This is a copy of a letter I humbly sent to the President. Where does it go wrong? Thanks.
Posted 9:30 AM by Pierre This letter while seemingly silly since its just one in what must be a constant barrage of letters to the White House makes me feel like I am at least trying to have my say in my defense. 9/11 changed everything, from that moment on I promised myself that I would not allow myself to trust anyone with my families safety no matter the political party. From that day on I knew that while I was too old to enlist to personally kill the bastards, I would do my best to be educated on the threats. I present this in an attempt to have this viewpoint heard. That there is much evidence that points to a possible Saddam 9/11 linkage is beyond doubt. And yet it has been an object of faith from most of the Press and many politicians that there is no linkage. Why?
Dear President George W. Bush,
I must start out what will turn out to be a nasty letter on a high note. President Bush you have been an inspiration to nearly everyone in the country. Under your reasoned and firm guidance we moved forcefully and directly to remove the threats to the safety of our families and friends and I want to thank you. Your words on top of the rubble of the WTC were a clarion call to the nation, your words on September 20, 2001 stand to me as one of the best speeches ever given by a U.S. President, clear concise with no qualifications or hedging, it was a vision of our coming struggle that Americans could understand. This leads me into the reason for this letter.
Why has Mr. Russerts question brought about the cover your ass mentality that so typified past administrations? MR. RUSSERT: The Washington Post asked the American people about Saddam Hussein, and this is what they said: 69 percent said he was involved in the September 11 attacks. Are you surprised by that? VICE PRES. CHENEY: No. I think its not surprising that people make that connection. He concludes his response to the question with we just dont know. Now this is a sensible answer since you may not have the sort of proof that would stand up in a courtroom run by Maureen Dowd, but we certainly have some items that point to involvement. Course many of us in the public who have been studying the evidence believe there to be a lot more than just a possibility that Saddam was involved, we dont need to be hit over the head with courtroom quality evidence, or what others call proof to understand who we need to attack. I along with others believe that there is a difference in the words evidence and proof. We have evidence that leads us to believe that Saddam may have been involved, just like the evidence of the smile on your face may mean you are happy. It doesnt prove it, instead its merely evidence of happiness.
But even this vague answer by the Vice President brings this absolutely puzzling response from Sec. Rumsfeld when asked if there is a linkage. Rumsfeld: I've not seen any indication that would lead me to believe that I could say that. We know he was giving $25,000 a family for anyone who would go out and kill innocent men, women and children. And we know of various other activities. But on that specific one, no. Does the Sec of Defense actually believe that there is NO possibility of a link? Is all that circumstantial evidence developed by a number of very bright people a bunch of hooey, all those defectors lying?
Since the put down by Rumsfeld was not quite enough to please those who wont ever mean you any good, you followed up by confirming that in your view there was no linkage between Saddam and 9/11, notwithstanding that 70% of your supporters believe that to be the case. Vice President Cheney didnt say it was absolutely confirmed that the connection existed but that he could see why we might believe that to be the case. Exactly why was it so important to scotch even that possibility? The chattering classes only want to back you into a corner on the issue of the reason for the war against Saddam, and with this exchange they have managed to do it, and as you will see you arent the only one backed into a corner.
Saddam must be linked to the Al Queda, its why many of us who supported the war, did so. I know that your reasons to go to war revolved around three or four issues. For many of us it revolved around one main issue, the linkage between Saddam and Al Queda, with the dreadful possibilities that follow from that match. That you wanted to free the Iraqis people was certainly a way for us to feel good about the war, but we both know that had you tried to sell this war by just saying how great it would be to free the Iraqis we would have said fine send them money and arms, but no U.S. Armies. Had you tried to sell this war on just the fact that the Iraqis were ignoring the United Nations resolutions we would have laughed you out of the White House for all the respect we have for that free parking institution. And the fact that Saddam had an active WMD program certainly is a concern to us but fact is, there are a lot of crazies who have weapons of Mass destruction, I dont/wont support wars to depose all of them. No this war revolved around the dynamic of Saddam giving those weapons of mass destruction to the Al Queda or other terrorists intent on using them here, it revolved around the evidence of linkage.
Evidence of the linkage has existed in the public domain since at least 1999 with reports by various reporters linking Saddam with Bin Laden and the Al Queda. Certainly Dr. Laurie Mylroie had her eye on that linkage long before it was fashionable, and lately Richard Miniter's book on how Bin Laden was lost surely shows the extent of the possibilities for linkage between Saddam and Al Queda. But there is no need to go over all these and many other links, save to say that even for the common man there is plenty of evidence laying around that makes an awfully good case for the linkage. Did you think that we just took your word for the linkage? I honor and respect you beyond any President I have known but it was my duty as a citizen to educate myself to the best of my ability on the threats my country faced.
That the linkage is there is not disputed by your administration. But what is extremely puzzling and indeed a huge contradiction in your position is that you believe that all of this co-operation existed between Saddam and Al Queda even to the point that Saddam might let them use his most valued weapon of all, his bio weapons, and yet you assert that Saddam didnt have anything to do with the largest terror attack the world has ever seen. Sure I can see the scenario right now. Saddam has given training, money, and intelligence support to Al Queda and Bin Laden calls him and says Hey Saddam guess what SURPRISE we just killed 3,000 people, we attacked, the center of New York knocking down BOTH the World Trade Towers, the Pentagon and we also tried to kill the President but we didnt want to tell you because it was all a big surprise, ha ha. So after Saddam has been supporting Al Queda for conservatively a period of 3 years, more likely since the 1993 WTC bombing, as papers that were just found in Iraq suggest, you consider it likely that Al Queda would have launched the worlds biggest terror attack without letting their benefactor in on it. Sheesh I mean Im one of your strongest supporters and that strains the credibility line even for me. Either there is a linkage and Saddam knew or there is no linkage and Saddam didnt know. You cannot have it that an organization getting support from the Iraqi Secret Service would launch an operation absolutely guaranteed to direct violent attention to Iraq and not say a word to their benefactor.
Sure I guess that Saddam could have been training his Counter Terror Squad on that Airliner in Salmon Pak, no doubt all those defectors were lying, yea the Czechs are hallucinating about Atta and Im sure that someone in their basement could have produced the weapons grade anthrax that was spread about this country. But if all that is true then you had no reason to invade Iraq, because if there was no linkage between Al Queda and Saddam there was nothing to fear. This is the corner you are in and its all because you werent willing to stand up to the chattering classes and say that contrary to their most cherished beliefs we simply did not know for certain whether Saddam had anything to do with 9/11 or not, but that a lot of circumstantial evidence was pointing that way. This is exactly the truth and you did not state it.
The chattering classes are very happy that you have confirmed their most cherished belief that Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11 but you have swept the feet out from under your staunchest supporters. You may not realize this but your supporters are out in the wilderness arguing your case before their peers. We are helping you save all of us. But the statements by you and Sec. of Defense Rumsfeld have done incalculable damage to our arguments. It is simply not sensible that there is no linkage between Saddam and 9/11 if there is a linkage between Saddam and Al Queda. Furthermore it strains credibility to imagine that Saddam would lend his most fearsome weapons to those that dont trust him enough to allow him to help them on the biggest blow against our country that anyone has struck since 1812. And without the possibility of his lending his weapons to the Al Queda there was no reason for the war.
Please do not go wobbly on me.
Pierre P. Legrand cc: Vice President Cheney Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld
I think the sticking point would be the word "known" since many might want to argue that for it to be known everyone has to agree with the validity of the evidence. Not sure but I guess that means that we would have to get Maureen Dowd to vet all the links hehe....
Here are some of the links I have put together over the course of the last 2 years.
Connections between Al Queda and Saddam
From the November 24, 2003 issue: The U.S. government's secret memo detailing cooperation between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. by Stephen F. Hayes
11/24/2003, Volume 009, Issue 11
OSAMA BIN LADEN and Saddam Hussein had an operational relationship from the early 1990s to 2003 that involved training in explosives and weapons of mass destruction, logistical support for terrorist attacks, al Qaeda training camps and safe haven in Iraq, and Iraqi financial support for al Qaeda--perhaps even for Mohamed Atta--according to a top secret U.S. government memorandum obtained by THE WEEKLY STANDARD.
The memo, dated October 27, 2003, was sent from Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith to Senators Pat Roberts and Jay Rockefeller, the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. It was written in response to a request from the committee as part of its investigation into prewar intelligence claims made by the administration. Intelligence reporting included in the 16-page memo comes from a variety of domestic and foreign agencies, including the FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency. Much of the evidence is detailed, conclusive, and corroborated by multiple sources. Some of it is new information obtained in custodial interviews with high-level al Qaeda terrorists and Iraqi officials, and some of it is more than a decade old. The picture that emerges is one of a history of collaboration between two of America's most determined and dangerous enemies. http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/378fmxyz.asp
Remember Anthrax? Despite the evidence, the FBI won't let go of its "lone American" theory.
by David Tell 04/29/2002, Volume 007, Issue 32
1) OVER THE PAST SIX MONTHS, have federal authorities altered their working theory of last fall's anthrax murders?
