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The Saddam-9/11 Link Confirmed ^ | 5/11/04 | Laurie Mylroie

Posted on 05/11/2004 7:13:09 AM PDT by TrebleRebel

The Saddam-9/11 Link Confirmed

By Laurie Mylroie | May 11, 2004

Important new information has come from Edward Jay Epstein about Mohammed Atta’s contacts with Iraqi intelligence. The Czechs have long maintained that Atta, leader of the 9/11 hijackers in the United States, met with Ahmed al-Ani, an Iraqi intelligence official, posted to the Iraqi embassy in Prague. As Epstein now reports, Czech authorities have discovered that al-Ani’s appointment calendar shows a scheduled meeting on April 8, 2001 with a "Hamburg student."

That is exactly what the Czechs had been saying since shortly after 9/11: Atta, a long-time student at Germany’s Hamburg-Harburg Technical University, met with al-Ani on April 8, 2001. Indeed, when Atta earlier applied for a visa to visit the Czech Republic, he identified himself as a “Hamburg student.” The discovery of the notation in al-Ani’s appointment calendar about a meeting with a “Hamburg student” provides critical corroboration of the Czech claim.

Epstein also explains how Atta could have traveled to Prague at that time without the Czechs having a record of such a trip. Spanish intelligence has found evidence that two Algerians provided Atta a false passport.

The Iraqi Plot against Radio Free Europe

Prior to the 9/11 attacks, the Czechs were closely watching the Iraqi embassy. Al-Ani’s predecessor had defected to Britain in late 1998, and the Czechs (along with the British and Americans) learned that Baghdad had instructed him to bomb Radio Free Europe, headquartered in Prague, after RFE had begun a Radio Free Iraq service earlier that year.

On April 8, 2001, an informant for Czech counter-intelligence (known as BIS), observed al-Ani meet with an Arab man in his 20s at a restaurant outside Prague. Another informant in the Arab community reported that the man was a visiting student from Hamburg and that he was potentially dangerous.

The Czech Foreign Ministry demanded an explanation for al-Ani’s rendezvous with the Arab student from the head of the Iraqi mission in Prague. When no satisfactory account was forthcoming, the Czechs declared al-Ani persona non grata, and he was expelled from the Czech Republic on April 22, 2001.

Hyman Komineck was then Deputy Foreign Minister and had earlier headed the Czech Foreign Ministry’s Middle East Department. Now Prague’s ambassador to the United Nations, Komineck explained in June 2002, “He didn’t know [what al-Ani was up to.] He just didn’t know.” As Komineck told the Times of London in October 2001, "It is not a common thing for an Iraqi diplomat to meet a student from a neighboring country."

Following the 9/11 attacks, the Czech informant who had observed the meeting saw Mohammed Atta’s picture in the papers and told the BIS he believed that Atta was the man he had seen meeting with al-Ani. On September 14, BIS informed its CIA liaison that they had tentatively identified Atta as al-Ani’s contact.

So Many Errors: the Clinton Years

Opinion polls show that most Americans still believe Iraq had substantial ties to al Qaeda and even that it was involved in 9/11. Yet among the “elite,” there is tremendous opposition to this notion. A simple explanation exists for this dichotomy. The public is not personally vested in this issue, but the elite certainly are.

America’s leading lights, including those in government responsible for dealing with terrorism and with Iraq, made a mammoth blunder. They failed to recognize that starting with the first assault on New York’s World Trade Center, Iraq was working with Islamic militants to attack the United States. This failure left the country vulnerable on September 11, 2001. Many of those who made this professional error cannot bring themselves to acknowledge it; perhaps, they cannot even recognize it. They mock whomever presents information tying Iraq to the 9/11 attacks; discredit that information; and assert there is “no evidence.” What they do not do is discuss in a rational way the significance of the information that is presented. I myself have experienced this many times, including in testimony before the 9/11 Commission, when as I responded to a Commissioner’s question, a fellow panelist repeatedly interrupted, screeching “That is not evidence,” even as C-SPAN broadcast the event to the entire country.

Former White House counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke is a prime example of this phenomenon. Immediately after the 9/11 attacks, when President Bush asked him to look into the possibility of Iraq’s involvement, Clarke was “incredulous” (his word), treating the idea as if it were one of the most ridiculous things he had ever heard. On September 18, when Deputy National Security Adviser Steven Hadley asked him to take another look for evidence of Iraqi involvement, Clarke responded in a similar fashion.

