Saddam and Al Qaeda Connections and Collaboration

Why did I make this list of Saddam’s Connections and Collaborations with Al Qaeda?
This list started out as just an area to drop links that I found relevant regarding the most obvious reason for taking Saddam out of power, his use of Islamic terrorists to wage war by proxy. To me this aspect of Saddam’s madness has always been the central reason for deposing him. We could not allow any Dictator who believed in using Islamic terrorists as proxies to have any sort of major weapons. The crux was his desire to use Islamic terrorists as proxies in wars against us, which he states as a viable strategy against us in the first example I provide below.

As a father it struck me early on how important it was to have valid reason for going to war. Theorists, policy makers, and various bureaucrats might believe UN Resolutions were important enough to go to and sustain war but as a father I knew it wouldn’t be. None of my children mattered so little to me that I would waste them upholding such a cynical organization as the UN. But showing clear connections and collaborations between a nation and those terrorists we knew to be attacking and I would support going to war.

Our war is far from over. To do our part at home we need to respond against those who try and stop our battle for survival by discrediting our war in Iraq. We must never pass up a chance at discrediting their arguments, either in private conversations, letters to the editor, radio talk shows or wherever they make themselves known. So when you hear someone make the claim that there was no evidence of Saddam’s links to terror you have at your fingertips enough evidence to make effective counterpoints.

The Intelligence Community doesn’t like open source information but does love to protect turf
The parts of the intelligence community who were against either President Bush or the war or both understood what the Bush Administration did not, if the Country believed that Saddam was linked to the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 the American people would overcome any hurdles to remove him. As the Bush administration started to lose the battle to highlight the terror connections, in large part by simply withdrawing into the excuse of “forward looking”, the publics support of the war vanished. No amount of “forward looking” will suffice if no one is following. Those in the intelligence agencies who for whatever reason were against the war understood this and so it was that any hints of a link between Saddam and Bin Laden were immediately killed by rumor.

It has never seemed right to me that those of us left at home should merely sit back pop a cold one and watch football while our military was making the ultimate sacrifice to insure the survival of civilization. Instead we should as part of our responsibility as citizens make it a habit to investigate the available literature describing our enemy. Delve deep into the connections amongst disparate allies who all have one goal in mind, destroy the strongest protector of civilization, the United States. Never forget that you have a responsibility to understand this enemy and to be actively involved in fighting him. You can be sure that the enemy will not rest.

The meat of the matter.
Saddam Hussein was driven; he aspired towards absolute power from the beginning. He sought nuclear weapons since prior to Presidency, with these nuclear weapons he aspired to become the next Caliphate, leader of the Ummah. Naturally this flies in the face of the popular opinion that Saddam was secular and had nothing to do with Islam. Rumsfeld did not believe this nor did Christopher Dickey who witnessed the power Saddam possessed over the Islamists. Here are two quotes, one by Rumsfeld the other by Dickey that illustrate the problem with the Saddam was secular theory.

Rumsfeld believes that one long-held belief among Middle East analysts is overdue for reconsideration: the idea that doctrinal differences prevent Sunni and Shiite Muslims, and religious and secular Muslims, from pursuing common projects in anti-American terrorism. This is a subject of great relevance today, because the Bush Administration contends that Baghdad is a sponsor of Al Qaeda; critics of the Administration’s foreign policy argue that bin Laden and Saddam Hussein are natural enemies. “The argument is that Al Qaeda has got a religious motivation, somehow or other, and the Iraqi regime is considered to be a secular regime,” Rumsfeld said. “The answer to that is, so what? The Iraqi regime will use anything it can to its advantage. Why wouldn’t they use any implement at hand?”

Christopher Dickey “Everyone has a task to do, which is to go against the American state,” declared Saddam’s deputy Ezzat Ibrahim. The Americans had colonized Lebanon; they had colonized Saudi Arabia. But the line against them would be drawn in Iraq. Believers would triumph, said Ibrahim: “Our stand now can lead us to final victory, to Paradise.”

That was in January 1993. I was there, and every time I hear diplomats and politicians, whether in Washington or the capitals of Europe, declare that Saddam Hussein is a “secular Baathist ideologue” who has nothing to do with Islamists or with terrorist calls to jihad, I think of that afternoon and I wonder what they’re talking about. 

The United States stood in Saddam’s path as it has stood in the paths of other madmen throughout modern history. Saddam understood this obstacle, knew how to deal with it and he nearly managed it.

One reality was obvious even before the first showdown in Kuwait in 91; Iraq was no match for the United States. Saddam was fully aware of this fact when he warned Ambassador Glaspie that while his armies could not reach the US individual Arabs could. NY TIMES DOCUMENT This threat also implies a common opinion that many Americans probably would find surprising. All of the enemies we face including Saddam believed that if hit hard enough we would retreat.  They pointed to our retreats in the face of hardships in Somalia, Vietnam and Lebanon as evidence. I saw this on a personal level when 9/11 occured and not a few people declared to me that we should simply retreat from the Middle East that all the people there were crazy and we should leave them be. We see it now in those who declare we must rid ourselves of our dependence on oil so as to get out of the Middle East. Allowing thugs and terrorists to force us to change our economy simply because we want to avoid any more terror attacks.

On July 25, President Saddam Hussein of Iraq summoned the United States Ambassador to Baghdad, April Glaspie If you use pressure, we will deploy pressure and force. We know that you can harm us although we do not threaten you. But we too can harm you. Everyone can cause harm according to their ability and their size. We cannot come all the way to you in the United States, but individual Arabs may reach you.

One may wonder exactly why we didn’t take this threat seriously; hubris seems likely the best reason. Saddam understood perfectly well that asymmetrical warfare would be his only hope of defeating the biggest obstacle to his dream of power. One of the most important aspects for a state to keep in mind when waging that sort of war is to have plausible deniability. It won’t do to have a trail of evidence leading back to your doorstep since that ends up leading to a confrontation between your acknowledged weaker conventional forces and the superior forces of your adversary. Simply put, such operations must be top secret or else they are worse than useless. Saddam being trained by the masters of that sort of warfare, the Soviets, understood that rule all too well.

It is no secret that Russia trained Saddam’s secret service and provided him with aid right up till our soldiers went into and also probably explains his tactics. The Russians when they were the Soviets didn’t have any problem using proxies as we discovered after the wall came down. No doubt Saddam learned well the tactics of asymmetrical warfare with the first lesson being if you are going to use a proxy it is probably a good idea to hide that fact.

Takes two to tango though because such a deception only works in the real world if the target of the war by proxy deliberately shuts its eyes to facts that are inconvenient. This inconvenience is sometimes due to the natural desire of folks to merely get on with life and not believe the worst when faced with a murderous bunch of fanatics. For well over 20 years we have tried to shut our eyes to the combination of state sponsorship and Islamic terror. It is well past time that we stop.

An explanation of the evidence
Below you will find a list of evidence that can only lead to one conclusion; Saddam was serious about his threat. You may say there is no courtroom quality proof and I will say, naturally Saddam was no fool. Make sure you read the definitions of evidence and proof. We have lots of evidence showing the links between Saddam and Al Qaeda. If you care to ridicule my efforts I take comfort in the fact that I may be wrong but at least I have tried to be right. What Donald Rumsfeld told Jeffery Goldberg

“Rumsfeld also said that policymakers mistakenly assume that information must be secret in order to have value.”There’s something about me, I suppose, and others possibly, where we read intel and we begin to think that this is the sum total of what we know about a subject and not really go in and probe the open sources, which are rich in many cases,” he said.

strikes me as correct but then it would considering the effort I have put into this list. This is a completely open source list of evidence that I intend on growing as time permits.