No, not much. On November 9 last year, even before the anthrax outbreak's fifth and final fatality had been recorded, the FBI called a press conference to unveil its "linguistic and behavioral assessment" of "the person" purportedly responsible. It was "highly probable, bordering on certainty," the Bureau announced, that a single "adult male" had prepared and mailed all the contaminated letters at issue. This man "probably has a scientific background," "may work in a laboratory," and is familiar with the area around Trenton, New Jersey--where the envelopes were postmarked.
3) Well, wait a minute. Wasn't the anthrax powder mailed last fall chemically identical to stuff produced in classified U.S. labs?
But the fundamental chemistry involved here cannot sustain such certainty. Silica, or silicon dioxide, is simple quartz or sand, the most abundant solid material on earth. "Bentonite" is the generic term for a class of natural or processed clays derived from volcanic ash, all of which are themselves mineral compounds of silica--and not all of which necessarily contain aluminum. In other words: Trace amounts of silica in an anthrax powder are consistent with the presence of bentonite. And the absence of aluminum from that powder is not enough to exculpate any foreign germ-warfare factory thought to have used bentonite in the past.
The FBI and Rosenberg seem also to have ignored what has been standard practice in U.S. biodefense, medical, and veterinary laboratories for most of the past thirty years: Work with virulent strains of anthracis in dried-spore, aerosolized form is virtually unheard of. Pentagon production of weapons-ready--and presumably silicate--anthrax powder was abandoned during the first Nixon administration. The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, for example, doesn't even own the requisite technology to manufacture dry aerosols; USAMRIID scientists, like their civilian counterparts, use only "wet" anthrax--which has usually been genetically altered or irradiated to render it non-toxic.
So whoever was responsible for last fall's bioterrorism wouldn't have needed to add silica to his anthrax powder at all. But he--or she, or they--might have had use for it while manufacturing that powder to begin with. Before they were kicked out of Iraq for good, U.N. weapons inspectors concluded that Saddam's military biologists were no longer relying on mechanical milling machines to render dried-out paste-colonies of anthracis bacteria into fine dust, but had instead refined a spray drying technique that produced the dust in a single step. And the suspected key ingredient in this Iraqi innovation, interestingly enough: pharmaceutical-grade silica, a common industrial drying agent.
So whoever was responsible for last fall's bioterrorism wouldn't have needed to add silica to his anthrax powder at all. But he--or she, or they--might have had use for it while manufacturing that powder to begin with. Before they were kicked out of Iraq for good, U.N. weapons inspectors concluded that Saddam's military biologists were no longer relying on mechanical milling machines to render dried-out paste-colonies of anthracis bacteria into fine dust, but had instead refined a spray drying technique that produced the dust in a single step. And the suspected key ingredient in this Iraqi innovation, interestingly enough: pharmaceutical-grade silica, a common industrial drying agent.
9) Surely the FBI has some substantial reason to discount such fears and focus its attention on a domestic suspect?
That could well be, but if so they're keeping it to themselves. There is purely circumstantial though highly suggestive evidence that might seem to link Iraq with last fall's anthrax terrorism. The U.N.'s former top bioweapons inspector in Iraq, Richard O. Spertzel, has told Congress about reports of a "cryptic September article in a newspaper run by Saddam's son, Uday" which promised that a "virus" would soon attack "the raven," apparently a Baath party curseword for America. Spertzel has also told Congress that Iraq has conducted military exercises simulating the dispersal of anthrax spores from crop-dusting aircraft--a subject in which both Mohamed Atta and Zacarias Moussaoui, the alleged "twentieth hijacker," are known to have expressed intense interest. Last June, one of Atta's September 11 confederates, Ahmed Ibrahim Al Haznawi, walked into a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, emergency room with a painless but inflamed one-inch black lesion on his lower left leg. In retrospect, Al Haznawi's attending physician, Dr. Christos Tsonas, is convinced that the wound was cutaneous anthrax. The Department of Health and Human Services' top bioterrorism expert agrees, as do two leading researchers at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies.
And so on. The FBI has hardly said a word about why it is inclined to mistrust or make light of such signals. And what little the Bureau has offered about why it prefers to focus instead on possible American suspects isn't especially persuasive, unfortunately. http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/001/147vnjgh.asp http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/001/148lbgmg.asp
Marines capture suspected terrorist training camp By RAVI NESSMAN, Associated Press
SALMAN PAK, Iraq (AP) - The rusted shell of an old passenger jet sat out in a field, its tail broken off. Good for hijacking practice, U.S. Marines speculated Sunday as they examined an Iraqi training base about 20 miles south of Baghdad. The Americans also found a full obstacle course - with wooden walls and other barriers to be climbed over or crawled under - as well as a three-story concrete tower draped with ropes, apparently for rappelling. President Saddam Hussein's regime has said the camp, part of a larger military reservation in a bend of the Tigris River, was used for anti-terrorism training for Iraqi special forces. But U.S. officials and others have long suspected the camp trained terrorists. Two former Iraqi military officers told The New York Times and PBS's "Frontline" in the fall of 2001 that Iraqis and non-Iraqi Arabs were brought here to practice hijacking planes and trains, planting bombs and staging assassinations. U.N. inspectors looking for biological weapons reported seeing a plane there. The defectors said the plane was a Boeing 707. The one seen on Sunday was not. http://www.tribnet.com/24hour/iraq/military/story/843120p-5923701c.html
9/11 Mysteries In Plain Sight By Jim Hoagland Sunday, March 9, 2003; Page B07
Analysis and commentary are my bread and my butter. But detached perspective is in short supply when it comes to Khalid Sheik Mohammed. I hate this murdering terrorist chieftain even for being captured. Why? Because the news of the capture of al Qaeda's No. 3 in Pakistan stirs up the raw memories of the pain, suffering and dread of 9/11 -- and a spasm of self-reproach for not recalling directly what that day was like more often than I do. Worse: more often than I promised myself I would. It is like treading on a live electric wire after stepping over it for much of the past 18 months.
There is a song I avoid playing when I don't want to risk tears rolling down my cheeks. For me, Bruce Springsteen captures both the anger and the consolation of time passing since that "Lonesome Day": House is on fire, Viper's in the grass, A little revenge and This too shall pass. I put the Boss's album on the instant I heard of the capture. And listened and hoped that the day of lawful, judicious revenge does not pass too quickly for this man known as Mohammed.
