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 FrontPageMagazine.com , 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, http://washingtontimes.com/world/20030509-22822443.htm
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 Divisions 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 dictators 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 Baath 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, http://home.cogeco.ca/~observer/3-2-03-krekar-threaten-reveal-evidence-usa.html.
* 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 FrontPageMagazine.com , Friday, January 17, 2003