This list has grown over the years into something fairly substantial and I am gratified by the addresses of the visitors to my humble site. You mil guys are great and I thank you for your continued efforts at keeping my family and I safe.

EVIDENCE
A thing or things helpful in forming a conclusion or judgment: The broken window was evidence that a burglary had taken place. Scientists weigh the evidence for and against a hypothesis. Something indicative; an outward sign: evidence of grief on a mourner’s face. Law. The documentary or oral statements and the material objects admissible as testimony in a court of law.

PROOF
The evidence or argument that compels the mind to accept an assertion as true. The validation of a proposition by application of specified rules, as of induction or deduction, to assumptions, axioms, and sequentially derived conclusions. A statement or argument used in such a validation. Convincing or persuasive demonstration: was asked for proof of his identity; an employment history that was proof of her dependability. The state of being convinced or persuaded by consideration of evidence. Determination of the quality of something by testing; trial: put one’s beliefs to the proof. Law. The result or effect of evidence; the establishment or denial of a fact by evidence.

I have tried to give you a substantial summary with each item but also each item, when possible, is linked to the original source or to a copy of such. (That link can be found at the beginning of each item.) For instance the Indictement in 1998 of Bin Laden shows substantial links to Saddam in the summary. The link in that particular summary takes you to the full indictment. I have copied much of the material used because much of this evidence is being lost as we speak. I refuse to accept that such important evidence will be lost through sheer bloody minded negligence. I plan on copying all of the material and will keep local copies of all the evidence. 

We are involved in what will probably be a decades long fight against a combination of enemies of who Saddam was only one of many. Islamic Terror allied with states that have the resources to fund weapons systems, training and provide cover to operatives needs to be understood for what it is. We cannot allow those of our countrymen who desire peace at any price to revise history by saying these links do not exist. It is our duty to keep our focus on winning by not denying reality.

July 25 1990 Excerpts From Iraqi Documenton Meeting with U.S. Envoy: Saddam “We cannot come all the way to you in the United States, but individual Arabs may reach you.” so said Saddam in a threat made to our ambassador prior to Kuwait invasion by Iraq. (Entire document is an interesting look into the mind of a quite crazy Middle East dictator. Though the quote above, which I came upon inside of Misunderstimated by Bill Sammon, should send those who believe Saddam was above threatening us with terrorists to the showers. The July 25 1990 link sends you to my site’s archive of the main document in its entirety)

April 16, 1993 How Do We Know that Iraq Tried to Assassinate President George H.W. Bush? In late-April 1993, the United States learned that terrorists had attempted to assassinate Bush during his visit to Kuwait. The Kuwaiti authorities arrested 17 persons suspected in the plot to kill Bush using explosives hidden in a Toyota Landcruiser. The Kuwaitis recovered the Landcruiser, which contained between 80 and 90 kilograms of plastic explosives connected to a detonator ( the Bush device or Bush explosive device ). The Kuwaitis also recovered ten cube-shaped plastic explosive devices with detonators (the cube-bombs ) from the Landcruiser. Some of the suspects reportedly confessed that the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS ) was behind the assassination attempt.

On April 29, 1993, CIA bomb technicians compared the Bush explosive device to two known Iraqi explosive devices found in different Middle-Eastern countries in 1990 and 1991 (the Middle-East devices ) . The technicians reported that the remote control firing mechanism in the Bush device was identical to those in the Middle-East devices. Additionally, the technicians reported that blasting caps from the Bush device appeared to be identical to those found in one of the Middle-East devices. The technicians later concluded that the circuit board from the Bush device also closely resembled circuit boards from the Middle-East devices

1998 Radio Free Europe Saddam plots the destruction of Radio Free Europe BIS allegedly had been aware that Iraq had requested its consul, Jabir Salim, to organize the terrorist operation against RFE/RL, apparently in retribution for the start-up last year of Radio Free Iraq.The Czech press says Baghdad sent the consul $50,000 to organize the attack but the consul asked for more money. Baghdad allegedly sent an additional $100,000. The consul then fled to London in December, taking the money, his family and the embassy codes. The government reportedly only found out about the plans to attack RFE/RL from British intelligence.

Saddams plot to blow up Radio Free Europe . Part 2 The tale begins in 1998, when Radio Free Europe, which is headquartered in Prague, started broadcasting anti-Saddam programs into Iraq, infuriating the dictator. Late that year, Tom Dine, the director of Radio Free Europe, says U.S. officials warned him that “the Iraqis were plotting to blow us up.” The information about the plot, sources said, came from a recent Iraqi defector who had fled Prague for Great Britain carrying nine suitcases and $150,000 in cash-the proceeds of which were supposed to have been used to finance the operation.

Radio Free Europe started round-the-clock video surveillance of the building. Soon enough, the cameras picked up a heavyset Middle Eastern man who was hanging around the RFE building taking pictures. He was sometimes accompanied by a thinner, taller man who wore a Shell Oil jacket. RFE passed along the pictures to the Czech intelligence agency, known as the BIS. The Czechs identified the heavier man as Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani, an Iraqi diplomat widely believed to be a spy. The thinner man was never identified.

Al Ani and Atta?

January 1993 Newsweek article written Sept 2002 Seeing the Evil In Front of Us Christopher Dickey January 1993 Newsweek article written Sept 2002 Seeing the Evil In Front of Us Christopher Dickey So Islamic radicals from all over the Middle East, Africa and Asia converged on Baghdad to show their solidarity with Iraq in the face of American aggression. Chechens in Persian-lamb hats, Moroccans in caftans, delegates who hailed “from Jakarta to Dakar,” as one Senegalese put it, poured into Baghdad’s Rashid Hotel, where Saddam’s minions urged them to embrace jihad as “the one gate to Paradise.” And the greatest holy warrior of all? “The mujahed Saddam Hussein, who is leading this nation against the nonbelievers,” they were told. “Everyone has a task to do, which is to go against the American state,” declared Saddam’s deputy Ezzat Ibrahim. The Americans had colonized Lebanon; they had colonized Saudi Arabia. But the line against them would be drawn in Iraq. Believers would triumph, said Ibrahim: “Our stand now can lead us to final victory, to Paradise.”

That was in January 1993. I was there, and every time I hear diplomats and politicians, whether in Washington or the capitals of Europe, declare that Saddam Hussein is a “secular Baathist ideologue” who has nothing to do with Islamists or with terrorist calls to jihad, I think of that afternoon and I wonder what they’re talking about.

The Contradictions of Michael Scheuer celebrated author of Imperial Hubris: Michael Scheuer has some valuable insights into our war, but what we are focused on here are his contradictory views towards the idea that Iraq was giving aid to Al Qaeda. He has become a sort of celebrity to the left because of statements like this:

So we did the research, we gave him the documentation, we came up with a conclusion. But then we turned all of that information over to the analysts, and the analysts then did the same thing. They, as far as I know, found no connection that was remotely approaching what DoD was claiming in regard to Saddam and Al Qaeda.

The left bless their black little hearts don’t say much about what he wrote in his first book concentrating instead in his new career as a Bush basher. They miss marvelous stuff like this from his earlier book “ Through Our Enemies’ Eyes”:

In Sudan, bin Laden decided to aquire and , when possible, use chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) weapons against Islam’s enemies. Bin Laden’s first moves in this direction were made in cooperation with NIF Leaders, Iraq’s intelligence service, and Iraqi CBRN scientists and technicians. He made contact with Baghdad through its intelligence officers in Sudan, and by a Turabi-brokered June 1994 visit by Iraq’s then-intelligence chief Faruq al-Hijazi; according to Milan’s Corriere della Sera, Saddam, in 1994, made Hijazi responsible for “nurturing Iraq’s ties to [Islamic] fundamentalist warriors.” Turabi had plans to formulate a “common strategy” with bin Laden and Iraq for subverting pro-U.S. Arab regimes, but the meeting was a get-aquainted session where Hijazi and bin Laden developed good rapport that would “flourish” in the late 1990s.

