2 May

Iraq Prime Minister Says There Is Now Proof of Ties Between Saddam’s Regime and Al Queda Network In 2003

                                       

Maybe now that President Obama’s in charge of the war in Iraq, and there’s no need to lie, distort, or half quote truths to oppose the war (can’t oppose it if it’s run by a Democrat)…maybe now people will realize:
1) the matter was never closed by any investigation
2) there’s hundreds of times more information demonstrating ties than there is dismissing them

BAGHDAD — The government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki said Al Qaida worked closely with former operatives in Saddam Hussein regime.

Officials said leading members of the Al Qaida network have coordinated operations with Saddam aides since 2003. They said Al Qaida and Saddam forces attacked Shi’ites in an effort to spark a civil war in Iraq.

They agreed that Al Qaida would carry out the suicide attacks, while the Baathists [Saddam's ruling party] would do the remote-control bombs,” Al Maliki said.

The Al Qaida-Saddam link, asserted by then-U.S. President George Bush in 2002, came in wake of the reported capture of a leading Al Qaida commander in Iraq.

At the very least, it’s 100% clear (hindsight is 20-20) that yes, Saddam’s regime and the Al Queda network did have operational ties in 2003, and that means the invasion of Iraq
HAS ALWAYS BEEN PART OF THE WAR ON TERROR.
ht regimeofterror
Mark Eichenlaub

This entry was posted in American Intelligence, Bush Derangement Syndrome, Election Fraud, Fanatical Islam, Foreign Policy, Hearts & Minds, Iraq/Al-Qaeda Connection, Liberal Idiots, Military, Obama Euphoric-Rapture Syndrome, Politics, Saddam Documents, Support the Troops, The Iraqi War, War On Terror. Bookmark the permalink. Saturday, May 2nd, 2009 at 9:22 am
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40 Responses to Iraq Prime Minister Says There Is Now Proof of Ties Between Saddam’s Regime and Al Queda Network In 2003

  1. Thanks for posting this.

    But hey, why are calling it the War on Terror??? Don’t you know that is a politically incorrect term in the new, neverworld of Obama Nation!!!!

    Waiting for the Teleprompter in Chief B. Hussein’s apology now to Al Qaeda, the Baathists and probably Mullah Omar, too…..

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  2. Scrapiron says: 2

    Democrats are waiting for Bagdad Bob, aka the white house Chief of staff, to explain it to them. Democrats are the spoled brats we all knew who will never admit they are wrong even when caught in the act. What happened last month to cause the death of so many American soldiers in Iraq? Could it be that the terrorists are much smarter than O’Dumbo and knew he had the militarys capacity maxed out with his , look at me, tour of Europe. Dragging thousands of welfare riders along on his tours led to the deaths and now we have the ‘pig’ flu being spread all over the country by the same group of admirers/idiots who followed along and cleaned up his crap in Mexico.

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  3. John ryan says: 3

    They did not work together until AFTER the invasion of Iraq in March of 2003. Where before under Saddam they were enemies with opposing ideals after the invasion they joined together to fight their common enemy. The myth of al Qaeda and Saddam is the same as Saddam having operational WMD

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  4. Scott Malensek says: 4

    Not according to the authenticated documents that the DoD and FBI have posted or according to detainees from Saddam’s regime or from Al Queda groups. You’re baseless claims are now proven wrong, but it’s ok because President Obama wants you to support his war in Iraq this year and for the next several years.

    Ya know, what’s really funny is you don’t even realize that even if your own claim were true…it would still make the war in Iraq part of the war on terror/against Al Queda.

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  5. Wordsmith says: 5

    You know what truly amazes me about John ryan, the drive-by one comment wonder? Is that for a “long”-time “reader”, he hasn’t learned very much. I don’t expect him to change his position, but this

    Where before under Saddam they were enemies with opposing ideals after the invasion they joined together to fight their common enemy. The myth of al Qaeda and Saddam is the same as Saddam having operational WMD

    just floors me.

    It’s like he hasn’t evolved from the talking points and examined the arguments stated time and time again in previous posts and in many comment sections, that trumps his yawn-of-a-comment.

    john ryan (not that you ever return back to defend your comments),

    Have you ever bothered to even read previous posts categorized under Saddam/al Qaeda?

    Saddam and al Qaeda were not “enemies”. And their “opposing ideals” did not prevent them from having a willingness to “fight their common enemy” even before the invasion. You’re not even citing with accuracy the CIA myth regarding the matter of a secular Saddam not ever working with religious jihadis to achieve common short term goals against a common enemy.

    after the invasion they joined together to fight their common enemy.

    Even if that alone were the factual end of it, it argues against the silly Democrat campaign notion that we leave Iraq to go fight the “real” al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

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  6. Dc says: 6

    J Ryan….the “myth” was…that AlQueda and a “secular” regime like that of Saddams…and the sunni’s who lived there..would NEVER have anything to do with each other. They obviously “would” and did work together. Again, that was something that was aruged would/could never happen because of religious/ideological/and other differences.

