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Startling implications of a Jihadi letter
American Thinker ^ | November 09, 2007 | Ray Robison

Posted on 11/09/2007 11:03:03 AM PST by neverdem

New light is being shed on the 2001 anthrax attacks in a fascinating open letter to Ayman al Zawahiri of al Qaeda, written by a jihadi living in London.

Numan Bin Uthman, a former leader of an armed Islamic group in Libya, provides yet more evidence that the global Islamic jihad movement is losing its resolve.  But the letter contains a startling admission. Uthman tells us of a conversation he had with al Qaeda leaders before the 9/11 attacks in which he urged them not to use WMD. From AKI News:

Uthman also said that he had taken part in an important al-Qaeda summit in Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2000, in which al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had defined search for and use of weapons of mass destruction as a "Sharia obligation".

"During this occasion, I had a strong dispute with the martyr Abu Hafs al-Kumandan, because he was heavily involved in acquiring weapons of mass destruction," he said in the letter.
I was unfamiliar with the name "al Kumandan" but there is a well known al Qaeda leader named Abu Hafs who is a "martyr" and was killed by U.S. Forces in Afghanistan. Looking up Kumandan on the internet I found a reference and it seems to mean "commander". Abu Hafs has been identified as Usama bin Laden's WMD chaser. He fits Uthman's description. He was the number three man in al Qaeda.

Controversial informant Ibn Sheik al Libi identified Abu Hafs, otherwise known as Mohammad Atef as a contact between al Qaeda and the Saddam regime for procurement of WMD, before he recanted.

In a previous article I noted that a new al Qaeda document matched very well with a Saddam regime document. The linkage between the documents gave a chain of command and time-line from a Saddam regime order to "hunt Americans" in Somalia followed by a Abu Hafs order just two days later that would lead to that ultimate end. 

I have also argued publicly that the 2001 anthrax attack makes a lot more sense as a continuation of the 9/11 attacks than as the plot of some embittered scientist. If al Qaeda did perform the anthrax attack, I consider it likely that Abu Hafs most likely obtained anthrax from Iraq, through his relationship to the Saddam regime in his position as WMD chaser.Former CIA Director George Tenet confirmed in his book At The Eye of the Storm that a second al Qaeda source backed up this connection; there is further evidence of collaberation. It didn't have to be much; just a small sample, a pound or two easily smuggled out of Iraq.

Uthman continues:

"He wanted to use these weapons to dissuade the United State from attacking Afghanistan. And yet I knew that al-Qaeda did not have any strategic vision and would have used the weapons to kill indiscriminately and not to dissuade".
Now consider this: you plan to conduct an attack (9/11) and you expect retaliation. One tactic to counter the threat of invasion would be to make the enemy believe he will endure a devastating biological attack (or mutually assured destruction, to resurrect an antiquated term).

But having WMD and using WMD are two different things. It is well known that before the Gulf War Saddam Hussein had massive stockpiles and the ability to soak the battlefield in WMD. However, he did not use them, partially because President George H.W. Bush promised nuclear retaliation if Saddam used WMD. Saddam had them but did not have the will to use them against U.S. forces; he wasn't willing to accept the consequences.

But what if we had known he had the will? What if Saddam had proved beyond a doubt that an invasion would have been met with WMD? Would that have been a successful deterrent? Quite possibly it might have.

Now consider the possibility that al Qaeda leaders believed we would retaliate for 9/11 and decided that they would have to prove they not only had WMD but also the will to use WMD. How would they do that?

One very solid way would be to launch a small scale WMD attack in the United States as a demonstration. Remember, Uthman said,
"He wanted to use these weapons to dissuade the United State from attacking Afghanistan."
Of course, he doesn't say if this is directly related to 9/11. He may have meant that before 9/11 UBL  wanted WMD to keep us out of Afghanistan. But remember, this whole conversation takes place in the context of procuring WMD as a duty of jihad. And prior to this, Usama bin Laden had already declared war on the United States. I think the rest of his statements make it clear what he meant.