06 November 1998 TEXT: US GRAND JURY INDICTMENT AGAINST USAMA BIN LADEN (It is worth noting that this indictment had the full support of Mr. Scheuer, indeed he bragged about it.)

United States District Court Southern District of New York New York — A U.S. Federal Grand Jury in New York on Nov. 5 issued an indictment against Usama Bin Laden alleging that he and others engaged in a long-term conspiracy to attack U.S. facilities overseas and to kill American citizens. The indictment noted that Al Qaeda, Bin Laden’s international terrorist group, forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in Sudan and with the government of Iran and with its associated group Hezballah to “work together against their perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States.” Additionally, the indictment states that Al Qaeda reached an agreement with Iraq not to work against the regime of Saddam Hussein and that they would work cooperatively with Iraq, particularly in weapons development.

4. Al Qaeda also forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in the Sudan and with the government of Iran and its associated terrorist group Hezballah for the purpose of working together against their perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States. In addition, 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. Full indictment at link above

October 14, 2001 Sabah Khodada was a captain in the Iraqi army from 1982 to 1992.
Sabah Khodada was a captain in the Iraqi army from 1982 to 1992. He worked at what he describes as a highly secret terrorist training camp at Salman Pak

So you were training Iraqis, Saddam’s fedayeen, members of the militia in Iraq. And someone else, other groups, were training the non-Iraqis?

They were special trainers or teachers from the Iraqi intelligence and al-Mukhabarat. And those same trainers or teachers will train the fedayeen, the Iraqi fedayeen, and also the same group of those teachers will train the non-Iraqis, foreigners who are in the camp. Personally, my profession is not this kind of training. My profession is to train people on infantry, typical infantry training, such as training on machine guns, pistols, hand grenades, rocket launchers on the shoulder and this kind of training. The special training that I’m talking about, such as the kidnapping and so, is conducted by those trainers who are not from the army; they are from … al-Mukhabarat.And there was a person who is very famous. They call him Al-Shaba. [ph]. This is Arabic word means “The Ghost,” who was responsible for all the training, and those trainers or the teachers.

Why was he called the Ghost?

I don’t know exactly why he’s being called the Ghost. I came there and his name was the Ghost. But I know that he has conducted several terrorist operations in Lebanon and in other countries all over the world. And I know that he told us that he’s been requested to be arrested by the Interpol. This is probably why he called himself the Ghost.

Edward Jay Epstein’s look into the Salman Pak terrorist training base
Question: What warning, if any, did the CIA receive from the National Reconnaissance Office concerning Arabs training on the fuselage of a passenger airliner at a terrorist training camp prior to September 11th, 2001?

Answer: After Sabah Khalifa Khodada Alami, an Iraqi military officer, defected from Iraq in 1999 to Turkey. He now lives in Fort Worth, Texas. When he was debriefed, he described his training mission at Salman Pak, a military base about 21 miles from Baghdad that had been used for the testing of secret weapons, including chemical biological warfare agents, and paramilitary training for covert actions. Captain Sabah Khalifa Khodada Alami said that as late as 1998 he trained an elite commando team, Fedayeen Saddam, in airline hijacking and sabotage. Through a translator, Mr. Alami described, according to the Wall street Journal, a daily regimen of exercises on kidnapping, assassination, and — using a Boeing 707 parked inside the complex — how to hijack a plane or bus without weapons. He said that a separate group of non-Iraqis were being similarly trained by Saddam’s intelligence service, the mukhabarat. Asked about the plane by an interviewer for Front Line, he said “Yes, there’s a real whole 707 plane, a whole real plane, standing in the middle of the training area in this camp.”

January 7, 2002 Iraq’s Tie to Al-Qaeda Terrorists, Airline Hijackings From: Aviation Week Space Technology Headline: Satellite images of a facility near Baghdad show an airliner that Iraqi defectors say is used to train terrorists in the art of hijacking. Space Imaging, which operates the Ikonos civilian surveillance satellite, was prompted to look for the aircraft in existing photos after a ”Frontline” television show interviewed two Iraqi defectors who described the hijacker training and the aircraft used for the mock attacks.

Salman Pak / Al Salman Former Iraqi military officers have described a highly secret terrorist training facility at Salman Pak, where both Iraqis and non-Iraqi Arabs receive training on hijacking planes and trains, planting explosives in cities, sabotage, and assassinations. The Salman Pak biological warfare facility was located on a peninsula caused by a bend in the Tigris river, approximately five kilometers (km) from the arch located in the town of Salman Pak. The facility area comprised more than 20 square km, and might have been known as a farmers (or agricultural) experimentation center. The peninsula was fenced off and patrolled by a large guard force. Immediately inside and to the east of the fence line were two opulent villas: the larger built for Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and the other for his half-brother, Barazan al-Tikriti. A main paved road ran through the center of the Salman Pak facility/peninsula. GulfLINK

Marines capture suspected terrorist training camp SALMAN PAK
The rusted shell of an old passenger jet sat out in a field, its tail broken off. Good for hijacking practice, U.S. Marines speculated Sunday as they examined an Iraqi training base about 20 miles south of Baghdad.The Americans also found a full obstacle course — with wooden walls and other barriers to be climbed over or crawled under — as well as a three-story concrete tower draped with ropes, apparently for rappelling.

President Saddam Hussein’s regime has said the camp, part of a larger military reservation in a bend of the Tigris River, was used for anti-terrorism training for Iraqi special forces.

But U.S. officials and others have long suspected the camp trained terrorists. Two former Iraqi military officers told The New York Times and PBS’s “Frontline” in the fall of 2001 that Iraqis and non-Iraqi Arabs were brought here to practice hijacking planes and trains, planting bombs and staging assassinations.

BRIG. GEN. VINCENT BROOKS CENTCOM Confirms Salman Pak as Terror Training base
We continue the operations in and around the area and beyond. There was a raid last night by First Marine Expeditionary Force, but what they raided was a training camp near Salman Pak. You can see the explosion along on the map near Salman Pak. This raid occurred in response to information that had been gained by coalition forces from some foreign fighters that we encountered from other country, not Iraq, and we believe that this camp had been used to train these foreign fighters in terror tactics. It is now destroyed.

With regard to Salman Pak, that’s just one of the a number of examples we found where there’s training activity happening inside of Iraq. It reinforces the likelihood of links between this regime and external terrorist organizations. Clear links with common interests. Some of these fighters came from Sudan, some from Egypt, some from other places. We have killed a number of them and we have captured a number of them. That’s where the information came from. We continue to be on the lookout for the fighters. It won’t stop us operationally. We will encounter them when we encounter them, but it does say an awful lot about the approach the regime is taking on battlefield right now.

