Iraq & Terrorism
2 February 2003
"Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al-Qaeda."
President George W. Bush, State of the Union, 29 January 2003
On February 5, 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell will deliver a briefing to the UN on
"Iraq's illegal weapons programs, its attempt to hide those weapons from inspectors,
and its links to terrorist groups."
Evidence compiled by efreedomnews:
Palestinian born Director of External Operations for Iraqi Intelligence, the new Ambassador to Turkey, Farouk Hijazi, traveled to Kandahar, Afghanistan in December, 1998 and met with Osama Bin Laden.1,2,3,4,7
"Terrorist cells belonging to the network organized by Osama bin Laden...are ready go into action in the countries of the Persian Gulf and Europe...The list of targets is ready. It was agreed in Kandahar 21 December by Osama himself and Farouk Hijazi... The new recruits, together with the veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Bosnia, form the secret army that is expected to use its weapons against all those who oppose the rais of Baghdad. In order to make them even more dangerous, traditional training has been supplemented with training in the use of chemical weapons, toxins and viruses."3 [Corriere della Sera, February 1, 1999 (Italia)]
Baghdad had even grander designs for Osama. Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal had visited Mullah Omar twice in 1998, trying to get to Osama for his intended overthrow of the House of Saud. He had been twice rejected. Saudi financing of the Taliban had then been severely reduced and the Taliban were reconsidering the value of protecting Osama. Pressure from the US and Saudi Arabia had secured the expulsion of Osama from Sudan to Yemen in the early 1990's, and just as they had offered then, Iraq invited Osama to asylum and refuge in Baghdad.3
[This meeting was confirmed by Vincent Cannistraro, Director of NSC Intelligence from 1984 to 1987, then chief of operations for the CIA's Counterterrorism Center.]3
Mamoun Fandy, professor of Middle East Politics at Georgetown University, with personal Saudi Royal Family connections, said in 1999, the Saudi monarchy told him they ended diplomatic relations and funding of the Taliban. The Saudi's felt this would compel the Taliban to force Osama out of Afghanistan. Islamic fundamentalist bin Laden would have an ideological aversion to accepting the secularist Iraqi offer, as he did in the early 1990's, but Osama might have little choice but to accept. [obviously, Osama secured other arrangements.]
|The New York Post reported February 1, 1999,
"Saddam Hussein - battered, humiliated and increasingly isolated - plans to resort to terrorism in revenge for U.S. airstrikes against his country"
"Earlier this month, Saddam appeared to move even further ideologically toward Bin Laden when he lashed out at the Saudi and Kuwaiti governments.
"Saudi rulers have caused great calamities to the Arab nation and committed aggression against its rights ever since they became a bridge for the foreigner," Saddam said in a written statement.
Terrorism is the Iraqi ruler's new strategy, said Kenneth Katzman, a former CIA analyst now with the Congressional Research Service.
"Saddam hasn't been much of a player on the terrorism scene lately. But now he's clearly trying to advertise himself in the Arab world as a victim of American aggression in hopes of attracting Bin Laden's supporters and others to his cause," Katzman said. 4
Ahmed Allawi, a senior INC official, advised, that it is not new, "There is a long history of contacts between the Mukhabarat [Iraqi secret service] and Osama bin Ladin."2
Saddam stockpiles terrorists as weapons to use for his own.
Iraq provides safehaven to terrorist and rejectionist groups and continues its efforts to rebuild its intelligence network, which it used previously to support international terrorism. 5
The Abu Nidal Organization (Fatah Revolutionary Council, Arab Revolutionary Brigades, Black September, Revolutionary Organization of Socialist Muslims) split from the PLO in 1974. carried out terrorist attacks in 20 countries, killing or injuring almost 900 persons. Targets include the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Israel, moderate Palestinians, the PLO, and various Arab countries. The leader, Abu Nidal, relocated to Baghdad in late 1998. Iraq had never admitted Abu Nidal was in the country until reports of his death in Baghdad emerged this week.