Yet as we know now, thanks to Epstein’s work, Czech intelligence at that point had already informed their CIA liaison that they had tentatively identified Mohammed Atta as the Arab whom al-Ani had met on April 8, 2001.

Evidence is “something that indicates,” according to Webster’s. Proof is “conclusive demonstration.” The report of a well-regarded allied intelligence service that a 9/11 hijacker appeared to have met with an Iraqi intelligence agent a few months before the attacks is certainly evidence of an Iraqi connection.

Clarke’s adamant refusal to even consider the possibility of an Iraqi role in the 9/11 attacks represents an enormous blunder committed by the Clinton administration. Following the February 26, 1993, bombing of the World Trade Center, senior officials in New York FBI, the lead investigative agency, believed that Iraq was involved. When Clinton launched a cruise missile attack on Iraqi intelligence headquarters in June 1993, saying publicly that the strike was punishment for Saddam’s attempt to kill former President Bush when he visited Kuwait in April, Clinton believed that the attack would also take care of the terrorism in New York, if New York FBI was correct. It would deter Saddam from all future acts of terrorism.

Indeed, Clarke claims the strike did just that. The Clinton administration, Clarke explains in Against All Enemies, also sent “a very clear message through diplomatic channels to the Iraqis saying, ‘If you do any terrorism against the United States again, it won't just be Iraqi intelligence headquarters, it'll be your whole government.' It was a very chilling message. And apparently it worked.”

But if the entire 1991 Gulf War did not deter Saddam for long, why should one cruise missile strike accomplish that aim? Indeed, the Iraqi plot against Radio Free Europe—the existence of which is confirmed by RFE officials—is clear demonstration that the June 1993 cruise missile strike did not permanently deter Saddam.

Bush 41: A War Left Unfinished

The claim that Iraq was involved in 9/11 is also strongly opposed by some senior figures in Bush 41. They include former National Security Council Advisor, Brent Scowcroft, who wrote in the summer of 2002, “There is scant evidence to tie Saddam to terrorist organizations, and even less to the Sept. 11 attacks.”

Iraqi involvement in the 9/11 attacks carries serious implications for judgments about the way that Bush 41 ended the 1991 war. As will be recalled, after 100 hours of a ground war, with Saddam still in power and Republican Guard units escaping across the Euphrates, Bush called for a cease-fire. Colin Powell, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, pushed for that decision, and Scowcroft backed him, although it was totally unnecessary, and many Arab members of the coalition were astounded at the decision.

To err is human. And if one errs, one should correct the mistake and move on. The prevailing ethos, however, is quite different, even when serious national security issues are involved. Extraordinarily rare is a figure like Dick Cheney, who as Secretary of Defense, supported the decision to end the 1991 war with Saddam still in power, but after the 9/11 attacks was prepared to recognize the evidence suggesting an Iraqi role in those attacks and memorably remarked that it was rare in history to be able to correct a mistake like that.

Why we are at war: Iraq’s Involvement in 9/11

Never before in this country’s history has a president ordered American soldiers into battle, without fully explaining why they are asked to risk life and limb. One would never know from the administration’s public stance that senior officials, including the President, believe that Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks.

Iraq was indeed involved in those assaults. There is considerable information to that effect, described in this piece and elsewhere. They include Iraqi documents discovered by U.S. forces in Baghdad that U.S. officials have not made public.

We are now engaged in the most difficult military conflict this country has fought in thirty years. Even before the fiasco at Abu Ghraib became widely known, both the American public and international opinion were increasingly skeptical of U.S. war aims.

In taking on and eliminating the Iraqi regime, Bush corrected a policy blunder of historic proportions. His decision for war was both courageous and necessary. Now, he needs to make it clear just why that decision was made.

Laurie Mylroie was adviser on Iraq to the 1992 campaign of Bill Clinton and is the author of Bush vs. the Beltway: How the CIA and the State Department tried to Stop the War on Terror. (HarperCollins) She can be reached through

TOPICS: Front Page News; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 911; 911commission; alani; alqaedaandiraq; atta; bis; bush2004; clarke; clintonfailures; clintonlegacy; czech; embassy; epstein; hamburg; hussein; komineck; mylroie; prague; rfe; scowcroft; sept11; x42
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To: Michael.SF.
Yes, understood.

