burkeman1 ("If you see ten troubles comin down the road, nine will run into the ditch before they reach you")
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