Iraq supports and supplies the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, known to be completely controlled by Iraqi intelligence within Iraq's borders. They are primarily an anti-Iranian terror group who killed several U.S. soldiers and civilians working on defense projects in Iran prior to the fall of the Shah of Iran. 6
The Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), led by Abu Abbas, is one of three factions of the original PFLP that split up in 1977. They reject the middle east peace process and use terrorism in their quest to establish an independent Palestinian. Following the attack against the Achille Lauro ship in October 1985, Abu Abbas was expelled by the Tunisian authorities and established his headquarters in Baghdad.
On October 14, 2000, A London-bound Saudi airliner was hijacked. They landed in Baghdad where the passengers were released. Saddam granted the hijackers asylum. The Iraqi regime rebuffed a request from Riyadh for the extradition of two Saudi hijackers. Disregarding its obligations under international law, the regime granted political asylum to the hijackers and time on Iraqi television to vent their criticisms of alleged abuses by the Saudi Arabian Government, echoing an Iraqi propaganda theme.8
Iraq has a long record of supporting terrorist groups and resorting to terrorism as an adjunct of foreign policy. During the 1991 Gulf War I, Saddam planned a series of worldwide terrorist attacks. Most were foiled by US and international counterterrorism efforts.7
In 1993, Saddam attempted to assassinate President George H. Bush (41).
Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the WTC bombing in 1993 entered the US on an Iraqi passport, originating his flight from Iraq. His intelligence file in Kuwait was altered by Iraqi officials during the occupation of Kuwait. Abdul Yasin, also involved in the bombing returned to Iraq and is living in Baghdad.7
In November 2001, two defectors from the Iraqi intelligence services said that Iraq had used Salman Pak, a camp south of Baghdad, to train Islamist radicals in the techniques of terrorism, including training on a Boeing 707 fuselage in the desert.
Salman Pak: An Iraqi Lt. general and Captain Sabah Khodada defected from Iraq and emigrated to the US in May, 2001. In separate New York Times interviews, they described Salman Pak, a highly secret terrorist training camp south of Baghdad. The trainees were Iraqi, and non-Iraqi Arabs.9
Saddam has openly and vigorously supported Palestinian suicide bombers, paying families of suicide bombers $25,000 and building a Baghdad memorial to the first woman suicide bomber.
Ansar al-Islam, a Kurdish Islamic extremist group, has terrorized the northern Iraq Kurd safe-haven over the past 2 years. The group has had al-Qaeda associations since 1989. The Iraqi government provided cash and training to Ansar, in a bid to destabilize the safe haven and weaken armed Kurdish opponents.10
Qassem Hussein Mohamed who is being held in a Kurdish prison, was a Mukhabarat intelligence officer for 20 years. In an April interview by the Christian Science Monitor in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq, he said that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has supported Ansar al-Islam for several years.
"Mohamed compared Baghdad's role to the overt help Iraq given the anti-Iran Mujahideen-e-Khalq forces, which are known to be completely controlled by Iraqi intelligence within Iraq's borders."
"Ansar and Al Qaeda groups were trained by graduates of the Mukhabarat's School 999 -- military intelligence," says Mr. Mohamed."
"My information is that the Iraqi government was directly supporting [Al Qaeda] with weapons and explosives," he says. "[Ansar] was part of Al Qaeda, and given support with training and money."
U.S. officials told Time Magazine they have also obtained electronic messages passed between Baghdad and the group. "There's all sorts of signal intercepts that indicate communications," says a State Department official. "There's clearly a dialogue going on." Those threads, the official tells Time, suggest Ansar had approached Baghdad to obtain help making biological and chemical weapons.
