Case Closed: Saddam Actively Supported Al Qaida
I believe an article was written on Monday of this week, March 10, which had a headline saying that the Pentagon was going to release a report this week that proved, without a doubt, that Saddam’s Iraq had absolutely no ties to al Qaida prior to 2003. Turns out (no suprise) that the article was completely and utterly WRONG.
There are many good reports out on this today, but I don’t have time to post all of them now. Here is the best one I have read so far, by Stephen F. Hayes at The Weekly Standard: Saddam’s Dangerous Friends – What a Pentagon review of 600,000 Iraqi documents tells us.
This ought to be big news. Throughout the early and mid-1990s, Saddam Hussein actively supported an influential terrorist group headed by the man who is now al Qaeda’s second-in-command, according to an exhaustive study issued last week by the Pentagon. “Saddam supported groups that either associated directly with al Qaeda (such as the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, led at one time by bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri) or that generally shared al Qaeda’s stated goals and objectives.” According to the Pentagon study, Egyptian Islamic Jihad was one of many jihadist groups that Iraq’s former dictator funded, trained, equipped, and armed.
[ … ]
Among the study’s other notable findings:
In 1993, as Osama bin Laden’s fighters battled Americans in Somalia, Saddam Hussein personally ordered the formation of an Iraqi terrorist group to join the battle there.
For more than two decades, the Iraqi regime trained non-Iraqi jihadists in training camps throughout Iraq.
According to a 1993 internal Iraqi intelligence memo, the regime was supporting a secret Islamic Palestinian organization dedicated to “armed jihad against the Americans and Western interests.”
In the 1990s, Iraq’s military intelligence directorate trained and equipped “Sudanese fighters.”
In 1998, the Iraqi regime offered “financial and moral support” to a new group of jihadists in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq.
In 2002, the year before the war began, the Iraqi regime hosted in Iraq a series of 13 conferences for non-Iraqi jihadist groups.
That same year, a branch of the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) issued hundreds of Iraqi passports for known terrorists.
There is much, much more. Documents reveal that the regime stockpiled bombmaking materials in Iraqi embassies around the world and targeted Western journalists for assassination. In July 2001, an Iraqi Intelligence agent described an al Qaeda affiliate in Bahrain, the Army of Muhammad, as “under the wings of bin Laden.” Although the organization “is an offshoot of bin Laden,” the fact that it has a different name “can be a way of camouflaging the organization.” The agent is told to deal with the al Qaeda group according to “priorities previously established.”
In describing the relations between the Army of Muhammad and the Iraqi regime, the authors of the Pentagon study come to this conclusion: “Captured documents reveal that the regime was willing to co-opt or support organizations it knew to be part of al Qaeda — as long as that organization’s near-term goals supported Saddam’s long-term vision.” [ … ]
The hilarious thing about this is that the Left has been crowing about the article written on Monday about this report, stating that the report proves that “BUSH LIED! Saddam had no ties to al Qaida!!!” When, in fact, this report proves just the opposite. But, now the Left is on record saying that this report is credible. Heheh Idiots.
Be sure to read the whole thing and I’ll link to other good posts on this later.
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