Remember, he said "And yet I knew that al-Qaeda did not have any strategic vision and would have used the weapons to kill indiscriminately and not to dissuade". The word "indiscriminately" as used here sounds an awful lot like he means a terrorist attack without actually having to say terrorist and thereby validate the term. Jihadis find it very important to invalidate that concept (along with "war on terror") in order to convince other Muslims that it is really a war on Islam.

Uthman continues:

"At that time I said that provoking the United States would turn them against the Taliban and by striking the country in an unconventional way would bring occupation to the entire Middle East and not only Afghanistan and that's what's happened," he said.
Uthman clearly is indicating that he warned Usama bin Laden and Mohammad Atef not to strike the U.S. in an "unconventional way" which is one way to describe an attack with WMD or unconventional weapons. He highlights that he claimed the war would spread to the Middle East "and that's what's happened". He means he warned al Qaeda that the war would spread to Iraq if they used WMD.

Considering that the world (minus the bulk of the American press) now sees that it is quite likely the U.S. will defeat al Qaeda in Iraq, Uthman has clearly written an "I told you so" to Zawahiri.

He speaks circumspectly, so as not to admit too much that would support the case made by the Bush Administration, but his meaning is clear. Uthman has become convinced that Usama bin Laden has lost the war in Iraq, has lost his credibility and lays it all at the feet of his use of anthrax on the United States. Of course, the vagaries of his statement will be exploited with alternate theories by liberals bent on denying the al Qaeda threat and George Bush's success. All I ask is for the fair minded to keep Uthman's statements in context to get the big picture here.

Now let's put that big picture together.

Uthman says he tried to talk Mohammad Atef and Usama bin Laden out of using WMD in a terrorist attack to convince the U.S. not to retaliate in Afghanistan because it would ultimately spread to Iraq.

Why would Uthman expect this? I can think of one salient reason.

Because he knew that al Qaeda was planning an Anthrax attack with weaponized anthrax provide by Saddam Hussein.