The capture of this particular viper may well be even more important than nabbing or killing Osama bin Laden, both in solving the mysteries of 9/11 and in reaching the tipping point in the war on terrorism. Long years of interviewing Middle East terrorist leaders and my reading of human nature suggest this: It is one thing to give up your life to the delusion of advancing a glorious cause toward victory and the final removal of evil. It is quite another, much harder thing to sacrifice yourself to a losing cause in full retreat. There is no scientific way of knowing where that tipping point is. But that it exists is shown by the cyclical pattern of terrorism through the ages. Civilization can never rid itself of murdering fanatics. But it can disrupt, disband and contain their operations, and organize defenses against them. The capture of Mohammed is a big step forward. He knows the answer to these two central questions: How did al Qaeda, within two or three years, go from obscurity to becoming super-terrorists capable of blowing up U.S. embassies, warships and skyscrapers with astonishing precision? And what are the links between 9/11 and the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 by Ramzi Yousef, who authorities say is Mohammed's nephew? http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A59646-2003Mar7?language=printer
Bush claims new Iraq link with al-Qaida link
Bin Laden turned to Bagdad after concluding al-Qaida could not produce weapons, says prisoner
2003-08-10 / Agence France-Presse /
A high-ranking al-Qaida operative in custody has disclosed that Iraq supplied the Islamist militant group with material to build chemical and biological weapons, the Bush administration said Friday. "A senior al-Qaida terrorist, now detained, who had been responsible for al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan, reports that al-Qaida was intent on obtaining (weapons of mass destruction) assistance from Iraq," the White House said in a report. The 25-page document was released as President George W. Bush vacationed at his Texas ranch.The Bush administration cited links between al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein's Baath party regime as justification for attacking Iraq to oust Saddam. The administration also insisted Saddam had chemical and biological weapons and was pursuing nuclear weapons. http://www.etaiwannews.com/World/2003/08/10/1060483250.htm
'We'll pay all expenses to gain the knowledge from bin Laden and convey a message back'
(Filed: 27/04/2003) Document 1, dated February 19, 1998
Marked "Top Secret and Urgent" in the margin and signed by "MDA", thought to be the codename for the director of one of the intelligence sections within the Mukhabarat."The envoy is a trusted confidant and known by them. According to the above mediation we request official permission to call Khartoum station to facilitate the travel arrangements for the above-mentioned person to Iraq. And that our body carry all the travel and hotel expenses inside Iraq to gain the knowledge of the message from bin Laden and to convey to his envoy an oral message from us to bin Laden, the Saudi opposition leader, about the future of our relationship with him, and to achieve a direct meeting with him." http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;$sessionid$JGUS2WPOOC55TQFIQMGCFFWAVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2003/04/27/walq127.xml
The proof that Saddam worked with bin Laden
By Inigo Gilmore (Filed: 27/04/2003)
Iraqi intelligence documents discovered in Baghdad by The Telegraph have provided the first evidence of a direct link between Osama bin Laden's al-Qa'eda terrorist network and Saddam Hussein's regime. Papers found yesterday in the bombed headquarters of the Mukhabarat, Iraq's intelligence service, reveal that an al-Qa'eda envoy was invited clandestinely to Baghdad in March 1998. The documents show that the purpose of the meeting was to establish a relationship between Baghdad and al-Qa'eda based on their mutual hatred of America and Saudi Arabia. The meeting apparently went so well that it was extended by a week and ended with arrangements being discussed for bin Laden to visit Baghdad. The papers will be seized on by Washington as the first proof of what the United States has long alleged - that, despite denials by both sides, Saddam's regime had a close relationship with al-Qa'eda. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/04/27/walq27.xml
Iraq's Tie to Al-Qaeda Terrorists, Airline Hijackings
From: Aviation Week & Space Technology Headline: Satellite Photos Believed To Show Airliner for Training Hijackers Byline: Michael A. Dornheim
Dateline: Los Angeles, January 7, 2002 http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_031403/content/nabbed.guest.html
Satellite images of a facility near Baghdad show an airliner that Iraqi defectors say is used to train terrorists in the art of hijacking.Space Imaging, which operates the Ikonos civilian surveillance satellite, was prompted to look for the aircraft in existing photos after a ''Frontline'' television show interviewed two Iraqi defectors who described the hijacker training and the aircraft used for the mock attacks. One of them drew a map of the Salman Pak training area, and Space Imaging was able to find the facility and the aircraft in photographs taken on Apr. 25, 2000, of an area about 15 mi. southeast of Baghdad on the Tigris River. The zoomed-in photograph is a close match to the hand-drawn map, lending credence to the defector's story. He is Sabah Khodada, and said he worked at the secret Salman Pak complex for about six months as an administrator. The facility is run by the Iraqi secret service, and is used to teach assassination, kidnapping, hijacking of airplanes, buses and trains and other terrorist operations, Khodada said. ''This camp is specialized in exporting terrorism to the whole world.'' http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_031203/content/eibexcerpt.guest.html
Saddams Ultimate Solution PBS interview with Richard Perle Chairman Defense Policy Board
July 11, 2002: What are the chances that Saddam Hussein is feeding chemical and biological weapons to terrorist groups like Al Qaeda? And, if so, how prepared is the U.S. to respond? Would a regime change in Iraq bring greater stability to the region or muddy the waters further? James P. Rubin discusses the issues with Richard Perle, chairman of the Defense Policy Board, a Pentagon advisory group, and a former assistant secretary of defense under President Ronald Reagan. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/wideangle/shows/saddam/transcript.html
Nabeel Musawi An Iraqi dissident, Nabeel Musawi is the political liaison for the London-based Iraqi National Congress. Alleging an intelligence connection between Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, and Iraq, he tells FRONTLINE that he believes Saddam Hussein's regime was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks. Musawi says U.S. support of "corrupt regimes" in countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia is a major factor fueling anti-Americanism in the Middle East. This interview was conducted late September 2001
You were saying that Sept. 11 was a coup attempt? What do you mean?
If you go by the history of the Middle East and the way coups were carried out, you aim for the financial center, you aim for the ministry of defense, and you aim for presidential palace. Of course, you usually aim for the TV and radio, but in the case of the United States, you don't need to do that, because it's free press. So what happened on Sept. 11 in the United States was a coup attempt, because they aimed for the White House, they aimed for the Pentagon, and they aimed for the heart of the financial center of the United States.
But a coup implies that they're going to replace the existing government or elite with another one.
If you're attacked in the White House and if you are attacked in Air Force One, and you're attacked in the military establishment which represents the most powerful thing within the United States, that is a coup. You're destroying the leadership. You're killing the whole leadership. It will take weeks, if not months, to bring back some sort of order into the American system. That is a major success for a small terrorist organization like Taliban and Osama bin Laden and their associates in the region.To them, this will throw not only the United States but the whole of the Western world into total anarchy, panic. We know they had limited success from the atrocities committed on Sept. 11. And still, it threw everybody into a panicky state for a few days. It took us few days to get over the shock. Even the political system itself took a few days to recover from the shock. So imagine if you actually get Air Force One and the White House. That is a coup. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/terrorism/interviews/musawi.html
Letting Saddam Be A pre-and post-September 11 danger. By Laurie Mylroie
More American civilians died on September 11 than on any other single day in this nation's history. Such a huge disaster is, almost necessarily, the result of major, multiple errors. The current spasm of finger-pointing and memo-leaking is bringing some mistakes to light, but they are all tactical, i.e. whether 9/11 could have been averted by vigorously pursuing suspicions of the FBI field offices. Even in the best of circumstances, U.S. authorities cannot catch every major terrorist attack in the making. When those attacks are on the scale of 9/11 even one failure is unacceptable. Notably absent in the present debate is consideration of the strategic blunder underlying 9/11. http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-mylroie052902.asp
World Trade Center - Who Did It? An Alternative View From Jane's Foreign Report (Iraqis involvement)Janes.com 9-19-01 Israel's military intelligence service, Aman, suspects that Iraq is the state that sponsored the suicide attacks on the New York Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington. Directing the mission, Aman officers believe, were two of the world's foremost terrorist masterminds: the Lebanese Imad Mughniyeh, head of the special overseas operations for Hizbullah, and the Egyptian Dr Ayman Al Zawahiri, senior member of Al-Qaeda and possible successor of the ailing Osama Bin Laden. The Iraqis, who for several years paid smaller groups to do their dirty work, were quick to discover the advantages of Al-Qaeda. The Israeli sources claim that for the past two years Iraqi intelligence officers were shuttling between Baghdad and Afghanistan, meeting with Ayman Al Zawahiri. According to the sources, one of the Iraqi intelligence officers, Salah Suleiman, was captured last October by the Pakistanis near the border with Afghanistan. The Iraqis are also reported to have established strong ties with Imad Mughniyeh. http://www.janes.com/security/international_security/news/fr/fr010919_1_n.shtml
Iraqs State Sponsorship of Osama bin-Laden and the al-Qaeda Terror Network Essay by Chris Farrell in the Washington Dispatch Jun 30, 2002
[Editor's Note: This article was originally published on November 30, 2001]
Osama bin-Laden represents and articulates a thoroughly developed Islamist theology and philosophy with a broader appeal that goes beyond a simple hatred of Israel. He expounds and defends a religious obligation of Muslims to attack U.S. military and civilian targets; demands the immediate expulsion of U.S. Forces from Saudi Arabia; calls for the creation of a Muslim nuclear weapon; criticizes harshly moderate Muslim states such as Egypt and Jordan for not instituting truly Islamic law; and he also calls for the end of all sanctions against Iraq. Osama bin-Laden sees an opportunity for holy war, literally, across half of the globe.1 http://www.washingtondispatch.com/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/1/32
From the IBB article linked to below: 11/24/2001
TERRORISM - THE IRAQI CONNECTION
Host: Hello and welcome to On the Line.
The role of Osama bin Ladens al-Qaida network in the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon is well-documented. Indeed, bin Laden virtually claimed credit for the terrorist attacks in a videotape circulated to his al-Qaida followers. But did bin Ladens terrorists have help from a state -- besides Taleban-ruled Afghanistan? There is evidence that Iraq may have been involved, evidence that U.S. officials are paying increasing attention to. Did the September 11th terrorists have help from Saddam Hussein? Ill ask my guests, James Woolsey, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and Laurie Mylroie, author of "Study of Revenge: The First World Trade Center Attack and Saddam Husseins War against America." Welcome.
James Woolsey, let me ask you first. Is there any direct evidence of a connection between the September Eleventh hijackers and Iraq?