November 7 2000 Iraq Accused of Encouraging Terrorism by Sheltering Hijackers 2000Al-Nadwah (Saudi Arabia) charges Iraq with supporting terrorism after Baghdad granted political asylum to two Saudi citizens who hijacked a Saudi airliner and rejected an official Saudi request for their extradition. The hijacking of the London-bound plane shortly after it left Jeddah occurred on October 14. After first indicating that they wanted to go to Damascus, the hijackers directed the pilot to Baghdad. Once the plane landed, the hijacking was resolved within a few hours. The passengers were released and the hijackers gave a press conference, denouncing the Saudi government for its human rights violations. An Iraqi opposition source told MEIB that there is “no doubt” that the entire event was coordinated with Iraqi authorities before hand. (this is entire snippet translated by MEIB) http://www.meib.org/articles/0012_irb.htm#lb2

January 2004 Vice President Cheney Interview On the separate issue, on the 9/11 question, we’ve never had confirmation one way or another. We did have reporting that was public, that came out shortly after the 9/11 attack, provided by the Czech government, suggesting there had been a meeting in Prague between Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker, and a man named al-Ani (Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani), who was an Iraqi intelligence official in Prague, at the embassy there, in April of ’01, prior to the 9/11 attacks. It has never been — we’ve never been able to collect any more information on that. That was the one that possibly tied the two together to 9/11.With respect to the other question, the general relationship, I would refer you…There are several places you can go. One place you ought to go look is an article that Stephen Hayes did in the Weekly Standard here a few weeks ago, that goes through and lays out in some detail, based on an assessment that was done by the Department of Defense and forwarded to the Senate Intelligence Committee some weeks ago. That’s your best source of information. I can give you a few quick for instances, one the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993.,

March 18, 2002 Protecting Saddam By WILLIAM SAFIRE
Soviet propagandists used to touch up photographs to remove the face of a Kremlin official who had fallen from favor, making him a “nonperson.”

The same disinformation technique is now being used to wipe out the fact of a meeting in Prague in April, 2001 — five months before the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. — between Mohamed Atta, the leading Qaeda hijacker, and Ahmed al-Ani, the Iraqi consul in Prague, who was Saddam Hussein’s intelligence case officer there.

On “Meet the Press” yesterday, Sergei Ivanov, Russia’s foreign minister (like his boss, a former K.G.B. disinformation specialist) said of this widely reported Iraqi-Qaeda connection: “That is wrong information.”

November 24, 2003 Case Closed Weekly Standard From the November 24, 2003 issue: The U.S. government’s secret memo detailing cooperation between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. by Stephen F. Hayes 11/24/2003, Volume 009, Issue 11 OSAMA BIN LADEN and Saddam Hussein had an operational relationship from the early 1990s to 2003 that involved training in explosives and weapons of mass destruction, logistical support for terrorist attacks, al Qaeda training camps and safe haven in Iraq, and Iraqi financial support for al Qaeda–perhaps even for Mohamed Atta–according to a top secret U.S. government memorandum obtained by THE WEEKLY STANDARD. The memo, dated October 27, 2003, was sent from Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith to Senators Pat Roberts and Jay Rockefeller, the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. It was written in response to a request from the committee as part of its investigation into prewar intelligence claims made by the administration. Intelligence reporting included in the 16-page memo comes from a variety of domestic and foreign agencies, including the FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency. Much of the evidence is detailed, conclusive, and corroborated by multiple sources. Some of it is new information obtained in custodial interviews with high-level al Qaeda terrorists and Iraqi officials, and some of it is more than a decade old. The picture that emerges is one of a history of collaboration between two of America’s most determined and dangerous enemies.

Iraq’s State Sponsorship of Osama bin-Laden and the al-Qaeda Terror Network Essay by Chris Farrell On February 22, 1998 bin-Laden announced the formation of the “World Islamic Front for Jihad Against the Jews and the Crusaders,” merging Egypt’s Jihad Group, the Islamic Group the Ansar Movement of Pakistani and the Bangladeshi Jihad Movement under one umbrella.

Bin-Laden reportedly visited Baghdad for consultations in March 1998. Giovanni De Stefano, an international lawyer visiting Baghdad on business, had a chance encounter with bin-Laden in the lobby of the five star Al-Rashid Hotel during which the two men introduced themselves and engaged in polite conversation. De Stefano did not, at the time, recognize bin-Laden’s name. Five months after the chance encounter, bin-Laden’s suicide bombers attacked the American embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam.

Between April 25 and May 1, 1998, two of bin-Laden’s senior military commanders, Muhammad Abu-Islam and Abdallah Qassim visited Baghdad for discussions with Saddam Hussein’s son – Qusay Hussein – the “czar” of all Iraqi intelligence matters. 8 Qusay Hussein’s participation in the meetings highlights the importance of the talks in both symbolic and practical terms. Iraqi commitments for training, intelligence, clandestine Saudi border crossings, as well as weapons and explosives support to al-Qaeda were a direct result of the meetings.

An outcome of the April meetings was Iraq’s commitment to train a network of bin-Laden’s operatives within Saudi Arabia. By mid-June, 1998, bin-Laden’s operatives were at the al-Nasiriyah training camp, receiving a four week course of instruction from the Iraqi intelligence and military on reconnaissance and targeting American facilities and installations for terrorist attacks. Another group was organized and trained for smuggling weapons and explosives into Saudi Arabia – and used their return to the kingdom as the first (successful) operation. A third group of bin-Laden’s Saudi operatives received a month of sophisticated guerrilla operations training later in the Summer of 1998.

October 10, 1998 DoD News Briefing Clinton Sec of Defense Cohen: The short answer to the question about whether the United States would agree to an investigation: the answer is, we don’t think it’s necessary to do so. I personally reviewed the information pertaining to the Shifaa plant. I was satisfied that the information pointed very clearly that chemicals, so-called precursor chemicals for the manufacture of VX, were discovered. The history behind Osama bin Laden’s activities in Sudan, his contribution to the military-industrial corporation, of which this plant was also a part;

August 17, 2003 Well-heeled Saddam has global stash GENEVA — If Saddam Hussein is indeed orchestrating an anti-American guerrilla campaign from a hideout somewhere in Iraq, he can count on the billions of dollars he stashed away all over the world to finance his hit-and-run operations. The money was packed into suitcases, which were transported by truck from Bled, Slovenia, to Zurich, where a fair exchange was guaranteed by Youssef Nada of El-Taqwa Bank” — an outfit included in President Bush’s list of al Qaeda’s money suppliers, Mr. Fusi said. El-Taqwa’s headquarters were in Campione, a tiny Italian enclave surrounded by Swiss territory, which also serves as an international tax haven. “The neatly packaged bills then were shipped to Lebanon and Syria after which they disappeared,” he said. Another case entailed a consignment of weapons purchased in Slovenia from Russian, German and American arms merchants by one of Saddam’s agents. The contraband was sent to the Croatian port of Koper, where landlocked Slovenia has extraterritorial shipping privileges. It was listed on the outgoing freighter’s manifest as “grain” and delivered to Syria. “Ironically, the boat was named the Nada after the Egyptian financial family whose scion, Youssef, founded El-Taqwa Bank,” Mr. Fusi said.,

January 23, 2003 Senior al Qaeda official may have been in Iraq Abu Mussab al Zarqawi — a Jordanian — was recently accused by Jordanian officials of masterminding the assassination of U.S. diplomat Laurence Foley in Amman in late October. And Zarqawi has been linked to some of the men arrested recently in London and accused of possessing the deadly poison ricin.

But it is his travels, especially in the past year, that have attracted the attention of intelligence officials. Zarqawi, coalition intelligence sources said, left Afghanistan when the Taliban regime was toppled. From there, said the sources, he traveled through Iran to Baghdad, then to Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Iraq, where Ansar al-Islam, a group linked to al Qaeda, operates. Some in the U.S. intelligence community have questioned whether officials in these countries were aware of Zarqawi’s presence, because he might have been using aliases. But former CIA operative Robert Baer, who spent years in the Middle East, disagreed.

“Somebody at some level had to know he was there. Now obviously I can’t tell you whether Saddam knew, but somebody in an official line of responsibility for customs and immigration knew he came into the country,” Baer said. “Palestinians, other Arabs, even Iraqis go through a very tight screen when they come into that country. Documents are looked at. You just can’t do it [sneak in]. It is a police state.” Coalition intelligence sources say Zarqawi also traveled to Syria and Lebanon, moving with seeming ease between those countries, setting up terrorist cells. These sources say Zarqawi is believed now to be in Iran.