H/T Mata Harley

TOPICS: Anthrax Scare; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Politics/Elections; United Kingdom; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 1996; 1999; 200110; 200201; 911attacks; abdulrahman; abuhafs; abuwael; abuwail; afghanistan; alhawali; alkumandan; allibi; alqaeda; alzawahiri; amerithrax; amesstrain; ansaralislam; anthrax; anthraxattacks; atcc; atef; aymanalzawahiri; azzam; binladen; binuthman; biopreparat; blindsheik; blindsheikh; caliphate; darpa; declarationofwar; documents; domesticterrorism; egyptians; fallschurch; fallschurchcell; georgemason; gmu; hawali; hekmatyar; iana; ibnsheikallibi; imminenthorizon; iraq; iraqi; isis; kandahar; kenalibek; kumandan; libya; libyans; microbiologist; mohammadatef; mullahkrekar; numanbinuthman; opimminenthorizon; osamabinladen; portondown; raufahmad; saddamhussein; salafists; sedition; shariaobligation; somalia; taliban; terrocharities; threatletter; uk; uthman; warningletter; whywefight; wmd; zawahiri
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To: ZacandPook
Ansar al Islam Links to Saddam : 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.- "Ansar Al-Islam: Iraq's Al-Qaeda Connection, " By Jonathan Schanzer, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, via , Friday, January 17, 2003
* Abu Zurbeh : "Former" Iraqi intelligence agent and a leader of Ansar al Islam. Captured member of Ansar al Islam, Osman Ali, says Abu Zurbeh refers to Saddam as "Uncle Saddam." -"Canadian man called key in Iraq terror cell Iraq terror cell links Al Qaeda, Saddam," Sandro Contenta in Sulaymania, Iraq Toronto Star NEWS; Pg. A01 February 26, 2003 Wednesday Ontario Edition (it was abridged) see also The Hamilton Spectator for the unabridged version
* Sa'adoon Mohammed Abdul Latif, aka Abu-Wa'il : The suspected al Qaeda members of interest to the US include Sa'adoon Mohammed Abdul Latif, or Abu-Wa'il, an Iraqi intelligence officer who first visited Afghanistan in 1999 and is believed to be an intermediary between Osama bin Laden and Iraq's intelligence ministry. - "U.S. negotiates trade of terror suspects," By Eli J. Lake, UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL via The Washington Times, May 9, 2003,
A member of Ansar al Islam's ruling council, Abou Wa'el, has been identified by al Qaeda captives as a present or former Iraqi intelligence agent, said the sources. The sources said the group has been making ricin - the deadly toxin cops found in London when they busted an Islamic terror cell last month. But the United States has not destroyed the [Ansar al Islam] "camp," partly because communications to and from it have provided useful data on al Qaeda. - "MUCH MORE TO SADDAM-QAEDA TIE," by NILES LATHEM, New York Post , 2/07/03
* Much of Ansar's stock of chemicals was smuggled in by Abu Wa-il, a former agent of the Iraqi secret service, Mukhabarat; his present whereabouts are unknown. He provided the logistics for smuggling from Saddam-controlled areas, and the funding to acquire weapons and materials, almost certainly with Baghdad's approval. - "Chemical war threat by Iraq's 'Taliban' ," By Damien McElroy in Nicosia, UK Telegraph , Filed: 12/01/2003 (jan 12, 2003)*
Al-Shamari added that "Abu Wael's wife is Izzat al-Douri's cousin," making him a part of Saddam's inner circle. Al-Douri, of course, was the deputy chairman of Saddam's Revolutionary Command Council, a high-ranking official in Iraq's armed forces, and Saddam's righthand man. Originally number six on the most wanted list, he is still believed to be at large in Iraq, and is suspected of coordinating aspects of insurgency against American troops, primarily in the Sunni triangle. ------------------- "Saddam's Ambassador to al Qaeda," by Jonathan Schanzer, The Weekly Standard, March 1, 2004
The 82d Airborne Division has been tracking Khamis Sirhan and he has been the Division’s number 1 target for a number of months. Kahmis Sirhan was the key regional former regime element leader in Al Anbar province, to include Fallujah, Khalidiyah and Ramadi. He was responsible for coordinating, facilitating, and financing numerous anti-coalition attacks. He is also suspected of involvement in acts of sabotage against the power, oil, fuel and rail infrastructure since the fall of the former dictator’s regime....
Sirhan has been extremely cooperative since his capture and continues to provide valuable information. From interrogation, it was confirmed that Sirhan was a prominent founding member of the Ba’ath Party and the regional commander of the Al-Anbar FRE and radical Islamist resistance. He has provided names and places of key individuals associated with the Foreign Regime Element (FRE) cells and Foreign Fighter (FF) cells----"Task Force “All-American” Captures Key Resistance Leader In Al Fallujah - Update," CENTCOM, CJTF 7 Release #040115a , 1/15/04
He [MULLAH KREKAR] was reticent about the details of the "documents" but asserted that he had met Americans before the 11 September 2001 events and said: "I met a CIA representative and another from the American army in Al-Sulaymaniyah city at the end of 2000. They asked Ansar al-Islam and me to cooperate with them like the Talabani group and other Kurdish parties were doing. We refused and we have photographs of this meeting in our archives." He added: "The Ansar al-Islam group was one of the seven parties that former President Bill Clinton had placed on the list of Kurdish parties that could cooperate with the Americans against Iraq. But he removed us from the list after we declared our clear stand on this issue."------ "Ansar al-Islam Leader Threatens to Reveal "Evidence" that Convicts USA," Kurdistan Observer, Feb 3, 2003,
