Skip to comments.Raid Finds al-Qaida Tie to Iraq Militants (Strongest Evidence Yet)
Posted on 03/31/2003 8:07:17 PM PST by truthandlife
- A U.S.-led assault on a compound controlled by an extremist Islamic group turned up a list of names of suspected militants living in the United States and what may be the strongest evidence yet linking the group to al-Qaida, coalition commanders said Monday.
The cache of documents at the Ansar al-Islam compound, including computer discs and foreign passports belonging to Arab fighters from around the Middle East, could bolster the Bush administration's claims that the two groups are connected, although there was no indication any of the evidence tied Ansar to Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) as Washington has maintained.
There were indications, however, that the group has been getting help from inside neighboring Iran.
Kurdish and Turkish intelligence officials, some speaking on condition of anonymity, said many of Ansar's 700 members have slipped out of Iraq (news - web sites) and into Iran putting them out of reach of coalition forces.
The officials also said a U.S. missile strike on Ansar's territory on the second day of the war missed most of its leadership which crossed into Iran days earlier.
U.S. officials said the government had reports some Ansar fighters could have made it into Iran and have been shuttling back and forth with fresh supplies.
According to a high-level Kurdish intelligence official, three Ansar leaders identified as Ayoub Afghani, Abdullah Shafeye and Abu Wahel were among those who had fled into Iran. The official said the three were seen being detained by Iranian authorities Sunday.
"We asked the Iranian authorities to hand over to us any of the Afghan Arabs or Islamic militants hiding themselves inside the villages of Iran," said Boorhan Saeed, a member of the pro-U.S. Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. "We asked them about it Sunday, and still don't have a response."
Last week, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld warned the Iranians to stop meddling in the war. Tehran denied any involvement.
Using airstrikes and ground forces, Kurdish soldiers and U.S. troops have cooperated in the past week to dislodge and crush Ansar militants in 18 villages surrounding the Iraqi city of Halabja about 160 miles northeast of Baghdad.
"We actually believe we destroyed a significant portion of the Ansar al-Islam force there," Maj. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, vice director of operations on the Pentagon (news - web sites)'s Joint Staff, said Monday. He said forces were investigating the finds.
Among a trove of evidence found inside Ansar compounds were passports and identity papers of Ansar activists indicating that up to 150 of them were foreigners, including Yemenis, Turks, Palestinians, Pakistanis, Algerians and Iranians.
Coalition forces also found a phone book containing numbers of alleged Islamic activists based in the United States and Europe as well as the number of a Kuwaiti cleric and a letter from Yemen's minister of religion. The names and numbers were not released.
"What we've discovered in Biyare is a very sophisticated operation," said Barham Salih, prime minister of the Kurdish regional government.
Seized computer disks contained evidence showing meetings between Ansar and al-Qaida activists, according to Mahdi Saeed Ali, a military commander.
It was unclear how strong Ansar remains.
Officials from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, one of two parties that share control of an autonomous Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq, say they killed 250 Ansar members during two days of intense fighting and aerial bombardments.
"There was ferocious fighting," Saeed said. He said he chased 25 Ansar militants across the Iranian border and captured nine Ansar sympathizers belonging to a group called the Islamic Movement of Kurdistan.
The remaining Ansar fighters are thought to be in the mountains along the Iraq-Iran border, U.S. and Kurdish military officials have said.
Kurdish soldiers on Monday continued sporadic fighting in several villages around Halabja and along the Iran-Iraq border near the village of Sargat, site of a destroyed building once allegedly used by Ansar militants to produce poison.
Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Sunday the Sargat compound was probably the site where militants made a biological toxin, traces of which were later found by police in London.
"We think that's probably where the ricin that was found in London came (from)" he told CNN's "Late Edition." "At least the operatives and maybe some of the formulas came from this site."
British police raided a London apartment in January and found traces of ricin, a powerful poison made from castor plant beans. U.S. officials believe the poison and those arrested were linked to Ansar.
The group's leader, Mullah Krekar, is being held in Norway on charges of kidnapping and aiding terrorists.
Krekar has denied any links to Saddam or al-Qaida, but said he considers Osama bin Laden (news - web sites) a "good Muslim."
In a recent interview with Dutch television, Krekar said his fighters would use suicide attacks if U.S. troops went after the group.
One such attack came three days into the war when an apparent car bomb killed at least five people, including an Australian cameraman, at a checkpoint near an Ansar training camp.
I suppose the dumb journalist asked for them.
List of names huh?? .. round up time
I'd love to take a peek at that list.
I think that point is moot. So is whether or not Saddam has WMD.
The WMD will be harder to find, because they're being shepherded by professionals.