My point is simply that the appointment calendar notation along with other evidence (especially Woolsey's report and the financial link between Iraq and the person responsible for "93 WTC attack) is overwhelming of the link between AQ and Iraq. At least there was notable measures of cooperation, which put America in direct danger.

21 posted on 05/11/2004 9:43:04 AM PDT by YepYep
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To: Peach
22 posted on 05/11/2004 9:46:04 AM PDT by CJ Wolf
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To: Dr. Frank fan
Evidence is objective, whereas proof is subjective.

I, and my friends in the Special Ops. community have long thought there is/was a connection between al-Quida and Iraq. Saddam was well aware of the Answar al-Islam base (al-Quida) in northern Iraq. The heads in the sand clowns always respond, "But that was in the no fly-zone." True, but Saddam still controlled many areas in those zones with ground troops. Additionally, client states supporting terrorist/guerrilla organizations purposely keep their contact with said groups at a distance.
23 posted on 05/11/2004 10:00:22 AM PDT by GarySpFc (Sneakypete, De Oppresso Liber)
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To: muleskinner; Michael.SF.
I am a lawyer. No, a notation saying that someone had a meeting with a "Hamburg student" isn't enough.

How many students are there in Hamburg? It's a big city.

24 posted on 05/11/2004 10:04:19 AM PDT by CobaltBlue
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To: YepYep
I don't disagree with the evidence. I dispute that the notation in tha appointment book is "confirmation". I think that is an overstatement, as explained in my post above.
25 posted on 05/11/2004 10:04:56 AM PDT by Michael.SF. ('The weakest link in American security is the political link' - Thomas Sowell)
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To: YepYep
Don't forget that Woolsey, a lawyer, represents Chalabi, the Man Who Would Be President of Iraq, the Iraqi ex-pat who fed the CIA a lot of the bullshit about Saddam's WMD.

Chalabi and his fellow Iraqi expats wanted the US to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam, and got their wish. Unfortunately for them, the Iraqi people dislike Chalabi, they think he's dishonest.

Based on how poorly his intelligence has panned out, I think they're right. So I disbelieve anything from Chalabi or his paid agent, Woolsey.
26 posted on 05/11/2004 10:09:31 AM PDT by CobaltBlue
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Peach found these:
The Saddam-9/11 Link Confirmed ^ | May 11, 2004 | Laurie Mylroie
Saddam at LEAST knew that 9/11 was coming.

Less than two months before 9/11/01, the state-controlled Iraqi newspaper “Al-Nasiriya” carried a column headlined, “American, an Obsession called Osama Bin Ladin.” (July 21, 2001)

In the piece, Baath Party writer Naeem Abd Muhalhal predicted that bin Laden would attack the US “with the seriousness of the Bedouin of the desert about the way he will try to bomb the Pentagon after he destroys the White House.”

The same state-approved column also insisted that bin Laden “will strike America on the arm that is already hurting,” and that the US “will curse the memory of Frank Sinatra every time he hears his songs” – an apparent reference to the Sinatra classic, “New York, New York”.
(Link below)

List of newspaper article in the 90's which mention the world's concern regarding the growing relationship between OBL and Saddam:

Son of Saddam coordinates OBL activities:

The AQ connection (excellent):

Western Nightmare:,12469,798270,00.html

Saddam's link to OBL:

NYT: Iraq and AQ agree to cooperate:

Document linking them:

Iraq and terrorism - no doubt about it:

A federal judge rules there are links:

Wall Street Journal on Iraq and AQ:

Iraq and Iran contact OBL:

More evidence:

Saddam's AQ connection:

Further connections:

What a court of law said about the connections:

Some miscellaneous stuff on connections:

Saddam's Ambassador to Al Qaeda: (February 2004, Weekly Standard)

Yes - it's NewsMax but loaded with interesting bullet points.

Saddam's Fingerprints on NY Bombing (Wall Street Journal, June 1993)

Colin Powell: Iraq and AQ Partners for Years (CNN, February 2003)

The Iraq-Al Qaeda Connections (September 2003, Richard Miniter)

Oil for Food Scandal Ties Iraq and Al Qaeda (June 2003)

Saddam and OBL Make a Pact (The New Yorker, February 2003):

Al Qaeda's Poison Gas (Wall Street Journal, April 2004):

Wolfowitz Says Saddam behind 9/11 Attacks:

Saddam behind first WTC attack - PBS, Laurie Mylroie:

Growing Evidence of Saddam and Al Qaeda Link, The Weekly Standard, July 2003:

