Marlowe's Shade

Friday, October 15, 2004

Documents link Saddam to bin Laden and al Qaeda

When this story came out on Oct 4 in CNS I decided to apply the 48 hour rule, which stretched into more than a week, but it looks like the story is legit and is starting to get the attention it deserves, although there is no hint of it in the mainstream media.

Walid Phares and three other authorities on the Middle East have vouched for their authenticity.

"[The documents] establish irreversible evidence that there were strategic relations between the Baathist regime and Islamist groups that became al-Qaeda," Mr. Phares said after reviewing them at WORLD's request on Oct. 6. In addition, the documents link al-Zarqawi-associated groups throughout the Middle East, including al-Qaeda, on Saddam's payroll and acting under his direct authority.

The documents directly refute Democratic candidates Kerry and Edward's claims that there was no link between Saddam and terrorists:

They include an 11-page memo, dated Jan. 25, 1993, listing "parties related to our system . . . expert in executing the required missions." The memo cites Palestinian, Sudanese, and Asian terror groups, and shows a developing relationship with groups affiliated with al-Qaeda, including Mr. al-Zarqawi, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar—figures who are now on the U.S. most-wanted list for ongoing assaults in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Jan. 25, 1993, memo also describes an intelligence service meeting with a splinter group led by Mohammed Omar Abdel-Rahman. Mr. Abdel-Rahman is a son of the blind Egyptian, Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, accused of inspiring the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and arrested in 1994 for targeting New York landmarks. Pakistani officials caught the younger Abdel-Rahman last year, and say he helped lead authorities to Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, one of the 9/11 attack planners.

A separate memo, dated March 18, 1993, asks intelligence officers to provide "details of Arab martyrs who got trained" in conjunction with post–Gulf War "committees of martyrs act." In reply another office supplied 92 names with nationalities, all "trained inside the ‘martyr act camp' that belonged to our directorate." In all, 40 are linked to Palestinian groups, 21 are Sudanese, and others range from Eritrea, Tunisia, Morocco, Lebanon, and Egypt. Most of the trainees completed a government-sponsored course on Nov. 24, 1990, and were sent on missions throughout the Arabian Peninsula.

Accompanying the memos are separate notations signed by Saddam Hussein's secretary, suggesting the president himself had reviewed and endorsed each action.

"Saddam was personally overseeing the details" of training terrorists and assigning their missions, Mr. Phares said. "From 1993 on, Saddam Hussein connected with Sunni fundamentalists in the Arab world. He was in touch with the founding members of al-Qaeda."

But don't hold your breath waiting for a response from the Kerry campaign.
papijoe 8:35 AM