* Ansar al-Islam (Supporters of Islam) aka Jund al-Islam aka Soldiers of God Strength : About 700 members. Additional Info : According to some reports, the group has received $600,000 from al-Qaeda, and a delivery of weapons and Toyota Land Cruisers. There are also reports stating that Ansar al-Islam received $35,000 from the Mukhabarat branch of Iraqi Intelligence Service, in addition to a considerable quantity of arms. The leader of Ansar al-Islam, Mullah Krekar has been captured in September of 2002. 31 posted on 08/05/2004 6:51:59 AM PDT by Lady GOP
My first question to al-Shamari was whether he was involved in the operations of Ansar al Islam. My translator asked him the question in Arabic, and al-Shamari nodded: "Yes." Al-Shamari, who appears to be in his late twenties, said that his division of the Mukhabarat provided weapons to Ansar, "mostly mortar rounds." This statement echoed an independent Kurdish report from July 2002 alleging that ordnance seized from Ansar al Islam was produced by Saddam's military and a Guardian article several weeks later alleging that truckloads of arms were shipped to Ansar from areas controlled by Saddam. In addition to weapons, al-Shamari said, the Mukhabarat also helped finance Ansar al Islam. "On one occasion we gave them ten million Swiss dinars [$700,000]," al-Shamari said, referring to the pre-1990 Iraqi currency. On other occasions, the Mukhabarat provided more than that. The assistance, he added, was furnished "every month or two months." ------------------- "Saddam's Ambassador to al Qaeda," by Jonathan Schanzer, The Weekly Standard, March 1, 2004
Al-Shamari said that importing foreign fighters to train in Iraq was part of his job in the Mukhabarat. The fighters trained in Salman Pak, a facility located some 20 miles southeast of Baghdad. He said that he had personal knowledge of 500 fighters that came through Salman Pak dating back to the late 1990s; they trained in "urban combat, explosives, and car bombs." This account agrees with a White House Background Paper on Iraq dated September 12, 2002, which cited the "highly secret terrorist training facility in Iraq known as Salman Pak, where both Iraqis and non-Iraqi Arabs receive training on hijacking planes and trains, planting explosives in cities, sabotage, and assassinations." ------------------- "Saddam's Ambassador to al Qaeda," by Jonathan Schanzer, The Weekly Standard, March 1, 2004
SEPTEMBER 1999 : (NINTH POPULAR ISLAMIC CONGRESS) Baghdad, 23 May (AKI) - The number two of the al-Qaeda network, Ayman al-Zawahiri, visited Iraq under a false name in September 1999 to take part in the ninth Popular Islamic Congress, former Iraqi premier Iyad Allawi has revealed to pan-Arab daily al-Hayat. In an interview, Allawi made public information discovered by the Iraqi secret service in the archives of the Saddam Hussein regime, which sheds light on the relationship between Saddam Hussein and the Islamic terrorist network. He also said that both al-Zawahiri and Jordanian militant al-Zarqawi probably entered Iraq in the same period. "Al-Zawahiri was summoned by Izza Ibrahim Al-Douri – then deputy head of the council of the leadership of the revolution - to take part in the congress, along with some 150 other Islamic figures from 50 Muslim countries," Allawi said. According to Allawi, important information has been gathered regarding the presence of another key terrorist figure operating in Iraq - the Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. "The Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi entered Iraq secretly in the same period," Allawi affirmed, "and began to form a terrorist cell, even though the Iraqi services do not have precise information on his entry into the country," he said. Allawi's remarks come after statements to al-Hayat by King Abdallah II of Jordan over Saddam's refusal to hand over al-Zarqawi to the authorities in Amman. On this question Allawi said: ''The words of the Jordanian King are correct and important. We have proof of al-Zawahiri's visit to Iraq, but we do not have the precise date or information on al-Zarqawi's entry, though it is likely that he arrived around the same time." In Allawi's view, Saddam's government "sponsored" the birth of al-Qaeda in Iraq, coordinating with other terrorist groups, both Arab and Muslim. "The Iraqi secret services had links to these groups through a person called Faruq Hajizi, later named Iraq's ambassador to Turkey and arrested after the fall of Saddam's regime as he tried to re-enter Iraq. Iraqi secret agents helped terrorists enter the country and directed them to the Ansar al-Islam camps in the Halbija area," he said. The former prime minister claims that Saddam's regime sought to involve even Palestinian Abu Nidal - head of a group once considered the world's most dangerous terrorist organisation - in its terrorist circuit. Abu Nidal's organisation was responsible for terrorist attacks in some 20 countries, killing more than 300 people and wounding hundreds more. He added that Abu Nidal's refusal to cooperate with Islamist groups was the reason for his death in Iraq, in the summer of 2002. ----- (Ham/Aki) 23-May-05 12:08-----IRAQ: FORMER PM (ALLAWI) REVEALS SECRET SERVICE DATA ON BIRTH OF AL-QAEDA IN IRAQ it) | May 23, 2005 | AKI