Woolsey: It depends on what you mean by direct. Much of intelligence is hearsay, and would not be admissible for example in a court. Theres some very suggestive evidence. For example, there are at least five individual witnesses -- two American inspectors and three Iraqi defectors -- who tell us about Iraqi government training of non-Iraqi Arabs at Salman Pak, on the southern edge of Baghdad, on an old Boeing 707 [aircraft], in hijacking techniques, including hijacking with knives. Now is that direct evidence? It strikes me that its pretty darn suggestive evidence. Would it alone convict Saddam in a court before a jury beyond a reasonable doubt? Probably not. But theres more. http://www.intelmessages.org/Messages/National_Security/wwwboard/messages/834.html
Mounting Evidence of Iraqi Link to Terror Attacks By Ziad K. Abdelnour
Two weeks before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein reportedly put his military on its highest state of alert since the 1991 Gulf War. According to the London-based Sunday Telegraph, the Iraqi leader even took the unusual step of moving his two wives, Sajida and Samira, from Baghdad to an undisclosed location in the family's hometown of Tikrit, 100 miles to the north (see Army alert by Saddam points to Iraqi role, The Sunday Telegraph, London, Sept. 23, 2001.) Saddam's precautions were hardly unwarranted. A growing body of circumstantial evidence indicates that Iraq may have participated in plotting the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. The most striking evidence linking Baghdad to the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks is that the presumed ringleader of the suspected hijackers, Mohamed Atta, met twice with Iraqi intelligence operatives in the Czech Republic. According to senior Czech officials quoted in the Czech daily Hospodarske Noviny and The Wall Street Journal, Atta traveled from Hamburg, Germany, to Prague in June 2000 and met with Iraqi intelligence agents at Baghdad's embassy there, which has long been under constant surveillance by the Czech authorities. http://www.sftt.org/dw11142001.html#3
Saddam and Osama, Alliance for Vengeance (January 29, 2002) The September 11 attacks in the United States was carried out by operatives of Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaida organization, but the initial plans for the terrorist attack were made in Baghdad six years ago.
Iraqi intelligence trained at least two of bin Laden's suicide pilots on Boeing jetliners the Iraqis captured during the Gulf war. The Iraqis provided several of bin Laden's men with forged passports and vials of anthrax, which were delivered to one of the suicide pilots, Mohammad Atta, during secret meetings in Prague. Although the religious extremist and the extreme nationalist are polar opposites politically, international terrorist Osama bin Laden and Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein long ago set aside their differences to meet a common goal. The tragic events of September 11 mark only the first phase in their joint effort to enact revenge on their many common enemies in both the Western and the Islamic worlds. http://www.geocities.com/Paris/Rue/4637/terr26a.html
TENET TESTIMONY TO SENATE CURRENT AND PROJECTED NATIONAL SECURITY THREATS TO THE UNITED STATES HEARING before the SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE of the UNITED STATES SENATE ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS SECOND SESSION CURRENT AND PROJECTED NATIONAL SECURITY THREATS TO THE UNITED STATES FEBRUARY 6, 2002
Tenet: And the Iraqi piece, as I referenced, you know, the WMD profile I gave you and my interest in being very careful about was there a convergence of interest here between al-Qa'ida and the Iraqis, don't know the answer to the question yet--pursuing it very, very carefully. There was a press story today that said CIA dismisses these linkages. Well, you don't dismiss linkages when you have a group like al-Qa'ida who probably buys and sells all kinds of capabilities for people who have converging interests, whether Sunni or Shi'a, and how they mixed and matched training capabilities, safe harboring, and money is something we're taking a look at. So nobody dismisses anything. Everybody's on the table, and these networks of terrorism should no longer be thought about purely in terms of the state's interests, what they say publicly, what their obvious interests are and how they see the benefit in hurting the United States. http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2002_hr/020602transcript.html
Saddam link to Bin Laden Terror chief 'offered asylum' in Iraq? US says dealings step up danger of chemical weapons attacks By Julian Borger in Washington Saturday February 6, 1999
The Guardian Saddam Hussein's regime has opened talks with Osama bin Laden, bringing closer the threat of a terrorist attack using chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, according to US intelligence sources and Iraqi opposition officials. The key meeting took place in the Afghan mountains near Kandahar in late December. The Iraqi delegation was led by Farouk Hijazi, Baghdad's ambassador in Turkey and one of Saddam's most powerful secret policemen, who is thought to have offered Bin Laden asylum in Iraq. http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,314700,00.html
Iraq Accused of Encouraging Terrorism by Sheltering Hijackers
7 November 2000Al-Nadwah (Saudi Arabia) charges Iraq with supporting terrorism after Baghdad granted political asylum to two Saudi citizens who hijacked a Saudi airliner and rejected an official Saudi request for their extradition. The hijacking of the London-bound plane shortly after it left Jeddah occurred on October 14. After first indicating that they wanted to go to Damascus, the hijackers directed the pilot to Baghdad. Once the plane landed, the hijacking was resolved within a few hours. The passengers were released and the hijackers gave a press conference, denouncing the Saudi government for its human rights violations. An Iraqi opposition source told MEIB that there is "no doubt" that the entire event was coordinated with Iraqi authorities before hand. http://www.meib.org/articles/0012_irb.htm#lb2
Iraqi Involvement in Attack on Cole
10 November 2000 The Paris-based weekly Al-Watan al-Arabi, considered friendly to Saudi Arabia, reports that Iraq was involved in the attack on the October 12 attack on the U.S.S. Cole. Iraqi intelligence reportedly received the explosive used in the attack from Russia, and the Iraqis transported the material to Yemen, in collusion with senior officials of the Yemeni regime. The report repeats some of the same charges made two weeks before in the same magazine, which explained that it was such a massive operation and was so carefully planned, that it was virtually impossible for a terrorist group to have carried out the attack without state support. Arab sources tell MEIB that the Saudi leadership is thoroughly convinced that Iraq was behind the attack and that they are exasperated by the U.S. insistence on blaming it solely on Osama bin Ladin. http://www.meib.org/articles/0012_irb.htm#lb5
Iraqi Spies Reportedly Arrested in Germany
16 March 2001 Al-Watan al-Arabi (Paris) reports that two Iraqis were arrested in Germany, charged with spying for Baghdad. The arrests came in the wake of reports that Iraq was reorganizing the external branches of its intelligence service and that it had drawn up a plan to strike at US interests around the world through a network of alliances with extremist fundamentalist parties.
The most serious report contained information that Iraq and Osama bin Ladin were working together. German authorities were surprised by the arrest of the two Iraqi agents and the discovery of Iraqi intelligence activities in several German cities. German authorities, acting on CIA recommendations, had been focused on monitoring the activities of Islamic groups linked to bin Ladin. They discovered the two Iraqi agents by chance and uncovered what they considered to be serious indications of cooperation between Iraq and bin Ladin. The matter was considered so important that a special team of CIA and FBI agents was sent to Germany to interrogate the two Iraqi spies. http://www.meib.org/articles/0104_irb.htm#irb3
OSAMA BIN LADIN AND IRAQ
Iraq News, FEBRUARY 10, 1999
By Laurie Mylroie
The New York Post, Feb 1, reported, "Saddam Hussein-battered, humiliated and increasingly isolated-plans to resort to terrorism in revenge for US airstrikes against his country. . . US officials say the CIA has received 'credible and reliable' intelligence reports that Saddam is forging alliances with some of the Middle East's most bloodthirsty terrorists-including Osama Bin Ladin and Abu Nidal-as part of an apparently new campaign to strike American targets and possibly destablise Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. . . . US officials are concerned about the possibility that Saddam could not only help with funding and logistics for Bin Ladin's far-flung network, . . . http://www.fas.org/irp/news/1999/02/990210-in-terror.htm
Patterns of Global Terrorism (1999): Middle East Overview
U.S. Department of State 1 May 2000 Iran, Syria, and Iraq all persisted in their direct or indirect state sponsorship of terrorism. In most cases, the support included providing assistance, training, or safehaven to terrorist groups opposed to the Middle East peace process. In some cases, particularly Iran, it also included targeting regime dissidents and opponents for assassination or harassment. Libyan support for terrorism has declined significantly in recent years, but Libya continued to have residual contacts and relationships with terrorist organizations http://www.meib.org/articles/0006_medoc1.htm
Laurie Mylroie: Is Iraq involved with U.S. terror attacks?October 29, 2001 Posted: 2:36 PM EST (1936 GMT)
MYLROIE: We are in a very, very difficult situation. If we say clearly that it is Iraq, and we're going to get Saddam, then it is likely that he will do his best to bring his enemies down with him. It is true that we face the danger then of more deadly attacks, including anthrax attacks. If we do not say it is Saddam, we will also face the danger of more deadly attacks. This is a terrible situation. Yet I prefer to deal with the losses that will come by taking on Saddam than to be subject to the losses that will occur if we remain sitting ducks. It would seem that some ambiguity in the beginning is the best thing. If we shift the focus from Afghanistan to Iraq, we are indeed at war, and during war, extreme measures may have to be taken. For example, we might think to get children and all non-essential personnel out of U.S. cities while this war goes on, which we will carry out very quickly, or to have people remaining in U.S. cities where they are a target, wearing masks pretty much all the time, in order to deal with this problem which we should address quickly rather than slowly http://www.cnn.com/2001/COMMUNITY/10/29/mylroie/
Saddam running training camps for terrorists, say defectors
By Philip Delves Broughton in New York
(Filed: 09/11/2001) TWO former Iraqi intelligence agents have told the CIA that Saddam Hussein has fostered training camps to produce scores of highly trained terrorists for attacks in the Middle East and the West. If confirmed, their statements will strengthen the case of those in Washington advising President Bush that the only way to crush Arab terrorism is to topple Saddam. That case received a further boost on Wednesday when Colin Powell, the Secretary of State, regarded as the least hawkish member of Mr Bush's inner circle, said America would turn its focus to Iraq once it had dealt with the al-Qa'eda network and Afghanistan. After defeating al-Qa'eda, said Mr Powell: "We will turn our attention to terrorism throughout the world, and nations such as Iraq, which have tried to pursue weapons of mass destruction." http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2001/11/09/wirq09.xml
Question:What warning, if any, did the CIA receive from the National Reconnaissance Office concerning Arabs training on the fuselage of a passenger airliner at a terrorist training camp prior to September 11th, 2001?