March, 2003 Philippine terrorists claim link to Iraq CEBU, Philippines — Islamist terrorists in the southern Philippines who have killed two American hostages in recent years say they are receiving money from Iraqis close to President Saddam Hussein. Hamsiraji Sali, a local commander of the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf on the remote southern island of Basilan, says he is getting nearly $20,000 a year from supporters in Iraq. “It’s so we would have something to spend on chemicals for bomb-making and for the movement of our people,” Sali told a reporter this week, renewing earlier claims of support from Iraq. The payments, while small, provide additional evidence of a link between Iraq and the Abu Sayyaf — a group with long-standing ties to al Qaeda and its global terror network. The boast of an Iraqi connection was taken seriously after the expulsion of an Iraqi diplomat from Manila last week amid charges he had been in contact with the Abu Sayyaf by telephone. ”Things like this are very difficult to pin down,” said a Manila-based Western diplomat who spoke on the condition of anonymity. ”But it certainly wouldn’t surprise me.” Iraqi diplomat Husham Hussein was expelled after Philippine officials discovered that he had received a telephone call from an Abu Sayyaf member linked to the Oct. 2 bombing in the southern port city of Zamboanga that killed one American serviceman and badly wounded another. The soldiers were part of a joint training exercise intended to bolster the Philippine military’s ability to hunt down the terrorists. (Article moved behind pay wall) Do not have local source.

June 3, 2004 Following Saddam Hussein’s Secret Money-Laundering Trail A detailed analysis of Saddam Hussein’s secret money-laundering techniques shows here for the first time how he used the same offshore money launderers as Osama bin Laden. That covert money network, based in the tax havens of Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Panama and Nassau, helped bankroll the war machines of both Iraq and al-Qaeda.

More than 1,000 pages of confidential corporate, bank and legal documents show how the network functioned. The papers come from court cases filed in several European countries, from corporate records, from investigations by Italian police, from a report of the Kroll international investigative agency, and from private sources. The documents are the basis of further investigations coordinated in Europe by the prosecutor of Milan. They show, for example, that a father-and-son team in Liechtenstein, whose business is setting up shell companies and secret bank accounts, worked to move the money of both Saddam and al-Qaeda.

Engelbert Schreiber and his son Englebert Schreiber Jr. are listed as founder or board member of Mediterranean Enterprises Development Projects, Tradex, Techno Service Intl., Saidomin and Executive Flight Assistance, all Liechtenstein companies that handled arms sales and payoffs for Saddam. They also are listed on corporate documents for Nasreddin International Group Ltd. Holding (Liechtenstein). Ahmed Idriss Nasreddin, on the U.S. terrorist blacklist, was a founder of Al Taqwa, the bank that moved money for al-Qaeda and which was closed down by the United States after 9/11. The Schreibers declined to respond to numerous requests for comment.

January 4, 2003 Al Qaeda prepares bio-terror for US and Israel Intelligence sources report mounting fears within US and Israeli counter-terrorism agencies that al Qaeda’s three command centers are preparing mega-terror attacks for US and Israeli targets. They believe that, for the time being, al Qaeda has foregone a nuclear, radiological or chemical option in favor of biological warfare, because of the weapons systems believed to have been made available by Iraqi military intelligence and already in the hands of three al Qaeda commanders: Abu Musaab al Zarqawi, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed ,nicknamed “the Mukhtar” . Baghdad believes that a biological attack on Israel will act as an appropriate reprisal for the threatening US offensive and a possible deterrent. To be ready in case Iraq launches its F-1 or L-29 warplanes, or Polish-made drones – all armed with spray canisters loaded with toxic chemicals or germs – over Eilat or Aqaba, the Americans have in the past week been shipping to southern Israel improved, re-engineered PAC-3 anti-missile batteries together with thousands of US Marines.

January 17, 2003 Ansar Al-Islam: Iraq’s Al-Qaeda Connection By Jonathan SchanzerAnsar al-Islam, an al-Qaeda affiliate active in Iraqi Kurdistan since September 2001, is a prototype of Americas enemies in the war on terror. The group serves as a testament to the global spread of al-Qaeda affiliates, achieved through exploitation of weak central authorities and a utilitarian willingness to work with seemingly differing ideologies for a common cause. Lengthy reports on Ansar have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, and Kurdish leaders have given Washington a plethora of intelligence on the group. Nevertheless, Ansar has yet to appear on official U.S. terrorism lists. Meanwhile, political complexities would make military action against the group difficult, at best. Hence, this small force of 650 fighters is a textbook example of the ongoing challenges posed by the war on terror.

January 29, 2002 Saddam and Osama, Alliance for VengeanceThe September 11 attacks in the United States was carried out by operatives of Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaida organization, but the initial plans for the terrorist attack were made in Baghdad six years ago. (editor: bold claim made less credible by the fact that in this article the claim is made that there were more than one jetliner at Salman Pak and that they were Boeing models, the only jet found at Salman Pak was a similar in size Tupolev Russian Jet which US Marines did indeed find along with an entire training camp for terrorists. Saddam claimed that the body of the Jet was used to train “Anti Terrorist” Commandos…a laughable claim given the suicide belts found there by the Marines)

The September 11 attacks in the United States was carried out by operatives of Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaida organization, but the initial plans for the terrorist attack were made in Baghdad six years ago.

 

February 6, 1999 Saddam link to Bin Laden Terror chief ‘offered asylum’ in Iraq? Saddam Hussein’s regime has opened talks with Osama bin Laden, bringing closer the threat of a terrorist attack using chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, according to US intelligence sources and Iraqi opposition officials.The key meeting took place in the Afghan mountains near Kandahar in late December. The Iraqi delegation was led by Farouk Hijazi, Baghdad’s ambassador in Turkey and one of Saddam’s most powerful secret policemen, who is thought to have offered Bin Laden asylum in Iraq. 

December 23 2002,Who is Prince Nayef? IN THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA, the trappings of monarchy obscure the police state that keeps the Saud family in power. But beneath the veneer of gracious luxury, internal security has never been more important than it is today to a regime that constrains the press and commerce, struggles to provide the generous benefits promised its citizens, and has made the country a breeding ground for Islamic extremism. Enmeshed as we are in an alliance of necessity with the Saudis, Americans should be asking: Who runs Saudi internal security? What are his views about the United States and about jihad? And how much power does he wield in the Saudi power structure? The man who has been in charge of the Ministry of Interior for the last 27 years is Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz, technically the fourth most powerful man in Saudi Arabia. Active and alert at 69–unlike the two leading members of the “Sudeiri Seven,” King Fahd and Prince Sultan, both of whom are elderly and ailing–Nayef has far more sway than the Western press has generally recognized. He heads five major oversight committees and imposes himself on four other ministers, while firmly holding the reins of the most powerful ministry in the kingdom. Indeed, Nayef appears to have made himself irremovable. Certainly he is in a position to remind his brothers, Prince Sultan and Crown Prince Abdullah, that regardless of who makes the public statements or takes the diplomatic trips, it is he who maintains the stability of the kingdom, and his organization that, day by day, keeps the royal family in power. The keys are in his hands, and there is no one who can hold him to account. Full article unavailible.

May 27, 2004 Saddam’s Files New evidence of a link between Iraq and al Qaeda
One striking bit of new evidence is that the name Ahmed Hikmat Shakir appears on three captured rosters of officers in Saddam Fedayeen, the elite paramilitary group run by Saddam’s son Uday and entrusted with doing much of the regime’s dirty work. Our government sources, who have seen translations of the documents, say Shakir is listed with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. This matters because if Shakir was an officer in the Fedayeen, it would establish a direct link between Iraq and the al Qaeda operatives who planned 9/11. Shakir was present at the January 2000 al Qaeda “summit” in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at which the 9/11 attacks were planned. The U.S. has never been sure whether he was there on behalf of the Iraqi regime or whether he was an Iraqi Islamicist who hooked up with al Qaeda on his own.