But no matter what else we find, the evidence that the Saddam Regime was harboring, aiding and abetting al-Qa'ida will be more than enough for the vast majority of Americans. The Democrats may conveniently forget, but the rest of America has NOT yet gotten over 9/11, and won't for at least a generation.
By that I'm assuming you mean our "domestic enemies." Well, you're right, but you're wrong.
You're right in that it won't matter to them.
But you're wrong in that THEY THEMSELVES DON'T MATTER, because the vast majority of Americans will think this is a VERY, VERY BIG DEAL.
You see, the vast majority of Americans don't buy for one nanosecond this notion that 9/11 was "our fault." They KNOW whose fault it was, and when they see the link between Saddam and al-Qa'ida, that will be enough for them.
Goody Goody Gumdrops!!!!!
All of these "anti-Bush", "anti-war" and "anti-everything American" crowd will have plenty of egg on their faces and it will be many years before these pacifist blame America firsters will be taken seriously ever again.
We will find out just how much military support N. Korea has given to known terrorist states, we will find out how much Iran is tied to Al-Qaeda, we will find out just how much Syria has been helping most, if not all of the terrorist groups, including direct help to OBL. We will also find out how many deep deals the French have had with Saddam and his contributions to Chiraq. We will find out just how much technical help Germany has given to Saddam. We will find out just how much military help China & Russia has given to Saddam. We will find out that all of this help has come while the sanctions were in place and with the U.N. blessing.
My prediction is the U.N. will join the League of Nations in the ash heap of history
"All of these "anti-Bush", "anti-war" and "anti-everything American" crowd"
Let this nation of states do what our leaders have set them to do. Get rid of Hussein, get rid of the WMDs, and get the troops home to their families. I'm not disagreeing with the war necessarily, especially after it's begun (I am a patriot contrary to neocon belief systems), but please notice I didn't include building a nation for the Iraqis in there because while war is included in the Constitution, nation building is not. If the UN wants to do it, let them do it.
A more fierce chaos will arise if we bail.
Better to stay and help the people create a new order.
Our goal is to tame not only the badlands of Iraq, but all the other Arabian medievalists.
For now... I wonder if Iran will play the game like Musharraf did, and decide to turn them in. While we're at it, we can politely request the extradition of Mugniyah. If Iran doesn't "cough 'em up", we go get them.
Excellent. I like those Kurds already.
I assume he'll get six months proibation and then be paroled to Paris.
Good news. Time to round up another batch of these bastards!!
You know I don't really care if it's 'bad karma' or not. This Wilsonian neocon foreign policy of the past 90 years has caused a lot more problems than it's ever solved. We put one puppet in office just to have to remove him thirty years later (except now the same man's a 'dictator'). This has happened well more than one time. And frankly I'm tired of it. You've got to stop sometime and might as well be now.
At first the excuse was to fight communism, now the reason is fighting terrorism. Afghanistan needed to be taken care of, Iraq is questionable (although I do support the troops and the President in this endeavor), who's next? Syria? Saudi Arabia? Heck, why don't we just take over the entire Middle East while we're at it and establish military governors? Then we'll be just like the British and every other Empire that's ever existed. And of course the question comes who's going to pay for it (reaching for my wallet)?
A more fierce chaos will arise if we bail.
Your point? I imagine feuding between the clans over who owns different parts of Iraq will do quite a lot in cleaning up the 'war on terror'. Drill ANWR, get our oil from there, and let the tinpot dictators fight it out. Just to be clear, I am for arming Israel to the teeth for its defense, and any attack on Israel would be treated just as an attack on Great Britain. Get at least somewhat close to Washington's advice of foreign entanglements
Better to stay and help the people create a new order. Our goal is to tame not only the badlands of Iraq, but all the other Arabian medievalists
And why is that again? You sound like a mouthpiece for National Review. You point to me a place in the Constitution that states we're supposed to 'spread peace and democracy' worldwide and I'll support your view. P.S. You won't be able to.
I thought as conservatives we should be for returning to the Constitutional limits of the government. If we continue to foist international projects (rebuilding countries, AIDS support for Africa, and 40,000 tons of food to a dictator (North Korea) with nuclear weapons) upon the citizens of the respective states, just how are we going to be able to lessen government in our own nation? Not to mention the growth cheered on by Patriot Act supporters? The government eventually will have to continue to raise taxes to pay for all this crap and government will continue to grow. International affairs and the size of the government are not exclusive. If you increase one, automatically you have to increase the other.
