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There Is a C-O-N-N-E-C-T-I-O-N (Connection -- Iraq, Saddam, Al Qaeda, terrorism)(NRO)(Specifics)
NRO ^ | July 21, 2004 | Deroy Murdock

Posted on 07/22/2004 10:20:50 PM PDT by FairOpinion

Spelling out what we know about the pre-Iraq-war terror world.

President Bush's critics unyieldingly insist that Iraq and al Qaeda were as allergic to each other as Mormons and alcohol.

"As we all know by now," columnist Richard Cohen recently sniffed, "there was never a proven link between Saddam, al-Qaida or even the Crips."

The Senate Intelligence Committee's July 9 broadside against the CIA's pre-Iraq-war performance found no "established formal relationship" between Iraq and al Qaeda, as if only a NATO-style treaty between Hussein and bin Laden should have worried civilization.

President Bush has allowed his detractors to paint him into this corner. He has let people forget that America fights a war on global terrorism, not strictly a battle against Osama bin Laden, nor a vendetta against the September 11 conspirators. Saddam Hussein's menace never revolved solely around his association with al Qaeda, any more than, say, the Justice Department lets Teamsters consort with Bonanno and Colombo wise guys provided they avoid the Gambinos.

Despite its foes' claims, the Bush administration never tied Saddam Hussein to the September 11 massacre, although there are indications he may have been involved. It is beyond dispute, however, that he at the very least materially assisted global terrorists elsewhere.

Hussein's $25,000 bounties to the families of Palestinian homicide bombers (who have murdered at least 12 Americans in Israel), his sanctuary for terror master Abu Nidal (killer of 407 innocents, including 10 Americans), the Iraqi diplomatic passport that sprang Achille Lauro hijacker Abu Abbas from Italian custody, and many other proven facts demonstrate that Saddam Hussein supported Islamic extremists. His ouster was a key victory in the War on Terror.

That said, Saddam Hussein helped al Qaeda, too. Did he and bin Laden share a joint checking account and a vacation home? Probably not. But unclassified evidence of their collusion fills the public record.

Having written on this topic 16 times, I expected that Stephen Hayes's new book, The Connection: How al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America would contain familiar information. It does, yet I counted 68 data that were new to me or previously unreported. Among them:

According to the Clinton Justice Department's spring 1998 indictment of bin Laden, "Al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq." (Page 114.)

In what the CIA nicknamed "Operation Dogmeat," two Iraqi students who lived in the Philippines tried to demolish U.S. Information Service headquarters in Manila. Iraqi diplomat Muwufak al Ani met with the bombers five times before the attack. His car even took them near their target on January 19, 1991. Their bomb exploded prematurely, killing Ahmed J. Ahmed, but his accomplice, Abdul Kadham Saad, survived and was whisked to a Manila hospital. Saad, carrying documents bearing two distinct identities, asked staffers to alert the Iraqi embassy, then recited its phone number. (Page 39.)

Around this time, according to former high-level CIA counterterrorist Stanley Bedlington, Hussein paired Iraqi intelligence operatives with members of the Arab Liberation Front to execute attacks. "The Iraqis had given them all passports," he said, "but they were all in numerical sequence." These tell-tale passport numbers helped friendly governments nab these terror teams. (Page 41.)

President George Herbert Walker Bush ignored information that Hussein "was offering state payment to terrorists," then-Senator Al Gore (D., Tennessee) declared on October 15, 1992. Gore also listed more than a dozen examples of Iraq-sponsored terrorism and said "an estimated 1,400 terrorists were operating openly out of Iraq." (Page 41.)

"In 1992, elements of al Qaeda came to Baghdad and met with Saddam Hussein," Abu Aman Amaleeki, a 20-year veteran of Iraqi intelligence, said on ABC's Nightline on September 26, 2002. Speaking from a Kurdish prison, he added: "And among them was Ayman al Zawahiri," bin Laden's chief deputy. "I was present when Ayman al Zawahiri visited Baghdad." (Page 43.)

Former Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) Deputy Director Faruq Hijazi, reports a reliable foreign spy agency, supplied blank Yemeni passports to al Qaeda in 1992. (Page 66.)

Mohammed Salameh, a 1993 World Trade Center attacker, called Baghdad 46 times in the two months before bomb maker Abdul Rahman Yasin flew from Baghdad to New Jersey to join the plot. Salameh's June 1992 phone bill totaled $1,401, which prompted his disconnection for non-payment. After the blast — which killed six individuals and injured 1,042 — Yasin fled to Baghdad, where records and multiple press accounts show he received safe haven and Baathist cash. (Pages 11 and 50.)