July 11, 2002 Saddam’s Ultimate Solution PBS interview with Richard Perle What are the chances that Saddam Hussein is feeding chemical and biological weapons to terrorist groups like Al Qaeda

Well, the thing that is brought home so clearly in this film is the connection among terrorist organizations now implicating Saddam Hussein directly with Al Qaeda, with a global terrorist movement that ultimately wishes to destroy the United States. What I think were discovering is that terrorists, like criminals, are in touch with one another around the globe. I think if a safe cracker in Phoenix needs a safe cracker in Manchester, England, somehow they connect (Laughs). And the terrorists are connecting.

September 2001 An Iraqi dissident, Nabeel Musawi is the political liaison for the London-based Iraqi National Congress.
Alleging an intelligence connection between Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, and Iraq, he tells FRONTLINE that he believes Saddam Hussein’s regime was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks. Musawi says U.S. support of “corrupt regimes” in countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia is a major factor fueling anti-Americanism in the Middle East. This interview was conducted late September 2001.

You were saying that Sept. 11 was a coup attempt? What do you mean?

If you go by the history of the Middle East and the way coups were carried out, you aim for the financial center, you aim for the ministry of defense, and you aim for presidential palace. Of course, you usually aim for the TV and radio, but in the case of the United States, you don’t need to do that, because it’s free press. So what happened on Sept. 11 in the United States was a coup attempt, because they aimed for the White House, they aimed for the Pentagon, and they aimed for the heart of the financial center of the United States.

But a coup implies that they’re going to replace the existing government or elite with another one.

If you’re attacked in the White House and if you are attacked in Air Force One, and you’re attacked in the military establishment which represents the most powerful thing within the United States, that is a coup. You’re destroying the leadership. You’re killing the whole leadership. It will take weeks, if not months, to bring back some sort of order into the American system. That is a major success for a small terrorist organization like Taliban and Osama bin Laden and their associates in the region.To them, this will throw not only the United States but the whole of the Western world into total anarchy, panic. We know they had limited success from the atrocities committed on Sept. 11. And still, it threw everybody into a panicky state for a few days. It took us few days to get over the shock. Even the political system itself took a few days to recover from the shock. So imagine if you actually get Air Force One and the White House. That is a coup.

10 November 2000 Iraqi Involvement in Attack on Cole
10 November 2000 The Paris-based weekly Al-Watan al-Arabi, considered friendly to Saudi Arabia, reports that Iraq was involved in the attack on the October 12 attack on the U.S.S. Cole. Iraqi intelligence reportedly received the explosive used in the attack from Russia, and the Iraqis transported the material to Yemen, in collusion with senior officials of the Yemeni regime. The report repeats some of the same charges made two weeks before in the same magazine, which explained that it was such a massive operation and was so carefully planned, that it was virtually impossible for a terrorist group to have carried out the attack without state support. Arab sources tell MEIB that the Saudi leadership is thoroughly convinced that Iraq was behind the attack and that they are exasperated by the U.S. insistence on blaming it solely on Osama bin Ladin. (This is the entire snippet relevent and translated) Link to source document.

October 2001 Israeli intelligence warned US days before attacks
ISRAEL’S military intelligence service, Aman, issued an urgent warning of an impending terrorist “spectacular” against America, several days before the suicide bombers flew passenger airliners into New York’s Trade Towers and the Pentagon on September 11. Aman had no details of the targets, but picked up enough indicators of major terrorist activity from a combination of informants and electronic eavesdropping to send out an alert, which also covered US interests in Britain, France and Germany. Much of the Israeli intelligence centred on Imad Mughniyeh, head of the Iranian-backed Hizbollah movement’s foreign operations section, and on Dr Ayman Al Zawahiri, the Egyptian-born terrorist mastermind reputed to be Osama bin Laden’s chosen successor. The Israelis say they have evidence linking both men to agents representing SSO, Iraq’s foreign intelligence service, and believe Baghdad has provided finance and logistical support to them. Links between the terrorist network and Iraq have been established by Pakistan’s shadowy ISI agency and by the Czech Republic’s counter-intelligence service.

2003 Iraq al-Qaeda Is there a link?
As the world’s two most nefarious villains, Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein ought to have reasons to work together. They share similar interests –hatred of Israel, hostility toward the rulers of Saudi Arabia and, especially, enmity toward their common nemesis, the U.S. Both are suspected of dabbling in chemical and biological agents, and both are judged capable of using them. While al-Qaeda is still seeking weapons of mass destruction, Western intelligence experts think that Iraq already possesses some–in which case hooking up with bin Laden’s network might make sense. If Saddam wants to employ his arsenal against the U.S. and its allies without getting caught, why not contract al-Qaeda to do the job for him?

Sept. 27, 2002 Clintonized CIA Quashed Best Evidence of Saddam-9/11 Link
Clinton-era holdovers still running the CIA have dismissed the best evidence that Saddam Hussein had a role in planning the 9/11 attacks because they distrust accounts from multiple Iraqi defectors who have described an airplane hijacking training school attended by al-Qaeda members near Baghdad.

According to this week’s New Republic magazine, “two former Iraqi intelligence officers” brought to the CIA by the Iraqi opposition group the Iraqi National Congress (INC) have provided classified testimony claiming “that Saddam was using a base south of Baghdad, in an agricultural community called Salman Pak, to train non-Iraqi Arabs in hijacking and other black arts of terrorism.”

The “Agency,” however – still run by Clinton appointee George Tenet – remains unconvinced. “There is no evidence of al-Qaeda training there in Salman Pak,” one senior CIA official insisted to TNR.. (Note: The Marines who overran Salman Pak say otherwise. They found all the accoutrements of a terror training base. For that matter even Saddam himself made the claim that it was a training base.)

Letting Saddam Be A pre-and post-September 11 danger. By Laurie Mylroie
More American civilians died on September 11 than on any other single day in this nation’s history. Such a huge disaster is, almost necessarily, the result of major, multiple errors. The current spasm of finger-pointing and memo-leaking is bringing some mistakes to light, but they are all tactical, i.e. whether 9/11 could have been averted by vigorously pursuing suspicions of the FBI field offices. Even in the best of circumstances, U.S. authorities cannot catch every major terrorist attack in the making. When those attacks are on the scale of 9/11 even one failure is unacceptable. Notably absent in the present debate is consideration of the strategic blunder underlying 9/11.

Iraqi Spies Reportedly Arrested in Germany 16 March 2001

Al-Watan al-Arabi (Paris) reports that two Iraqis were arrested in Germany, charged with spying for Baghdad. The arrests came in the wake of reports that Iraq was reorganizing the external branches of its intelligence service and that it had drawn up a plan to strike at US interests around the world through a network of alliances with extremist fundamentalist parties.

The most serious report contained information that Iraq and Osama bin Ladin were working together. German authorities were surprised by the arrest of the two Iraqi agents and the discovery of Iraqi intelligence activities in several German cities. German authorities, acting on CIA recommendations, had been focused on monitoring the activities of Islamic groups linked to bin Ladin. They discovered the two Iraqi agents by chance and uncovered what they considered to be serious indications of cooperation between Iraq and bin Ladin. The matter was considered so important that a special team of CIA and FBI agents was sent to Germany to interrogate the two Iraqi spies. (Note: This is entire translation provided by MEIB)

Islamic terrorists continue Islam’s war against what remains of Western civilization
On January 13, 2002, WorldNet Daily reported that “The conviction is gaining ground in some Western intelligence agencies that Osama bin Laden, his family, Ayman al-Zawahiri and thousands of al-Qaida fighters made good their escape from Afghanistan through the illicit sea route created by Lebanese-Iranian super terrorist Imad Mughniyeh for smuggling operations in the service of terrorist organizations. They are believed to have made their getaway from Afghanistan in the first week of December, crossing secretly into Iran and heading out through the Persian Gulf – only to disappear again.”