Answer: After Sabah Khalifa Khodada Alami, an Iraqi military officer, defected from Iraq in 1999 to Turkey. He now lives in Fort Worth, Texas. When he was debriefed, he described his training mission at Salman Pak, a military base about 21 miles from Baghdad that had been used for the testing of secret weapons, including chemical biological warfare agents, and paramilitary training for covert actions. Captain Sabah Khalifa Khodada Alami said that as late as 1998 he trained an elite commando team, Fedayeen Saddam, in airline hijacking and sabotage. Through a translator, Mr. Alami described, according to the Wall street Journal, a daily regimen of exercises on kidnapping, assassination, and -- using a Boeing 707 parked inside the complex -- how to hijack a plane or bus without weapons. He said that a separate group of non-Iraqis were being similarly trained by Saddam's intelligence service, the mukhabarat. Asked about the plane by an interviewer for Front Line, he said "Yes, there's a real whole 707 plane, a whole real plane, standing in the middle of the training area in this camp." http://edwardjayepstein.com/2002question/salmanpak.htm
Clintonized CIA Quashed Best Evidence of Saddam-9/11 Link
Clinton-era holdovers still running the CIA have dismissed the best evidence that Saddam Hussein had a role in planning the 9/11 attacks because they distrust accounts from multiple Iraqi defectors who have described an airplane hijacking training school attended by al-Qaeda members near Baghdad. According to this week's New Republic magazine, "two former Iraqi intelligence officers" brought to the CIA by the Iraqi opposition group the Iraqi National Congress (INC) have provided classified testimony claiming "that Saddam was using a base south of Baghdad, in an agricultural community called Salman Pak, to train non-Iraqi Arabs in hijacking and other black arts of terrorism." The "Agency," however - still run by Clinton appointee George Tenet - remains unconvinced. "There is no evidence of al-Qaeda training there in Salman Pak," one senior CIA official insisted to TNR. http://www.newsmax.com/showinsidecover.shtml?a=2002/9/27/120144
Salman Pak / Al Salman
Former Iraqi military officers have described a highly secret terrorist training facility at Salman Pak, where both Iraqis and non-Iraqi Arabs receive training on hijacking planes and trains, planting explosives in cities, sabotage, and assassinations. The Salman Pak biological warfare facility was located on a peninsula caused by a bend in the Tigris river, approximately five kilometers (km) from the arch located in the town of Salman Pak. The facility area comprised more than 20 square km, and might have been known as a farmers (or agricultural) experimentation center. The peninsula was fenced off and patrolled by a large guard force. Immediately inside and to the east of the fence line were two opulent villas: the larger built for Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and the other for his half-brother, Barazan al-Tikriti. A main paved road ran through the center of the Salman Pak facility/peninsula. [GulfLINK
Iraq told UN inspectors that Salman Pak was an anti-terror training camp for Iraqi special forces. However, two defectors from Iraqi intelligence stated that they had worked for several years at the secret Iraqi government camp, which had trained Islamic terrorists in rotations of five or six months since 1995. Training activities including simulated hijackings carried out in an airplane fuselage [said to be a Boeing 707] at the camp. The camp is divided into distinct sections. On one side of the camp young, Iraqis who were members of Fedayeen Saddam are trained in espionage, assassination techniques and sabotage. The Islamic militants trained on the other side of the camp, in an area separated by a small lake, trees and barbed wire. The militants reportedly spent time training, usually in groups of five or six, around the fuselage of the airplane. There were rarely more than 40 or 50 Islamic radicals in the camp at one time. http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/iraq/salman_pak.htm
Sabah Khodada was a captain in the Iraqi army from 1982 to 1992. He worked at what he describes as a highly secret terrorist training camp at Salman Pak
So you were training Iraqis, Saddam's fedayeen, members of the militia in Iraq. And someone else, other groups, were training the non-Iraqis?
They were special trainers or teachers from the Iraqi intelligence and al-Mukhabarat. And those same trainers or teachers will train the fedayeen, the Iraqi fedayeen, and also the same group of those teachers will train the non-Iraqis, foreigners who are in the camp. Personally, my profession is not this kind of training. My profession is to train people on infantry, typical infantry training, such as training on machine guns, pistols, hand grenades, rocket launchers on the shoulder and this kind of training. The special training that I'm talking about, such as the kidnapping and so, is conducted by those trainers who are not from the army; they are from ... al-Mukhabarat.And there was a person who is very famous. They call him Al-Shaba. [ph]. This is Arabic word means "The Ghost," who was responsible for all the training, and those trainers or the teachers.
Why was he called the Ghost?
I don't know exactly why he's being called the Ghost. I came there and his name was the Ghost. But I know that he has conducted several terrorist operations in Lebanon and in other countries all over the world. And I know that he told us that he's been requested to be arrested by the Interpol. This is probably why he called himself the Ghost.
And the foreign nationals, the Arabs who are there, but who are not Iraqis -- what were they like? Were they Egyptians, Saudis? Do you know where they came from?
They look like they're mostly from the Gulf, sometimes from areas close to Yemen, from their dark skin and short bodies. And they also are Muslims. ...
Were they religious?
I don't know exactly because I saw them seldom very [briefly]. But some of them has beards, long beards, which is an indication of being a religious Muslim. ..
And they trained people to hijack airplanes?
For what purpose?...
It has been said openly in the media and even to us, from the highest command, that the purpose of establishing Saddam's fighters is to attack American targets and American interests. This is known. There's no doubt about it.
All this training is directed towards attacking American targets, and American interests. The training does not only include hijacking of planes and sabotage. ... Some other people were trained to do parachuting. Some other areas were training on how to penetrate enemy lines and get information from behind enemy lines. But it's all for the general concept of hitting and attacking American targets and American interests.
Who controlled this operation?
In terms of training, they will train in this special camp. But after this training, they will go in small groups. These small groups are directly connected with Saddam, or to Saddam's son. For example, the Iraqi fighters, they will be spread all over the country. Occasionally those individual groups, very small groups, will be called for. They might encounter different kind of special training beyond this training on specific things. I'll give you an example. They were calling for some of these groups to train intensively to learn English language, Persian language, Hebrew language, to be sent out to different places of the world to conduct such kind of ... different kind of operations. I suspect that the higher level of training, or the additional training they encounter, has a lot to do with what happened. And there's a lot of similarity with what happened with New York and Washington on September 11.
That was your reaction on September 11 -- that some of these people might be involved?
I assure you, this operation was conducted by people who were trained by Saddam. And I'm going to keep assuring the world this is what happened. Osama bin Laden has no such capabilities. Why? Because this kind of attacks must be, and has to be, organized by a capable state, such as Iraq; a state where they can provide high level of training, and they can provide high level of intelligence to do such training. How could Osama bin Laden -- who's hiding in the middle of nowhere in Afghanistan in small caves and valleys -- train people and gather information and send people to do such high-level operation? We all know this is a high-level operation. This cannot be done by a person who does not even own a plane in Afghanistan, who cannot offer such training in Afghanistan. This is definitely done by a mastermind like Saddam. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/gunning/interviews/khodada.html
Israeli intelligence warned US days before attacks IAN BRUCE
ISRAEL'S military intelligence service, Aman, issued an urgent warning of an impending terrorist "spectacular" against America, several days before the suicide bombers flew passenger airliners into New York's Trade Towers and the Pentagon on September 11. Aman had no details of the targets, but picked up enough indicators of major terrorist activity from a combination of informants and electronic eavesdropping to send out an alert, which also covered US interests in Britain, France and Germany. Much of the Israeli intelligence centred on Imad Mughniyeh, head of the Iranian-backed Hizbollah movement's foreign operations section, and on Dr Ayman Al Zawahiri, the Egyptian-born terrorist mastermind reputed to be Osama bin Laden's chosen successor.
The Israelis say they have evidence linking both men to agents representing SSO, Iraq's foreign intelligence service, and believe Baghdad has provided finance and logistical support to them. Links between the terrorist network and Iraq have been established by Pakistan's shadowy ISI agency and by the Czech Republic's counter-intelligence service. http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/archive/31-10-19101-0-24-15.html
Islamic terrorists continue Islams war against what remains of Western civilization
On January 13, 2002, WorldNet Daily reported that "The conviction is gaining ground in some Western intelligence agencies that Osama bin Laden, his family, Ayman al-Zawahiri and thousands of al-Qaida fighters made good their escape from Afghanistan through the illicit sea route created by Lebanese-Iranian super terrorist Imad Mughniyeh for smuggling operations in the service of terrorist organizations. They are believed to have made their getaway from Afghanistan in the first week of December, crossing secretly into Iran and heading out through the Persian Gulf - only to disappear again."