Based on a 20-page IIS document discovered in Baghdad, the Defense Intelligence Agency reports that "Alleged conspirators employed by IIS are wanted in connection with the [June 25, 1996] Khobar Towers bombing and the assassination attempt in 1993 of former President Bush." (Page 180.)

In an October 27, 2003 memo, Defense Undersecretary Douglas J. Feith explained Hussein's bonus pay for terrorists: "Iraq increased support to Palestinian groups after major terrorist attacks and...the change in Iraqi relations with al Qaeda after the [1998 east African] embassy bombings followed this pattern." A top Philippine terrorist also said Iraq's payments to the al Qaeda-tied Abu Sayyaf grew after successful assaults. (Page 120.)

ABC News reported on January 14, 1999, that it "has learned that in December [1998] an Iraqi intelligence chief, named Faruq Hijazi, now Iraq's ambassador to Turkey, made a secret trip to Afghanistan to meet with bin Laden."

Hijazi "went to Afghanistan in December with the knowledge of the Taliban and met with Osama bin Laden," former CIA counterterrorism chief Vincent Cannistraro told National Public Radio's Mike Shuster on February 18, 1999. "It's known through a variety of intelligence reports that the U.S. has, but it's also known through sources in Afghanistan, members of Osama's entourage let it be known that the meeting had taken place." (Page 124.)

On January 5, 2000, Malaysian intelligence photographed September 11 hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar being escorted through Kuala Lumpur's airport by VIP facilitator Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, an Iraqi recommended to Malaysian Airlines by Baghdad's embassy there. The pair soon were photographed again at al Qaeda's three-day planning summit for the October 2000 U.S.S. Cole and 9/11 attacks. Three separate documents recently unearthed in Iraq identify an Ahmed Hikmat Shakir as a lieutenant colonel in Uday Hussein's elite Saddam Fedayeen. (Page 4)

Memo to communications-addled White House: Release these photos!

Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al Ani is the former Iraqi diplomat suspected of meeting September 11 ringleader Mohamed Atta in Prague on April 8, 2001, and possibly June 2, 2000, the day before Atta flew from Prague to Newark, New Jersey. Top secret Pentagon records cite a Czech intelligence report that al Ani "ordered the IIS finance officer to issue Atta funds from IIS financial holdings in the Prague office." During the summer of 2000, $99,455 was wired from financial institutions in the United Arab Emirates to Atta's Sun Trust bank account in Florida.(Page 129.)

After evacuating an al Qaeda training camp he ran in Afghanistan as U.S. troops approached, Ansar al-Islam founder Abu Musab al Zarqawi eventually had his leg amputated and replaced with a prosthesis around late May 2002. He was treated in Baghdad's Olympic Hospital, an elite facility whose director was the late Uday Hussein, son of the deposed tyrant. Zarqawi is implicated in ongoing attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and is believed to have sawed off American businessman Nick Berg's head. (Page 167.)

U.S troops inspecting an al-Qaeda-affiliated Ansar al-Islam camp in Iraq discovered, Hayes reports, "several hundred passports belonging to suspected Ansar and al Qaeda fighters, dozens of them bearing visas issued by the Iraqi regime." A passport found on one dead terrorist listed his visit's purpose as "jihad." (Page 172.)

Are Richard Cohen and the Senate Intelligence Committee blind? Alas, Stephen Hayes's book is not in Braille. After absorbing his convincing volume, the mutual assistance that connected Iraq and al Qaeda should be visible to anyone — even the Crips.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: alqaedaandiraq; muslims
The Author is summarizing some key points from Stephen Hayes's book.

I don't understand why the Republicans allow the deliberate disinformation spread by the Dems, that there was no connection between Iraq and terrorism, stand.

1 posted on 07/22/2004 10:20:51 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: FairOpinion

I will be going through the various reports - Senate intel, 911, and butler - as well as hayes sources, to glean a summation.

It looks like some of Hayes speculative possibilities didnt/dont pan out BUT the main point - that there are dozens of Links and connections - DID SHOW UP in other reports.

In particular Zawahiri visit to baghdad in 1992, and Iraqi intelligence meetings in 1998 with Bin Laden.

So ... the truth is out there.

Keep me pinged and/or dont hesitate to comment on the liberating Iraq blog:
http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com
I have a blog article on "the connection" btw.


2 posted on 07/22/2004 10:24:40 PM PDT by WOSG (Peace through Victory! Iraq victory, W victory, American victory!)
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To: Gunslingr3

ping for ref.


3 posted on 07/22/2004 10:25:47 PM PDT by Gunslingr3
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To: Gunslingr3

Saddam was probably very allergic to a "close" relationship with Al Qaeda. This doesn't mean he didn't work with them, and intend to work them in the future.