In view of this intelligence, President Bush issued “a blunt warning to Iran last Thursday against harboring ‘al-Qaida murderers.’” Worldnet (based on Debka intelligence journal sources) also reported in November 2002 that “bin Laden had packed his family out of Afghanistan to Pakistan. According to accumulating intelligence, he moved his family so as to draw his American searchers’ attention away from his real escape route, which a week later took him and al-Zawahiri from Afghanistan directly into Iran.

WorldNet, citing many additional facts, concludes that “Iran was up to its neck in the al-Qaida escape conspiracy. Imad Mughniyeh, top terrorist operations chief for Iran’s radical spiritual leader, Ali Khamenei, organized the logistics; the escapees were led overland through Iran to its main Gulf outlet, under the protection of Iranian intelligence officers.”

THE UNKNOWN by JEFFREY GOLDBERG in New Yorker
America’s early assessment of bin Laden was similarly flawed. In the American mind, of course, the bin Laden of April, 1998, was not the bin Laden of September, 2001. But his intentions were no secret. Two months before the Richardson meeting, bin Laden had issued a fatwa, a religious ruling, in which he called on Muslims to kill Americans—civilians and military. Yet, among the group of Americans travelling with Richardson five years ago, the fatwa was a passing source of black humor; the threat seemed too outlandish to be taken seriously.

In the foreword to Roberta Wohlstetter’s classic 1962 study, “Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision,” the national-security expert Thomas Schelling wrote that America’s ability to be surprised by the actions of its enemies is the result of a “poverty of expectations.” He went on, “There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable. The contingency we have not considered seriously looks strange; what looks strange is thought improbable; what is improbable need not be considered seriously.”

Further down in an excellent article that Jeffery probably is now embarrassed about…

In interviews with senior officials, the following picture emerged: American intelligence believes that Al Qaeda and Saddam reached a non-aggression agreement in 1993, and that the relationship deepened further in the mid-nineteen-nineties, when an Al Qaeda operative—a native-born Iraqi who goes by the name Abu Abdullah al-Iraqi—was dispatched by bin Laden to ask the Iraqis for help in poison-gas training. Al-Iraqi’s mission was successful, and an unknown number of trainers from an Iraqi secret-police organization called Unit 999 were dispatched to camps in Afghanistan to instruct Al Qaeda terrorists. (Training in hijacking techniques was also provided to foreign Islamist radicals inside Iraq, according to two Iraqi defectors quoted in a report in the Times in November of 2001.)

Another Al Qaeda operative, the Iraqi-born Mamdouh Salim, who goes by the name Abu Hajer al-Iraqi, also served as a liaison in the mid-nineteen-nineties to Iraqi intelligence. Salim, according to a recent book, “The Age of Sacred Terror,” by the former N.S.C. officials Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, was bin Laden’s chief procurer of weapons of mass destruction, and was involved in the early nineties in chemical-weapons development in Sudan. Salim was arrested in Germany in 1998 and was extradited to the United States. He is awaiting trial in New York on charges related to the 1998 East Africa embassy bombings; he was convicted last April of stabbing a Manhattan prison guard in the eye with a sharpened comb.

Intelligence officials told me that the agency also takes seriously reports that an Iraqi known as Abu Wa’el, whose real name is Saadoun Mahmoud Abdulatif al-Ani, is the liaison of Saddam’s intelligence service to a radical Muslim group called Ansar al-Islam, which controls a small enclave in northern Iraq; the group is believed by American and Kurdish intelligence officials to be affiliated with Al Qaeda. I learned of another possible connection early last year, while I was interviewing Al Qaeda operatives in a Kurdish prison in Sulaimaniya. There, a man whom Kurdish intelligence officials identified as a captured Iraqi agent told me that in 1992 he served as a bodyguard to Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden’s deputy, when Zawahiri secretly visited Baghdad.

Marines capture suspected terrorist training camp SALMAN PAK
The rusted shell of an old passenger jet sat out in a field, its tail broken off. Good for hijacking practice, U.S. Marines speculated Sunday as they examined an Iraqi training base about 20 miles south of Baghdad.The Americans also found a full obstacle course — with wooden walls and other barriers to be climbed over or crawled under — as well as a three-story concrete tower draped with ropes, apparently for rappelling.

President Saddam Hussein’s regime has said the camp, part of a larger military reservation in a bend of the Tigris River, was used for anti-terrorism training for Iraqi special forces.

But U.S. officials and others have long suspected the camp trained terrorists. Two former Iraqi military officers told The New York Times and PBS’s “Frontline” in the fall of 2001 that Iraqis and non-Iraqi Arabs were brought here to practice hijacking planes and trains, planting bombs and staging assassinations.

BRIG. GEN. VINCENT BROOKS CENTCOM Confirms Salman Pak as Terror Training base
We continue the operations in and around the area and beyond. There was a raid last night by First Marine Expeditionary Force, but what they raided was a training camp near Salman Pak. You can see the explosion along on the map near Salman Pak. This raid occurred in response to information that had been gained by coalition forces from some foreign fighters that we encountered from other country, not Iraq, and we believe that this camp had been used to train these foreign fighters in terror tactics. It is now destroyed.

With regard to Salman Pak, that’s just one of the a number of examples we found where there’s training activity happening inside of Iraq. It reinforces the likelihood of links between this regime and external terrorist organizations. Clear links with common interests. Some of these fighters came from Sudan, some from Egypt, some from other places. We have killed a number of them and we have captured a number of them. That’s where the information came from. We continue to be on the lookout for the fighters. It won’t stop us operationally. We will encounter them when we encounter them, but it does say an awful lot about the approach the regime is taking on battlefield right now. QUESTION: Kelly O’Donnell from NBC. Can you confirm the attack on the man known as Chemical Ali? Is he the highest ranking regime leader who has been hit, and what do you think his death would mean for the potential of chemical weapons used?

Remember Anthrax ? Despite the evidence, the FBI won’t let go of its “lone American” theory. by David Tell 04/29/2002, Volume 007, Issue 32

1) OVER THE PAST SIX MONTHS, have federal authorities altered their working theory of last fall’s anthrax murders? No, not much. On November 9 last year, even before the anthrax outbreak’s fifth and final fatality had been recorded, the FBI called a press conference to unveil its “linguistic and behavioral assessment” of “the person” purportedly responsible. It was “highly probable, bordering on certainty,” the Bureau announced, that a single “adult male” had prepared and mailed all the contaminated letters at issue. This man “probably has a scientific background,” “may work in a laboratory,” and is familiar with the area around Trenton, New Jersey–where the envelopes were postmarked. He suffers a pronounced psycho-social deformity: “He lacks the personal skills necessary to confront others” and “if he is involved in a personal relationship, it will likely be of a self-serving nature.” Moreover, crucially, the suspect appears to be an American. “We’re certainly looking in that direction right now, as far as someone being domestic,” said James R. Fitzgerald, head of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit.By the end of November, after an unopened anthrax letter addressed to Sen. Patrick Leahy was found in sequestered congressional mail, investigators were telling reporters on background that they might well be dealing with someone who has a particular animus against Democrats. His politics aside, the man’s citizenship, at least, achieved a measure of official status by mid-December, when homeland security chief Tom Ridge, seconded by White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, acknowledged that where once “some of us” had been “thinking more in terms of foreign sources,” now “a lot of the information and a lot of the things they’ve been able to detect from the investigation and follow-up leads . . . they’re looking more inward to a domestic source.”On January 29, confirming its impression of the domestic source’s professional profile, the FBI sent a letter to all 40,000 members of the American Society for Microbiology which informed those scientists that it is “likely one or more of you know this individual.” On February 26, the New York Times reported that what had once been a “pretty tight list” of investigative subjects in the world of microbiology–perhaps 100 U.S. laboratories and their employees–had been whittled down to a group of 35 to 50 “researchers or technicians” and then narrowed still further to maybe 18 or 20 people with the means and potential motive to send deadly bacteria through the mail.Two weeks ago, numerous published reports suggested that the FBI has recently lost a fair bit of confidence in the focus of its investigation; the universe of potential suspects, “law enforcement sources” now say, actually numbers in the “thousands.” Nevertheless, the government continues to expect that the one guilty man among those thousands will turn out to be an American biological researcher of some kind.