In view of this intelligence, President Bush issued "a blunt warning to Iran last Thursday against harboring al-Qaida murderers." Worldnet (based on Debka intelligence journal sources) also reported in November 2002 that "bin Laden had packed his family out of Afghanistan to Pakistan. According to accumulating intelligence, he moved his family so as to draw his American searchers' attention away from his real escape route, which a week later took him and al-Zawahiri from Afghanistan directly into Iran."
WorldNet, citing many additional facts, concludes that "Iran was up to its neck in the al-Qaida escape conspiracy. Imad Mughniyeh, top terrorist operations chief for Irans radical spiritual leader, Ali Khamenei, organized the logistics; the escapees were led overland through Iran to its main Gulf outlet, under the protection of Iranian intelligence officers." http://www.fatima.org/review/perspective190.htm
Interview with President Clinton "Trouble in Iraq" JIM LEHRER: All right. Another subject. Iraq
PRESIDENT CLINTON: Well, the United States does not relish moving alone, because we live in a world that is increasingly interdependent. We would like to be partners with other people. But sometimes we have to be prepared to move alone. You used the anthrax example. Think how many can be killed by just a tiny bit of anthrax, and think about how it's not just that Saddam Hussein might put it on a Scud missile, an anthrax head, and send it on to some city he wants to destroy. Think about all the other terrorists and other bad actors who could just parade through Baghdad and pick up their stores if we don't take action. I far prefer the United Nations, I far prefer the inspectors, I have been far from trigger-happy on this thing, but if they really believe that there are no circumstances under which we would act alone, they are sadly mistaken. That is not a threat. I have shown I do not relish this thing. Every time it's discussed around here, I say one of the great luxuries of being the world's only superpower for a while -- and it won't last forever probably, but for a while -- is that there is always time enough to kill. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/white_house/jan-june98/clinton_1-21a.html
A first open letter from Saddam Hussein to the peoples of the United States September 15, 2001
In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most merciful
Open letter from Saddam Hussein to the American peoples and the western peoples and their governments.
Once again, we would like to comment on what happened in America on September 11, 2001, and its consequences. The comments we made on the next day of the event represent the essence of our position regarding this event and other events, but the aftermath of what happened in America, in the West in particular and in the world in general, makes it important for every leader to understand the meaning of responsibility toward his people, his nation, and humanity in general to follow up the development of the situation, to understand the meaning of what is going on, and hence to elaborate his countrys and peoples position so as not to restrict oneself to only following the event.
For this reason also, the Americans, and the world with them, should understand the argument that made those people give their lives in sacrifice, and what they sacrifice themselves for, in that way. When one million and a half Iraqi human beings die, according to Western documents, from a population of twenty five million, because of the American blockade and aggression, it means that Iraq has lost about one twentieth of its population. And just as your beautiful skyscrapers were destroyed and caused your grief, beautiful buildings and precious homes crumbled over their owners in Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq by American weapons used by the Zionists. In only one place, which was a civilian shelter, which is the Ameriyah Shelter, more than four hundred human beings, children, young and old men and women, died in Iraq by American bombs. In the same day, the 11th of September, one of their aggressive military airplanes was shot down over Iraq. And on the same day of the event in America on 11th September, and American jetfighter was perpetration aggression against Iraq and was shot down.
As for what is going on in Palestine, if Zionist let you see on your TVs the bodies of children, women and men who are daily killed by American weapons, and with American backing to the Zionist entity, the pain you are feeling would be appeased.
Americans should feel the pain they have inflicted on other peoples of the world, so as when they suffer, they will find the right solution and the right path.
All that has been inflicted on the Arabs and http://www.uruklink.net/iraqnews/ereport16.htm
The Iraqi Regime's Links to Terrorism
Ely Karmon ICT Senior Researcher Reprinted with permission from Policywatch, Analysis of Near East Policy from the Scholars and Associates of the Washington Institute.
On August 28, 2002, a U.S. federal grand jury issued a new indictment against five terrorists from the Fatah Revolutionary Command, also known as the Abu Nidal Organization (ANO), for the 1986 hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi, Pakistan. Based on "aggravating circumstances," prosecutors are now seeking the death penalty for the attack, in which twenty-two people -- including two Americans -- were killed.
The leader of the ANO, the infamous Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal (Sabri al-Banna), died violently last week in Baghdad. But his death is not as extraordinary as the subsequent press conference given by Iraqi intelligence chief Taher Jalil Haboush. This press conference was the first time Haboush's name has appeared in the international media since February 2001.
What could possibly have motivated the Iraqi regime to send one of its senior exponents to announce the suicide of Abu Nidal and to present crude photographs of his bloodied body four days (or eight days, according to some sources) after his death? It should be noted that the earliest information about Nidal's death came from al-Ayyam, a Palestinian daily close to Abu Nidal's bitterest enemy -- the Palestinian Authority.At this sensitive moment in U.S.-Iraqi relations, Abu Nidal could have provided extraordinarily damaging testimony with regard to Saddam's involvement in international terrorism, even beyond Iraqi support of ANO activities in the 1970's and 1980's. In publicizing Nidal's death, the regime may have a number of motives, such as: http://www.ict.org.il/articles/articledet.cfm?articleid=446
Sources: Senior al Qaeda official may have been in Iraq
From Mike Boettcher and Henry Schuster CNN
CNN) -- A senior al Qaeda leader may provide a link between that terrorist group and Iraq, according to coalition intelligence sources.
Abu Mussab al Zarqawi -- a Jordanian -- was recently accused by Jordanian officials of masterminding the assassination of U.S. diplomat Laurence Foley in Amman in late October. And Zarqawi has been linked to some of the men arrested recently in London and accused of possessing the deadly poison ricin.
But it is his travels, especially in the past year, that have attracted the attention of intelligence officials. Zarqawi, coalition intelligence sources said, left Afghanistan when the Taliban regime was toppled. From there, said the sources, he traveled through Iran to Baghdad, then to Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Iraq, where Ansar al-Islam, a group linked to al Qaeda, operates. Some in the U.S. intelligence community have questioned whether officials in these countries were aware of Zarqawi's presence, because he might have been using aliases. But former CIA operative Robert Baer, who spent years in the Middle East, disagreed.
"Somebody at some level had to know he was there. Now obviously I can't tell you whether Saddam knew, but somebody in an official line of responsibility for customs and immigration knew he came into the country," Baer said. "Palestinians, other Arabs, even Iraqis go through a very tight screen when they come into that country. Documents are looked at. You just can't do it [sneak in]. It is a police state." Coalition intelligence sources say Zarqawi also traveled to Syria and Lebanon, moving with seeming ease between those countries, setting up terrorist cells. These sources say Zarqawi is believed now to be in Iran
According to U.S. sources, Zarqawi was the person to whom President Bush referred in an October 8 speech in Cincinnati, Ohio, when he sought to point to a connection between al Qaeda and Iraq. "Some al Qaeda leaders who fled Afghanistan went to Iraq. These include one very senior al Qaeda leader who received medical treatment in Baghdad this year, and who has been associated with planning for chemical and biological attacks," Bush said. Now, U.S. sources have linked Zarqawi to the arrests in London of several men accused of possessing ricin. Sources also said evidence was found in al Qaeda safe houses in Afghanistan of the organization's interest in ricin. Zarqawi was convicted in Jordan in absentia of planning to bomb tourist sites and hotels during millennium celebrations as part of a series of al Qaeda attack plots worldwide. He evaded arrest and escaped to Afghanistan. http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/01/23/iraq.alqaeda/index.html
DEBKA-Net-Weeklys intelligence sources report mounting fears within US and Israeli counter-terrorism agencies that al Qaedas three command centers are preparing mega-terror attacks for US and Israeli targets.