Qusay Hussein Coordinated Iraq special operations with Bin Laden Terrorist Activities, Yossef Bodansky, National Press Club

The Western Nightmare: Saddam and Bin Laden vs. the Rest of the World, The Guardian Unlimited:,12469,798270,00.html

Saddam Link to Bin Laden, Julian Borger, The Guardian, February 1999

The Al Qaeda Connection, The Weekly Standard, July 2003
Cheney lectures Russert on Iraq/911 Link, September 2003:

No Question About It, National Review, September 2003

Iraq: A Federal Judges Point of View

Mohammed's Account links Iraq to 9/11 and OKC:

Free Republic Thread that mentions so me books Freepers might be interested in on this topic:

The Proof that Saddam Worked with AQ, The Telegraph, April 2003:

Saddam's AQ Connection, The Weekly Standard, September 2003

September 11 Victims Sue Iraq:

Osama's Best Friend: The Further Connections Between Al Qaeda and Saddam, The Weekly Standard, November 2003

Terrorist Behind 9/11 Attacks Trained by Saddam, The Telegraph, December 2003

James Woolsey Links Iraq and AQ, CNN Interview, March 2004, Also see Posts #34 and #35

A Geocities Interesting Web Site with maps and connections:

Bin Laden indicted in federal court, read down to find information that Bin Laden agreed to not attack Iraq and to work cooperatively with Iraq:

Case Closed, The Weekly Standard, November 03

CBS - Lawsuit: Iraq involved in 9/11:

Exploring Iraq's Involvement in pre-9/11 Acts, The Indianapolis Star:

The Iraq/AQ Connection: Richard Minister again

Militia Defector says Baghdad trained Al Qaeda fighters in chemical weapons, July 2002

The Clinton View of Iraq/AQ Ties, The Weekly Standard, December 2003

Saddam Controlled the Camps (Iraq/AQ Ties): The London Observer, November 01

Saddam's Terror Ties that Critics Ignore, National Review, October 2003:

Tape Shows General Wesley Clark linking Iraq and AQ:

27 posted on 05/11/2004 10:11:12 AM PDT by backhoe (--30--)
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To: muleskinner
Any lawyers out a notation in an appointment book good enough evidence for an indictment/conviction?

Just for the record, that shouldn't matter. This is not a court of law nor are we discussing jurisprudence. The standard of evidence for drawing conclusions, should be lower than "innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt".

28 posted on 05/11/2004 10:24:05 AM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
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To: Michael.SF.
But read the headline again: "9/11 link confirmed" Now read the "confirmation": 'A Hamburg Student'

The problem being?

Note that the title does not read, "Saddam connection to 9/11 mathematically proven". Just that a "link" is "confirmed".

To spell it out in more detail, the "link" is the evidence of an Atta-Prague meeting which we already knew about (that is evidence linking Saddam to 9/11, you see), and the "confirmation" (of that evidence) is the record of the appointment.

Again, I'd agree that this falls short of mathematical proof, but that is a red herring.

Gentlemen, that is weak.

So it's weak evidence, despite the confirmation. Ok. Not sure why you think that contradicts what's being said.

That may be another bit of evidence, but it is not confirmation.


It's confirmation of the evidence. I think we are using these words differently. You seem to be using "confirmation" as the same thing as "mathematical proof of the conclusion that Saddam was behind 9/11". I think you're right that this is not m.p.o.t.c.t.S.w.b.9/11 but I'm not sure who was saying that.

There was a Saddam link to 9/11 that we already knew of (the eyewitness account of the Atta-Prague meeting) and now we have further confirmation of that link.

Had the headline said: 'Evidence of 9/11 link to Iraq continues to mount' I would have had no problem.

In effect, it does say that, with different words.

But the headline is misleading, which was my point.

Well, clearly you understood it differently than I did, so point taken.

29 posted on 05/11/2004 10:29:54 AM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
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To: CobaltBlue
I am a lawyer. No, a notation saying that someone had a meeting with a "Hamburg student" isn't enough.

Right. It's not enough for a conviction in a court of law under our standards of jurisprudence.

That's irrelevant, of course.

30 posted on 05/11/2004 10:31:19 AM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
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To: Peach
keep adding to your list. this is a great one!

31 posted on 05/11/2004 10:37:24 AM PDT by AFPhys ((.Praying for President Bush, our troops, their families, and all my American neighbors..))
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To: Dr. Frank fan
For those who want to believe that somehow, a meeting between Mohammed Atta and a member of Iraqi intelligence proves that Saddam was behind 9/11, the level of evidence is irrelevant.