Saddam was a control freak. Probably one reason why Al Qaeda chose Afghanistan rather than Iraq for their base of operations. In Iraq, Saddam would've taken active part in designating targets and organizing their operations.

But there is no doubt that Saddam wouldn't have minded and probably was in the process of setting up an interface between his covert operations and Al Qaeda's. Naturally, to assist them in strikes against mutual enemies. A relationship, which would have eventually led to Al Qaeda having an oil producing nation's wealth and sovereign borders in which to hide weapons training and programs.


4 posted on 07/22/2004 10:31:51 PM PDT by coconutt2000
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To: FairOpinion
When W and his administration started denying a connection between 9/11 and Alqueda they did tremendous harm to their cause.

This was the result of a defensive reactionary political plan instead of an offensive proactive one.

They should have used many of the points in this article as well as a comparison of how Democrats react to an attack on the WTC ( arrest an old blind cripple) and how the G.O.P reacts - Industrial Strength Butt Wup. They treat an attack on America as a street crime - We treat it for what it is, an act of war.
5 posted on 07/22/2004 10:35:29 PM PDT by TomasUSMC
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To: coconutt2000
On the contrary, the al qaeda subsidiary Ansar al-Islam operated openly in Northern Iraq.

6 Legislative Days Left Until The AWB Expires

6 posted on 07/22/2004 10:36:35 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: WOSG

http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com

Your blog is EXCELLENT!!!

I wish editorials in newspapers would at least be a pale imitation of you superb essay. You really summed it up:

"The real diagnosis is to blame the terrorists for the conditions of terrorism. The real solution is not to feed the monster, but to find and kill the terrorists. "


7 posted on 07/22/2004 10:37:03 PM PDT by FairOpinion (FIGHT TERRORISM! VOTE BUSH/CHENEY 2004.)
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To: Peach

another for the list.


8 posted on 07/22/2004 10:37:29 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (Who would the terrorists vote for?)
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To: FairOpinion
Memo to communications-addled White House: Release these photos!

ASAFP, por favor.

9 posted on 07/22/2004 10:38:26 PM PDT by T. Buzzard Trueblood ("My theory of the Cold War is that we win and they lose." Ronald Reagan, 1977)
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To: FairOpinion
I can tell you why President Bush doesn't counter the lies being told about him and his decision to remove Saddam from power...

It's quite simple actually, When your opponent has reached rock bottom and showing no signs of ending the digging, don't interrupt him.

All these lies are easily debunked, do you really think the Bush team doesn't plan to use all these lies in Ads in the final 105 days?

John Kerry has provided a treasure trove of flip flops since he announced his candidacy for POTUS. John Kerry says he supports our Troops, yet he has never been to Iraq or Afghanistan, nor has he visited a single wounded soldier since 9/11. He says he believes life begins at conception while in the Bible Belt, yet in todays interview with Peter Jennings, he said just the opposite, he said life begins when the baby is viable.

The Bush team doesn't need to do much but let John Kerry answer questions in front of different crowds, Kerry is his own worse enemy.

10 posted on 07/22/2004 10:44:32 PM PDT by MJY1288 ("KERRY" & "EDWARDS" ARE TWO "JOHNS" THAT NEED FLUSHING!)
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To: Jet Jaguar

Thanks, Jet.


11 posted on 07/22/2004 11:28:28 PM PDT by Peach (The Clinton's pardoned more terrorists than they ever captured or killed.)
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To: WOSG
I will be going through the various reports - Senate intel, 911, and butler - as well as hayes sources, to glean a summation.


In the section "Link to Terrorists", the Senate Intel report covers Iraq links to terrorists in general and especially Al Qaeda -- 66 pages worth -- showing that Iraq trained them in chemical, biological, NUCLEAR, and bomb making from "1990 to present".

In addition, the report also covers Iraq having 100s of terrorist training camps for home grown Iraqi terrorist from "1996 to present" specifically dedicated to training to hit US and US interests.

As far as I'm concerned, no additional activity by Saddam -- than what this report validates -- is required in to make a valid case that Saddam was a clear and undeniable threat to the US!

12 posted on 07/22/2004 11:42:08 PM PDT by Jackson Brown
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To: ohioWfan

For your excellent work....


13 posted on 07/23/2004 4:48:07 AM PDT by Molly Pitcher
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To: FairOpinion

bump


14 posted on 07/23/2004 5:23:39 AM PDT by samtheman (www.georgewbush.com)
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To: Jackson Brown

Thanks!!!

"Iraq war: We did the Right Thing"
A future article I'll be writing.