New York Times writer William Safire wrote,16
On Sept. 24, 2001, I reported: "The clear link between the terrorist in hiding [Osama] and the terrorist in power [Saddam] can be found in Kurdistan, that northern portion of Iraq protected by U.S. and British aircraft. . . . Kurdish sources tell me (and anyone else who will listen) that the Iraqi dictator has armed and financed a fifth column of Al Qaeda mullahs and terrorists. . . ."
Well armed and financed by both Iraq and Iran, this affiliate of Al Qaeda has since provided a haven for bin Laden followers exfiltrating from Afghanistan. They tried to assassinate an articulate Kurdish leader, Barham Salih, killing several bodyguards, but their target escaped and several killers were captured. Our National Security Council members did not learn about this bloody engagement, one of them told me a week afterward, until they read about it in The Times.
The Kurds induced the captives and some defectors to reveal that the Ansar cell of Al Qaeda had begun producing poisonous chemicals for export. One product was reported here to be a cyanide cream being smuggled through Turkey. The operation was set up by a man with a limp, the informants said, a key bin Laden lieutenant, Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi.
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian leader of al-Qa'ida, was wounded in the leg in the Afghanistan war. In late 2001 he made it to Iran but was deported and traveled to Syria and then to Baghdad, where he received medical treatment for his leg injury. Afterwards Zarqawi went to northern Iraq and linked up with Ansar al-Islam. Zarqawi is linked to at least two terrorist strikes: a Millennium plot to bomb a hotel in Amman, Jordan, and the Oct. 28, 2002 killing of a U.S. diplomat, Laurence Foley, also in Amman. In December, the Jordanian authorities announced that the two men had confessed to killing Mr. Foley and that they had been directed by Mr. Zarqawi. British intelligence reported that Zarqawi traveled to Turkey where he met with the Algerians and delivered the ricin.15
Zarqawi was sighted last summer at a terrorist camp in South Lebanon, where he took part in a meeting of Islamic militants, including representatives of Iranian-controlled Hizbollah.
Since January 5, 2003, British authorities have arrested several Algerians on suspicion of terrorism using the lethal poison ricin. At one of their apartments, police discovered traces of ricin, a lethal product of the widely cultivated castor bean plant. Zarqawi has expertise in poisons, extensive experience in chemical and biological weapons and has been linked to the Algerians arrested in Britain. One gram of ricin is enough to kill up to 36,000 people. Yesterday, NBC News broadcast US satellite pictures of an Ansar al-Islam terrorism training camp, which includes a building identified by US intelligence experts as a biological and chemical weapons factory. The factory is used to produce ricin and cyanide so deadly that one local villager was accidentally killed during the experiments, according to NBC News.17
Mohammed Atta, leader of the 911 terrorists, met with an Iraqi Intelligence agent in Prague, Czech Republic in early April, 2001.
Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani, a second consul and espionage chief in the Iraqi Embassy in Prague, was expelled on April 22, 2001, for suspected espionage. Considering the level of "tradecraft" employed by these al-Qaida, Atta would not have risked being denied reentry to the U.S. or apprehended returning or leaving unless this meeting was very critical to his mission. The CIA and FBI have said that they have no hard evidence of the meeting. This would be consistent with Atta's level of expertise. The major media outlets have spun this to mean the FBI and CIA say the meeting did not occur. That is a misinterpretation. Since then, the Czechs have reconfirmed the meeting. 11, 12, 13, 14
William Jefferson Clinton said in an interview on the Jim Lehrer News Hour, Jan 21, 1998:
"Think how many can be killed by just a tiny bit of anthrax, and think about how it's not just that Saddam Hussein might put it on a Scud missile, an anthrax head, and send it on to some city he wants to destroy. Think about all the other terrorists and other bad actors who could just parade through Baghdad and pick up their stores...This is a serious thing with me, this is a very serious thing. You imagine the capacity of these tiny amounts of biological agents to cause great harm; it's something we need to get after."
Having failed to effectively "get after...this serious thing," Clinton has left President George W. Bush with the problem.
"Let's Roll" *