Let's assume for the sake of the argument that there was, indeed, one meeting. Let's say the men met, had tea, talked about what they had in common.

To extrapolate from this meeting that Saddam was the mastermind behind 9/11 is ludicrous. Just plain ludicrous.

32 posted on 05/11/2004 10:39:23 AM PDT by CobaltBlue
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To: AFPhys
Thanks! I'll keep adding as I find them.
33 posted on 05/11/2004 10:50:00 AM PDT by Peach
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To: CobaltBlue
For those who want to believe that somehow, a meeting between Mohammed Atta and a member of Iraqi intelligence proves that Saddam was behind 9/11

Straw man. I don't "want" to believe, nor do I even think the meeting "proves" Saddam was "behind" 9/11. It represents a link between his regime, and 9/11. There are lots of ways in which Saddam's intelligence service could have been linked to 9/11 without having been "behind" it. Frankly all things considered at this point, if I had to guess, I'd say I don't think Saddam Hussein was "behind" 9/11, but I do think he was linked to it, by virtue of using AQ as a proxy army and funding/aiding their projects. In other words, "linked".

To imply that Saddam had to have been "behind" 9/11 before Americans have the right to care, raises the bar awfully high and I reject that.

One thing people often need to be reminded of is that 9/11 was not the only attack on our soil in 2001, there was also the anthrax. That Atta was given anthrax by Iraq (the weaponized variety sent to Daschle), either at the Prague meeting or just promised delivery at that meeting, is another reasonable inference to be drawn from the fact set (and another reason to be interested in the Atta-Prague meeting). That doesn't require Saddam to have been "behind" 9/11 either. But does that mean we shouldn't care?

Let's assume for the sake of the argument that there was, indeed, one meeting. Let's say the men met, had tea, talked about what they had in common.

Which was what, pray tell?

To extrapolate from this meeting that Saddam was the mastermind behind 9/11 is ludicrous. Just plain ludicrous.

Yes I reckon it is. It's also a BIG FAT STRAW MAN.

I am not saying that such a meeting proves that Saddam was "the mastermind behind 9/11". Just that he was "linked" to it, get it? Good grief.

I'm not even sure that Osama Bin Laden was "the mastermind behind 9/11" in the sense of being heavily involved in its conception, planning, and timing; that was "Khalid Sheikh Mohammed"; Osama knew *something* was in the works (indeed probably said to KSM "go do some big attack"), may have selected WTC as the target, but not necessarily known much about the attack's nature or planned timing in any detail. So does Osama get a clean bill of health too then, because he wasn't "the mastermind behind" 9/11?

This raises the bar to an absurd level.

34 posted on 05/11/2004 10:55:41 AM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
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To: Dr. Frank fan
If you go back and re-read what I wrote, I did not accuse you of anything. I spoke about "those who want to believe."

35 posted on 05/11/2004 11:09:17 AM PDT by CobaltBlue
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To: CobaltBlue
I spoke about "those who want to believe."

That's swell. Let me know if/when you identify any such people, and then your comments may gain some relevance to something, if not (strangely, considering you wrote them in response to me) to anything I wrote.

36 posted on 05/11/2004 11:13:54 AM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
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To: CobaltBlue
Limbaugh's and O'Reilly's No Spin Zones.
37 posted on 05/11/2004 11:18:02 AM PDT by Binti Jua
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To: Dr. Frank fan
Don't worry, I won't write to you again. You don't know how to have a dialogue about anything other than yourself, apparently.
38 posted on 05/11/2004 11:20:10 AM PDT by CobaltBlue
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To: CobaltBlue
You don't know how to have a dialogue about anything other than yourself, apparently.

Nice try but "not appreciating straw-men invented out of thin air" and "not knowing how to have a dialogue about anything other than myself" are not the same thing (unless all dialogues about things other than myself must necessarily involve straw-men?). I said explicitly and overtly that if you identify people who hold the views you characterized, we could discuss them. What more do you want?

Do you know how to have a dialogue which doesn't involve straw-men?

39 posted on 05/11/2004 11:23:34 AM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
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To: Peach
40 posted on 05/11/2004 11:23:34 AM PDT by BJClinton (If Sudafed is outlawed, odly oudlas wid had Zudaved.~04/29/2004 2:02:26 PM CDT by George Smiley)
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