And the Constitution gets buried under the paperwork
Hey I'm not blaming the regime!! Those people didn't come from the regime. They came from the streets. And if OBL found 19 of them, I guarantee there's at least 19 more. Just as polls are twisted here in the US to tell us what to believe or who to believe, you can't tell me you believe the polls showing 'strong' support in Saudi Arabia, or any other Arab nation for that matter, for the war in Iraq
Plain and simple, the majority of people in those countries may tolerate these United States, they may even throw a bone our way from time to time. But those nations have seen empires of the West come and go. They've seen the occupation forces, and sooner or later, every time, the occupation forces end up going away as the latest Empire's strength fades. That's not opinion, that's historical fact
I agree about the "Arab Street" they are not behind anything we do. I blame that on the teaching of the radical form of Islam "Wahabyism" (sp?) that is funded by the Saudi's. The people who live comfortably in these Middle Eastern Nations and those in control use the Madrassa's that teach this form of Islam to the poorest and most desperate among them to focus their frustrations on the West and blame the U.S. for all their problems.
Most of the rulers over there have used their oil money to buy protection through all kinds of handouts to the "Have Nots".
These same rulers spent their riches on Socialist programs instead of a well rounded economy that produces a real middle class. What they have over their is the filthy rich and the filthy poor. That's a recipe for disaster.
Our inner cities and the socialist programs that have been foisted upon them by the democrats have produced a bitter society that has little respect for itself because their is no dignity in having things handed to you. eventually the people getting the handouts resent those who have been giving them out. The same thing has happened over there, but to the 4th power. The way to divert that resentment is to give the "Have Nots" something to hate. It's an age-old practice in dealing with "Have Nots" when they are about to turn on the rulers. Give them something to vent their hatred on and the rulers have successfully diverted the attention away from themselves and all of a sudden they have a purpose. This is the same way Cults and groups like ANSWER recruit their followers.
The solution is to expose these practices, as well as the rulers who promote this hatred for what they are. Self-determination is the key and in order to be a successful nation, it must be woven into the fabric of a nation, very much like our founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the Constitution.
Sorry for the long rant :-)
Ansar and al-Qaida activists
I f***ing HATE the Associated Press.
Yet UBL, AQ's spiritual leader, had absolutely no problem whatsoever working hand-in-hand with the infidel Americans in liberating Afghanistan from the Soviets. But now he's going to turn his his back on Saddam's billions because of his "purity".
I heard Mike Farrell make the same argument.
"First, for over seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples."
"If some people have in the past argued about the fact of the occupation, all the people of the Peninsula have now acknowledged it."
"The best proof of this is the Americans' continuing aggression against the Iraqi people using the Peninsula as a staging post, even though all its rulers are against their territories being used to that end, but they are helpless."
"Second, despite the great devastation inflicted on the Iraqi people by the crusader-Zionist alliance, and despite the huge number of those killed, which has exceeded 1 million... despite all this, the Americans are once against trying to repeat the horrific massacres, as though they are not content with the protracted blockade imposed after the ferocious war or the fragmentation and devastation."
"So here they come to annihilate what is left of this people and to humiliate their Muslim neighbors."
"Third, if the Americans' aims behind these wars are religious and economic, the aim is also to serve the Jews' petty state and divert attention from its occupation of Jerusalem and murder of Muslims there."
"The best proof of this is their eagerness to destroy Iraq, the strongest neighboring Arab state, and their endeavor to fragment all the states of the region such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Sudan into paper statelets and through their disunion and weakness to guarantee Israel's survival and the continuation of the brutal crusade occupation of the Peninsula."
Notice no mention of the millions of Muslims that Saddam the infidel brutalized in Iraq, Iran and Kuwait. Notice all three points stress the protection of Iraq's Ba'athist regime.
Nah, UBL would never take Saddam's money and support to elevate himself. No way.
The fierce chaos I referred to would be Islamism boiling over, doing it's best to infect the world all round...free to develop the means of mass-murder which they would surely turn on us and the world around them.
The path you seem to advocate gets us not free from entanglement...it would get us dead.
from the Osama tape released before the war...
" The prophet said, those who fight to uphold the word of God, it is for the sake of God. It doesn't hurt, under these conditions, that the interests of Muslims contradict the interest of the socialists in the fight against the crusaders.
That's with our belief and our disclosure that the socialist are infidels. The socials and those rulers have lost their power a long time ago. The socialists are infidels where ever they are, whether they re in Baghdad or in Aden.
This fight that's going on, or that will be going on one of these days, resembles to a great extent, the fight of Muslims against the Romans and the contradiction of interests does not hurt because the fight against the Romans was against the interest of the Persians but that did not hurt the disciples of the prophet."
Osama says it is OK for Muslims to assist the Iraqis (socialists) against the Crusaders, even thought they are infidels.
If we know their location, it woud seem a simple matter to have some slight gps malfunctions occur on a few dozen jdams.