They believe that, for the time being, al Qaeda has foregone a nuclear, radiological or chemical option in favor of biological warfare, because of the weapons systems believed to have been made available by Iraqi military intelligence and already in the hands of three al Qaeda commanders: Abu Musaab al Zarqawi, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed ,nicknamed the Mukhtar . Baghdad believes that a biological attack on Israel will act as an appropriate reprisal for the threatening US offensive and a possible deterrent. To be ready in case Iraq launches its F-1 or L-29 warplanes, or Polish-made drones - all armed with spray canisters loaded with toxic chemicals or germs - over Eilat or Aqaba, the Americans have in the past week been shipping to southern Israel improved, re-engineered PAC-3 anti-missile batteries together with thousands of US Marines. However, in the view of our intelligence and military sources, the more immediate danger to Israel comes not directly from Iraq but from al Qaeda and its biological weapons arsenal. They say the Islamic fundamentalist group has established a headquarters at Bayara in the radical Kurdish Ansar al-Islam enclave of northern Iraq, as one of its three main planning centers. All Zarqawi, whose full name is Ahmad Fadeel Nazal Abu Mussab al Zarqawi, aka al Khalayleh, is the senior bio-project director. DEBKA-Net-Weeklys counter-terrorism sources report that in November and December, al Zarqawi was spotted commuting between Baghdad, Bayara, Damascus and Beirut, giving the Bush administration its first direct proof of the Baghdad-al Qaeda terrorist link. It prompted the US President to remark on Tuesday, December 31, that an attack from Saddam Hussein or a surrogate of Saddam Hussein would cripple our economy. Zarqawis senior officer, Abdullah is based in Pakistan - either in the port city of Karachi or near the border with Afghanistan, while the whereabouts of Mohammed, the Mukhtar are unknown. He may be in Bosnia or Europe. Of the three, Zarqawi is the ticking bomb waiting to go off. A Jordanian-Palestinian in his late 30s, he fled the kingdom in 1999 after he was caught plotting to blow up hotels hosting foreign millennium celebrants. He is the only al Qaeda operative known for certain to have undergone extensive terrorist training including airline hijacking techniques -- in Iraqs notorious Salman Pak special weapons facility. Back in October 2001, shortly after the September 11 attacks in the United States, DEBKA-Net-Weekly reported that Bayara became an al Qaeda base complete with chemical and biological training laboratories run for the group by the Iraqis. http://www.debka.com/article_print.php?aid=233
Ansar Al-Islam: Iraq's Al-Qaeda Connection
By Jonathan Schanzer The Washington Institute for Near East Policy | January 17, 2003
Bush administration and PUK officials have also speculated that Ansar may be working with Saddam through a man named Abu Wa'il, reportedly an al-Qaeda operative on Saddam's payroll. Kurdish explosives experts also claim that TNT seized from Ansar was produced by the Iraqi military, and that arms are sent to the group from areas controlled by Saddam. Iraqi officials deny all such ties, yet Saddam clearly profits from Ansar's activities, which keep Kurdish opposition forces tied up on the border and away from Saddam. Indeed, support for Ansar is not unlike the money Saddam gives to families of Palestinian suicide bombers; turning up the heat in Kurdistan and the Palestinian territories takes heat off Saddam as a crisis looms. Currently, Kurdish and international sources are accumulating evidence they say could soon present a clearer picture of Saddam's cooperation with al-Qaeda.
More than one year after Ansar announced its formation, the State Department has yet to designate it a Foreign Terrorist Organization, nor has the Treasury Department listed it as a Special Designated Global Terrorist. It would be interesting to know why. Other questions remain: Can Washington pressure Iran to cease cooperation with Ansar? Can it persuade Norway, where Mullah Krekar lived for several years, to examine his financial accounts? Can it verify ties between al-Qaeda and Saddam based on interviews with captured Ansar militants? If such links are established, military force should be considered. Reports from the front indicate that Ansar could not withstand an aerial assault. Yet, Washington may be reticent to attack during this period of UN inspections for fear of international rebuke, particularly from Turkey. Ankara, already ambivalent about an Iraq war, may be sensitive to any measures that would potentially strengthen the Kurds. Still, Ansar al-Islam poses a threat to any future U.S. ground deployment. Moreover, dismantling the group would potentially weaken both Saddam and al-Qaeda -- two primary targets in the war on terror. http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=5571
Who is Prince Nayef? The most powerful man in Saudi Arabia. by Bill Tierney
12/23/2002, Volume 008, Issue 15
IN THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA, the trappings of monarchy obscure the police state that keeps the Saud family in power. But beneath the veneer of gracious luxury, internal security has never been more important than it is today to a regime that constrains the press and commerce, struggles to provide the generous benefits promised its citizens, and has made the country a breeding ground for Islamic extremism. Enmeshed as we are in an alliance of necessity with the Saudis, Americans should be asking: Who runs Saudi internal security? What are his views about the United States and about jihad? And how much power does he wield in the Saudi power structure?
The man who has been in charge of the Ministry of Interior for the last 27 years is Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz, technically the fourth most powerful man in Saudi Arabia. Active and alert at 69--unlike the two leading members of the "Sudeiri Seven," King Fahd and Prince Sultan, both of whom are elderly and ailing--Nayef has far more sway than the Western press has generally recognized. He heads five major oversight committees and imposes himself on four other ministers, while firmly holding the reins of the most powerful ministry in the kingdom.
Indeed, Nayef appears to have made himself irremovable. Certainly he is in a position to remind his brothers, Prince Sultan and Crown Prince Abdullah, that regardless of who makes the public statements or takes the diplomatic trips, it is he who maintains the stability of the kingdom, and his organization that, day by day, keeps the royal family in power. The keys are in his hands, and there is no one who can hold him to account http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/002/018fdsio.asp
Protecting Saddam By WILLIAM SAFIRE
WASHINGTON Soviet propagandists used to touch up photographs to remove the face of a Kremlin official who had fallen from favor, making him a "nonperson." The same disinformation technique is now being used to wipe out the fact of a meeting in Prague in April, 2001 five months before the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. between Mohamed Atta, the leading Qaeda hijacker, and Ahmed al-Ani, the Iraqi consul in Prague, who was Saddam Hussein's intelligence case officer there.
On "Meet the Press" yesterday, Sergei Ivanov, Russia's foreign minister (like his boss, a former K.G.B. disinformation specialist) said of this widely reported Iraqi-Qaeda connection: "That is wrong information."
That denial of an observed connection between bin Laden's suicide bomber and Saddam's spymaster was preceded by a David Ignatius column in The Washington Post last week deriding such reports by me and by James Woolsey, former C.I.A. chief, in The Wall Street Journal. Pooh-poohing the notion of a meeting that "supposedly took place," Ignatius asserted "there is no solid evidence" of such a link. On the contrary, he opined, "hard intelligence to support the Baghdad- bin Laden connection is somewhere between `slim' and `none.' " http://www.nci.org/02/03f/18-07.htm
Iraq & al-Qaeda Is there a link? The go-to-war camp would love to prove that Saddam Hussein is doing business with Osama bin Laden. They talk up suspicions, but no one's got proof
As the world's two most nefarious villains, Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein ought to have reasons to work together. They share similar interests -- hatred of Israel, hostility toward the rulers of Saudi Arabia and, especially, enmity toward their common nemesis, the U.S. Both are suspected of dabbling in chemical and biological agents, and both are judged capable of using them. While al-Qaeda is still seeking weapons of mass destruction, Western intelligence experts think that Iraq already possesses some--in which case hooking up with bin Laden's network might make sense. If Saddam wants to employ his arsenal against the U.S. and its allies without getting caught, why not contract al-Qaeda to do the job for him?
That, at least, is the connect-the-dots theory that Bush Administration hawks and conservative cheerleaders are advancing in their campaign to persuade the President to take his war on terrorism to Baghdad. Assembling evidence of a direct line between Iraq and al-Qaeda--or better yet, proving that Saddam was complicit in the Sept. 11 plot--would give the war planners something they don't have: a compelling do-it-now reason for war. http://www.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/08/26/time.iraq/
THE UNKNOWN by JEFFREY GOLDBERG in New Yorker
The C.I.A. and the Pentagon take another look at Al Qaeda and Iraq. Issue of 2003-02-10
According to several intelligence officials I spoke to, the relationship between bin Laden and Saddam's regime was brokered in the early nineteen-nineties by the then de-facto leader of Sudan, the pan-Islamist radical Hassan al-Tourabi. Tourabi, sources say, persuaded the ostensibly secular Saddam to add to the Iraqi flag the words "Allahu Akbar," as a concession to Muslim radicals.
In interviews with senior officials, the following picture emerged: American intelligence believes that Al Qaeda and Saddam reached a non-aggression agreement in 1993, and that the relationship deepened further in the mid-nineteen-nineties, when an Al Qaeda operativea native-born Iraqi who goes by the name Abu Abdullah al-Iraqiwas dispatched by bin Laden to ask the Iraqis for help in poison-gas training. Al-Iraqi's mission was successful, and an unknown number of trainers from an Iraqi secret-police organization called Unit 999 were dispatched to camps in Afghanistan to instruct Al Qaeda terrorists. (Training in hijacking techniques was also provided to foreign Islamist radicals inside Iraq, according to two Iraqi defectors quoted in a report in the Times in November of 2001.) Another Al Qaeda operative, the Iraqi-born Mamdouh Salim, who goes by the name Abu Hajer al-Iraqi, also served as a liaison in the mid-nineteen-nineties to Iraqi intelligence. Salim, according to a recent book, "The Age of Sacred Terror," by the former N.S.C. officials Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, was bin Laden's chief procurer of weapons of mass destruction, and was involved in the early nineties in chemical-weapons development in Sudan. Salim was arrested in Germany in 1998 and was extradited to the United States. He is awaiting trial in New York on charges related to the 1998 East Africa embassy bombings; he was convicted last April of stabbing a Manhattan prison guard in the eye with a sharpened comb.