Ansar al Islam Links to Iran : Iran supports Ansar by allowing it to operate along its borders. Iran may also provide logistical support by permitting the flow of goods and weapons and providing a safe area beyond the front. The Turkish daily Milliyet has noted that Ansar militants check cars leaving their stronghold en route to Iran, indicating coordination with the Islamic republic. Moreover, the recently apprehended Mullah Krekar spent many years in Iran and was arrested in Amsterdam after a flight from Tehran.
Iran has several possible reasons for supporting Ansar. For one, having a democratic proto-state on its borders threatens the very nature of the Islamic republic. Thus, continued guerrilla activity benefits Tehran, as does any movement designed to spread Islamism in Kurdistan.
Furthermore, by supporting Ansar and other Islamist groups in Iraq, Tehran may attempt to gain influence among the various factions that could contribute to a new Iraqi government if Saddam's regime is overthrown.- "Ansar Al-Islam: Iraq's Al-Qaeda Connection, " By Jonathan Schanzer, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, via , Friday, January 17, 2003

21 posted on 12/30/2007 8:21:45 PM PST by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: piasa


Thanks so much.

Two weeks after the blind sheik’s son was captured (and KSM was secretly captured two weeks before the press conference), in OPERATION IMMINENT HORIZON, they raided the home of microbiologist Ali al-Timimi and charity-related supporters of Bin Laden’s sheik al-Hawali. IANA’s spin-off HTN was run by a man who in the sentencing memo was said to give money each year to the group renamed Ansar Al-Islam. While the conventional wisdom is that OBL (and the charity head) hated Saddam, it is accepted fact that Zawahiri travelled to Baghdad and over the years met with Iraqi intelligence. I’ve never seen it disputed that Wael was connected to Iraqi intelligence and that he was senior in Ansar. Now documents produced in the Albany imam case show that the founder of Ansar al-Islam, Mullah Krekar, expected the Syracuse charity leader to set up a US center for Ansar al-Islam. The same day Al-Timimi’s residence was searched, two drying experts were searched. Unnoticed in all of this, Falls Church and Bridgeview, Ill. senior Hamas fundraisers previously associated with recruitment of biochem people were eventually indicted. So just because OBL considered Saddam a whisky drinking apostate is not the end of the inquiry. Just because the anthrax was grown domestically. and just because the US-based islamist network had access to US know-how, is a starting point of consideration of Iraqi involvement. Relatedly, I accept that Saddam did not give Ayman the know-how or the strain. (Certainly, the documentary evidence establishes that Ayman was working hard to achieve both through infiltrators, such as Rauf Ahman in connection with the UK biodefense establishment. That would have been unnecessary had Saddam been helping along these lines). But your evidence that Iraqi intelligence had infiltrated Ansar al-Islam, in a senior leadership capacity, seems sound. (I’ve only read the first few items so far but it rings true). I also find it interesting that Ali’s father worked for the Iraqi embassy. Sometimes truth is more complicated than the US-partisan divisions allow. My general understanding is that the US Amerithrax Task Force knows much more than it is letting on — and that the anthrax conspiracy is thought to span a number of militant-supporting charities.

Thanks again for the citations as I previously was lacking them.

22 posted on 01/04/2008 2:16:05 AM PST by ZacandPook
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