15 posted on 07/23/2004 8:44:45 AM PDT by WOSG (Peace through Victory! Iraq victory, W victory, American victory!)
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To: FairOpinion

"
http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com

Your blog is EXCELLENT!!! "

My sincere thanks for your praise. That'll keep me 'blogging'. Please spread the word on it.


16 posted on 07/23/2004 8:47:09 AM PDT by WOSG (Peace through Victory! Iraq victory, W victory, American victory!)
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To: MJY1288

I hope your right.

in 1992, Clinton had so many openings and Bush 41 did nothing.

Bush 43 has run tight focussed campaigns that dont emphasize the negative. that worked for him in 94 98 2000... I dont know if he will go after Kerry hammer and tong... and I am not sure that is the right strategy.

The dilemma is we need a 'positive' electorate to vote the incumbent, but we also need to tell people how bad kerry is of the mushy middle will go for him over the 'warmonger' Bush.

we need to remind people how relieved they felt when they realized Bush was there instead of Gore on 9/11.
we need to refute the lies about the iraq war (we did the right thing), and build the positive case on the economy.

We have had a pant-load of anti-Bush lies dumped in the public discourse.
We need to be aggressive in stopping that and turning it around.


17 posted on 07/23/2004 8:52:58 AM PDT by WOSG (Peace through Victory! Iraq victory, W victory, American victory!)
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To: FairOpinion

bump


18 posted on 07/23/2004 8:53:03 AM PDT by rolling_stone
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To: FairOpinion

^


19 posted on 07/23/2004 10:11:36 AM PDT by prognostigaator
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To: Molly Pitcher
Thank you, THANK YOU, Molly!!

Bookmarked, and already sent along to the leftist I've been sparring with via e-mail. :o)

These pesky facts do so interfere with their argumentation.........

20 posted on 07/23/2004 10:48:17 AM PDT by ohioWfan (BUSH 2004 - Leadership, Integrity, Morality)
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To: Jackson Brown

In the section "Link to Terrorists", the Senate Intel report covers Iraq links to terrorists in general and especially Al Qaeda -- 66 pages worth -- showing that Iraq trained them in chemical, biological, NUCLEAR, and bomb making from "1990 to present".


===

And why isn't THIS on all the front pages of newspapers and lead story on TV?


21 posted on 07/23/2004 7:30:04 PM PDT by FairOpinion (FIGHT TERRORISM! VOTE BUSH/CHENEY 2004.)
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To: WOSG

"Iraq war: We did the Right Thing"
A future article I'll be writing.


===

I'll check your site to read it.

Keep up the great work.

This needs to be told to people.


22 posted on 07/23/2004 7:31:10 PM PDT by FairOpinion (FIGHT TERRORISM! VOTE BUSH/CHENEY 2004.)
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To: FairOpinion; Southack

Why not read the report itself:

"In February 1999,Allen proposed flying a U-2 mission over Afghanistan to build a baseline of intelligence outside the areas where the tribals had coverage. Clarke was nervous about such a mission because he continued to fear that Bin Ladin might leave for someplace less accessible. He wrote Deputy National Security Advisor Donald Kerrick that one reliable source reported Bin Ladin’s having met with Iraqi officials, who 'may have offered him asylum.' Other intelligence sources said that some Taliban leaders, though not Mullah Omar, had urged Bin Ladin to go to Iraq. If Bin Ladin actually moved to Iraq, wrote Clarke, his network would be at Saddam Hussein’s service, and it would be 'virtually impossible” to find him. Better to get Bin Ladin in Afghanistan, Clarke declared.' Berger suggested sending one U-2 flight,but Clarke opposed even this. It would require Pakistani approval, he wrote; and 'Pak[istan’s] intel[ligence service] is in bed with' Bin Ladin and would warn him that the United States was getting ready for a bombing campaign: 'Armed with that knowledge, old wily Usama will likely boogie to Baghdad.' Though told also by Bruce Riedel of the NSC staff that Saddam Hussein wanted Bin Ladin in Baghdad,Berger conditionally authorized a single U-2 flight.Allen meanwhile had found other ways of getting the information he wanted. So the U-2 flight never occurred.


23 posted on 07/23/2004 7:39:17 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: Shermy

Thanks.

So even during the Clinton administration it was a given, that there was a link between Bin Laden and Saddam.


24 posted on 07/23/2004 7:43:40 PM PDT by FairOpinion (FIGHT TERRORISM! VOTE BUSH/CHENEY 2004.)
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To: Shermy
Nice catch.

5 Legislative Days Left Until The AWB Expires

25 posted on 07/23/2004 8:53:15 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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