Intelligence officials told me that the agency also takes seriously reports that an Iraqi known as Abu Wa'el, whose real name is Saadoun Mahmoud Abdulatif al-Ani, is the liaison of Saddam's intelligence service to a radical Muslim group called Ansar al-Islam, which controls a small enclave in northern Iraq; the group is believed by American and Kurdish intelligence officials to be affiliated with Al Qaeda. I learned of another possible connection early last year, while I was interviewing Al Qaeda operatives in a Kurdish prison in Sulaimaniya. There, a man whom Kurdish intelligence officials identified as a captured Iraqi agent told me that in 1992 he served as a bodyguard to Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden's deputy, when Zawahiri secretly visited Baghdad.
Ansar al-Islam was created on September 1, 2001, when two Kurdish radical groups merged forces. According to Barham Salih, the Prime Minister of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, the group seized a chain of villages in the mountainous region outside the city of Halabja, and made a safe haven for Al Qaeda fighters. "Our intelligence information confirmed that the group was declared on September 1st at the behest of bin Laden and Al Qaeda," Prime Minister Salih told me last week, in a telephone conversation from Davos, Switzerland. "It was meant to be an alternative base of operations, since they were apparently anticipating that Afghanistan was going to become a denied area to them."
Recently, I asked two former C.I.A. directors, James Woolsey and Robert Gates, to talk about the problem of analyzing an incomplete set of evidencethe same challenge that stymied intelligence analysts in the days before December 7, 1941, and September 11, 2001.
Woolsey, who served as President Clinton's first C.I.A. director, said that it is now illogical to doubt the notion that Saddam collaborates with Islamist terrorism, and that he would provide chemical or biological weapons to Al Qaeda. "At Salman Pak"a training camp near Baghdad"we know there were Islamist terrorists training to hijack airplanes in groups of four or five with short knives," Woolsey told me. "I mean, hello? If we had seen after December 7, 1941, a fake American battleship in a lake in northern Italy, and a group of Asian pilots training there, would we have said, 'Well, you can't prove that they were Japanese'?"
Gates, who was C.I.A. director under George H. W. Bush, said that the evidence linking Saddam to Al Qaeda is not irrefutable, but he noted that ambiguous evidence is an occupational hazard in intelligence work. Gates suggested that the current debate over Iraq's ties to terrorism is reminiscent of a debate about the Soviet Union twenty years ago. Then, he said, "you had analysts in the C.I.A. who said, 'Absolutely not, it would be contrary to their interests to support unpredictable, uncontrollable groups.' There were other analysts who said, 'Baloney.' They had a lot of good history, and circumstantial reporting on their side, but they didn't have good evidence. Once the Soviet Union collapsed, and we got hold of the East German Stasi records, we learned, of course, that both the East Germans and the Soviets were supporting Baader-Meinhof and other terrorist groups."
Gates continued, "I have always argued, in light of my fairly detailed knowledge of the shortcomings of our intelligence capabilities, that the fact that we don't have reliable human intelligence that proves something conclusively is happening is no proof at all that nothing is happening. In these situations, the evidence will almost always be ambiguous. On capabilities, it's not ambiguous. Can Saddam produce these weapons of mass destruction? Yes."
The ambiguity, Gates said, has to do with "intentions," and he went on, "If the stakes and the consequences are small, you're going to want ninety-per-cent assurance. It's a risk calculus. On the other hand, if your worry is along the lines of what Rumsfeld is sayinganother major attack on the U.S., possibly with biological or chemical weaponsand you look at the consequences of September 11th, then the equation of risk changes. You have to be prepared to go forward with a lot lower level of confidence in the evidence you have. A fifty-per-cent chance of such an attack happening is so terrible that it changes the calculation of risk." http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?030210fa_fact
International trail of quiet hijacker includes mysterious visit to Las Vegas Wednesday, October 31, 2001 Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal COLUMN: John L. Smith
From Florida to New Jersey and out to Las Vegas, those who met Marwan al-Shehhi remembered him as a pleasant young man with good manners and a charming smile. Some would recall that he looked like a computer expert, rarely made small talk, but always was sure to say thank you. At a motel in Las Vegas last summer, he was polite to housekeepers and kept mostly to himself. At a seafood store in Wayne, N.J., al-Shehhi ordered fried fish to go and always thanked owner John Frodella, according to published reports. "He looked like a computer expert to me," Frodella recalled. "He looked pretty intelligent." Ever the devoted follower, al-Shehhi was the youngest of the Arab terrorists to visit Las Vegas in the weeks before 19 members of their cell embarked on a Sept. 11 suicide hijacking mission that killed approximately 6,000 people. If the nation has learned nothing else from this waking nightmare http://www.lvrj.com/cgi-bin/printable.cgi?/lvrj_home/2001/Oct-31-Wed-2001/news/17340538.html
Hijackers linked to tabloid Compiled from Times wires © St. Petersburg Times, published October 15, 2001
Confirming a clear link between the terrorists targeting America and the South Florida company hit by anthrax cases, the FBI said Sunday that the Sun tabloid editor's wife rented a Delray Beach apartment to two of the hijackers. Confirming a clear link between the terrorists targeting America and the South Florida company hit by anthrax cases, the FBI said Sunday that the Sun tabloid editor's wife rented a Delray Beach apartment to two of the hijackers.
The Sun is part of the American Media Inc. tabloid chain, and it employed photo editor Bob Stevens, who died this month from inhalation anthrax. Two other AMI employees were exposed, and five more are being retested to confirm positive blood test results. Sun editor Michael Irish's wife, Gloria, rented unit 1504 at the Delray Racquet Club to Marwan Alshehhi and Saeed Alghamdi this summer, said FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela. Alshehhi was aboard United Airlines Flight 175, the second jet to strike the World Trade Center. Alghamdi was on United Flight 93, which crashed 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh when passengers apparently thwarted an attempt to target another building. "There is now a link between the editor's wife and the terrorists," Orihuela said.
But just as quickly, she said the FBI wasn't drawing immediate conclusions. "It's just a coincidence right now," Orihuela said. "I'm sure there will be some sort of follow-up." "We are not searching the apartment at this time," Orihuela said from outside the tabloid's Boca Raton headquarters. "We are focusing on this building." http://www.sptimes.com/News/101501/news_pf/Worldandnation/Hijackers_linked_to_t.shtml
There is also one report that ATTA makes a side journey to Rome on this trip. Italian security sources have reported that Iraq made use of its Rome embassy to foster and cultivate Husseins partnership with al-Qaeda.
Habib Faris Abdullah al-Mamouri, a general in the Iraqi secret service, and from 1982 to 1990 a member of the Special Operations Branch, (M-8) charged with developing links with Islamist militants in Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Gulf states, was stationed in Rome as an instructor for Iraqi diplomats. Al-Mamouri supposedly met with ATTA in Hamburg and Prague in addition to Julys visit in Rome. Al-Mamouri has not been seen in Rome since July, shortly after he last met ATTA. [Daniel McGrory, Hijacker Given Flask by Iraqi Agent, The Times (London), October 27, 2001.] http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline/2001/londontimes102701.html
Philippine terrorists claim link to Iraq
CEBU, Philippines Islamist terrorists in the southern Philippines who have killed two American hostages in recent years say they are receiving money from Iraqis close to President Saddam Hussein. Hamsiraji Sali, a local commander of the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf on the remote southern island of Basilan, says he is getting nearly $20,000 a year from supporters in Iraq. "It's so we would have something to spend on chemicals for bomb-making and for the movement of our people," Sali told a reporter this week, renewing earlier claims of support from Iraq. The payments, while small, provide additional evidence of a link between Iraq and the Abu Sayyaf a group with long-standing ties to al Qaeda and its global terror network. The boast of an Iraqi connection was taken seriously after the expulsion of an Iraqi diplomat from Manila last week amid charges he had been in contact with the Abu Sayyaf by telephone. http://www.washtimes.com/world/20030304-9060681.htm
I've got some reading to do...Thanks!
I have mucho reading to do.
Thanks for posting your research.
Bookmarked for intensive study, later.
The premise of your response to me is absurd given the evidence contained inside the information I supplied. I would think that only a demoncrat would think me misinformed or underinformed, given I have links from news outlets from around the world, links from commentators from around the world coupled with my natural born aversion to baloney. But certainly you are welcome to your opinion.
In regards to your question.
"Here is a challenge for you: either the President is telling the truth or he is lying. Which is it?"
He is tellin the truth but using a definition of the word evidence that only applies inside a courtroom. It is not in the nature of a semi competent Secret Service to leave courtroom quality evidence laying around, so it is to be expected that the Iraqis Secret Service trained by the Soviets might be semi competent and that evidence of their hand in 9/11 will be difficult if not impossible to prove in a courtroom.
Course given that the CIA has so much invested in NO LINK and given that the CIA is the Primary agency responsible for gathering such evidence I would suspect that there is a battle royal going on inside of the agency right about now. Bureaucrats do not like to be proven incorrect...ever.
Finally given that the President has taken down the primary suspect in 9/11 you could argue that regardless of whether the President believes there is a link Saddam is gone.
Regardless of my pretense, which is open only to speculation, the bottom line is this: if the President says there is no connection and you find evidence to the contrary, either the President is telling the truht or he is not.