World Trade Center – Who Did It? An Alternative View From Jane’s Foreign Report 9-19-01 Israel’s military intelligence service, Aman, suspects that Iraq is the state that sponsored the suicide attacks on the New York Trade Center
Israel’s military intelligence service, Aman, suspects that Iraq is the state that sponsored the suicide attacks on the New York Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington. Directing the mission, Aman officers believe, were two of the world’s foremost terrorist masterminds: the Lebanese Imad Mughniyeh, head of the special overseas operations for Hizbullah, and the Egyptian Dr Ayman Al Zawahiri, senior member of Al-Qaeda and possible successor of the ailing Osama Bin Laden.

The two men have not been seen for some time. Mughniyeh is probably the world’s most wanted outlaw. Unconfirmed reports in Beirut say he has undergone plastic surgery and is unrecognisable. Zawahiri is thought to be based in Egypt. He could be Bin Laden’s chief representative outside Afghanistan.

The two men have not been seen for some time. Mughniyeh is probably the world’s most wanted outlaw. Unconfirmed reports in Beirut say he has undergone plastic surgery and is unrecognisable. Zawahiri is thought to be based in Egypt. He could be Bin Laden’s chief representative outside Afghanistan.The Iraqis, who for several years paid smaller groups to do their dirty work, were quick to discover the advantages of Al-Qaeda. The Israeli sources claim that for the past two years Iraqi intelligence officers were shuttling between Baghdad and Afghanistan, meeting with Ayman Al Zawahiri. According to the sources, one of the Iraqi intelligence officers, Salah Suleiman, was captured last October by the Pakistanis near the border with Afghanistan. The Iraqis are also reported to have established strong ties with Imad Mughniyeh.

The two men have not been seen for some time. Mughniyeh is probably the world’s most wanted outlaw. Unconfirmed reports in Beirut say he has undergone plastic surgery and is unrecognisable. Zawahiri is thought to be based in Egypt. He could be Bin Laden’s chief representative outside Afghanistan.The Iraqis, who for several years paid smaller groups to do their dirty work, were quick to discover the advantages of Al-Qaeda. The Israeli sources claim that for the past two years Iraqi intelligence officers were shuttling between Baghdad and Afghanistan, meeting with Ayman Al Zawahiri. According to the sources, one of the Iraqi intelligence officers, Salah Suleiman, was captured last October by the Pakistanis near the border with Afghanistan. The Iraqis are also reported to have established strong ties with Imad Mughniyeh.

OSAMA BIN LADIN AND IRAQ Iraq News, FEBRUARY 10, 1999 By Laurie Mylroie
The New York Post, Feb 1, reported, “Saddam Hussein-battered, humiliated and increasingly isolated-plans to resort to terrorism in revenge for US airstrikes against his country. . . US officials say the CIA has received ‘credible and reliable’ intelligence reports that Saddam is forging alliances with some of the Middle East’s most bloodthirsty terrorists-including Osama Bin Ladin and Abu Nidal-as part of an apparently new campaign to strike American targets and possibly destablise Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. . . . US officials are concerned about the possibility that Saddam could not only help with funding and
logistics for Bin Ladin’s far-flung network, . . . but he could also help the group acquire chemical and biological weapons.”

PRESIDENT CLINTON “it’s not just that Saddam Hussein might put it on a Scud missile, an anthrax head”
Well, the United States does not relish moving alone, because we live in a world that is increasingly interdependent. We would like to be partners with other people. But sometimes we have to be prepared to move alone. You used the anthrax example. 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 if we don’t take action. I far prefer the United Nations, I far prefer the inspectors, I have been far from trigger-happy on this thing, but if they really believe that there are no circumstances under which we would act alone, they are sadly mistaken. That is not a threat.

International trail of quiet hijacker includes mysterious visit to Las Vegas
From Florida to New Jersey and out to Las Vegas, those who met Marwan al-Shehhi remembered him as a pleasant young man with good manners and a charming smile.

Some would recall that he looked like a computer expert, rarely made small talk, but always was sure to say thank you. At a motel in Las Vegas last summer, he was polite to housekeepers and kept mostly to himself.

At a seafood store in Wayne, N.J., al-Shehhi ordered fried fish to go and always thanked owner John Frodella, according to published reports.

“He looked like a computer expert to me,” Frodella recalled. “He looked pretty intelligent.”

Ever the devoted follower, al-Shehhi was the youngest of the Arab terrorists to visit Las Vegas in the weeks before 19 members of their cell embarked on a Sept. 11 suicide hijacking mission that killed approximately 6,000 people.

9/11 Mysteries In Plain Sight By Jim Hoagland The capture of Mohammed is a big step forward. He knows the answer to these two central questions: How did al Qaeda, within two or three years, go from obscurity to becoming super-terrorists capable of blowing up U.S. embassies, warships and skyscrapers with astonishing precision? And what are the links between 9/11 and the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 by Ramzi Yousef, who authorities say is Mohammed’s nephew?

TENET TESTIMONY TO SENATE CURRENT AND PROJECTED NATIONAL SECURITY THREATS TO THE UNITED STATES HEARING before the SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE of the UNITED STATES SENATE ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS SECOND SESSION CURRENT AND PROJECTED NATIONAL SECURITY THREATS TO THE UNITED STATES FEBRUARY 6, 2002
Tenet: And the Iraqi piece, as I referenced, you know, the WMD profile I gave you and my interest in being very careful about was there a convergence of interest here between al-Qa’ida and the Iraqis, don’t know the answer to the question yet–pursuing it very, very carefully. There was a press story today that said CIA dismisses these linkages. Well, you don’t dismiss linkages when you have a group like al-Qa’ida who probably buys and sells all kinds of capabilities for people who have converging interests, whether Sunni or Shi’a, and how they mixed and matched training capabilities, safe harboring, and money is something we’re taking a look at. So nobody dismisses anything. Everybody’s on the table, and these networks of terrorism should no longer be thought about purely in terms of the state’s interests, what they say publicly, what their obvious interests are and how they see the benefit in hurting the United States.

Patterns of Global Terrorism (1999): Middle East Overview
U.S. Department of State 1 May 2000 Iran, Syria, and Iraq all persisted in their direct or indirect state sponsorship of terrorism. In most cases, the support included providing assistance, training, or safehaven to terrorist groups opposed to the Middle East peace process. In some cases, particularly Iran, it also included targeting regime dissidents and opponents for assassination or harassment. Libyan support for terrorism has declined significantly in recent years, but Libya continued to have residual contacts and relationships with terrorist organizations

Letters from Saddam to the American People following 9/11 Here are all three letters written by Saddam to the American people.

February 13, 1999 Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has offered asylum to bin Laden, who openly supports Iraq against the Western powers.

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