    There was always evidence that the 2 had contacted each other…but there was never any confirmed evidence that anything came of it. (if you recall the whole “contacts” vs “collaboration” arguments.

    In opposition to the admin’s position was the idea that AlQueda and secular regimes would never work together because of their differences. EVEN, to attack US targets. That obviously was never true. There is/was evidence in the past that such contacts with each other had been made. There was also evidence in the past of Saddam’s WMD ..including operational ones. That’s not a myth.

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  7. MataHarley says: 7

    Okay Scott… gotta give you a slap upside the head for leaving a snake hole large enough to let the John Ryans slither thru.

    You had to have known they’d crawl thru, one by one, and say “see? they only came there after we invaded Iraq!”

    You must remember the John Ryans of the world have the current events focus the size of a gnat, and will totally forget that the documented working relationship – per their own regime records – between Zawahiri and Saddam goes back to 1993. THat would be when they “joined together to fight a common enemy”… the US in Somalia. Perhaps John may recall the bodies of US soldiers being dragged thru the streets by Somalis trained by AQ, aided by Zawahiri, who was aided by Saddam.

    But you, Mr. Scott… you’re an FA author, and you know this! So just why did you not “tie the ties”, so to speak?

    Yup… you deserve the flood of idiots on this thread you’re going to get, guy. Sorry. LOL I leave you with cyber body armour and all the spare ammo I have.

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  8. Old Trooper says: 8

    There is an abundance of Classified information on AlQ in Iraq that remains Classified for prudent reasons. We still have a duty to protect Agents, Informants and Current Operations.

    Anyone that thinks otherwise needs to shut their pie holes. Anyone that cannot understand that does not have the brains that God gave a crowbar. It is just that simple. Simple curiosity is not a good enough reason to release Classified info to anyone that asks.

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  9. MataHarley says: 9

    Yep, Trooper. You and I well know we are on the same page on the “need to know” bit. And I love hearing it repeated every appropriate place. Pompous know it alls that think the public should be aware of virtually everything INRE our military strategy and intel.

    Might as well use them as a propaganda tool, and feed them convenient lies that we want to spread to our enemy.

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  10. Scott Malensek says: 10

    Mata…there’s ALWAYS a method or purpose behind my acts of madness
    :D

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  11. MataHarley says: 11

    Okie doke, Scott… I’ve left the official FA fly/gnat swatter here for your convenience. Have fun!

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  12. ObamaIsASadJoke says: 12

    People, please – this ryan putz is a dolt that gets clowned regularly over at Ace of Spades. I have only fairly recently started visiting this site, and it appears he is treated/punked in much the same manner over here.

    He is a staggeringly stupid, inane little gnat. Best not to waste time on him, unless it is to amuse yourself.

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  13. It’s amusing to hear people say that Saddam was “secular”.

    Especially in light of his personal Quran written in his own blood.

    Yep, Saddam was so “secular” that he placed the words “Allahu Akhbar”, in his own handwriting, on the Iraqi flag.

    Furthermore Osama’s Islamism is not that much different than Saddam’s Baathism.

    More on that here:

    In a speech in which he challenged the belief of war critics that Iraqis’ lives are now worse than under Saddam Hussein, Barham Salih [A Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq] said, “The alliance between the Baathists and jihadists which sustains Al Qaeda in Iraq is not new, contrary to what you may have been told.” He went on to say, “I know this at first hand. Some of my friends were murdered by jihadists, by Al Qaeda-affiliated operatives who had been sheltered and assisted by Saddam’s regime.”

    More inconvenient facts:

    The Kurdish daily Kurdistani Nwe has published a 2002 letter from the Iraqi presidency that it says proves that there was cooperation between the regime of Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda.

    Photobucket

    The letter, which appeared on the paper’s front page, was published by the intelligence apparatus of the Iraqi presidency and discussed an intention to meet with Ayman Al-Zawahiri in order to examine a plan drawn up by the Iraqi presidency to carry out a “revenge operation” in Saudi Arabia.

    Finally, the “le morceau de résistance”.

    This photo (from page 7) was contained in a document captured in Iraq.

    (The document is from 2002 and specifically addressed Al Queda members in Iraq.)

    Photobucket

    Recognize that handsome fellow?

    Why it’s none other than al Zarqawi himself before he reached room temperature.

    Gateway Pundit has amassed a wealth of evidence from captured documents in one place for those who are interested.

    @ObamaIsASadJoke:

    Nothing to worry about regarding Jr.

    He zips in and out from time to time staying just long enough to sling some poo but never seems to have the time to support his ridiculous arguments.

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  14. Mark E says: 14

    Nice post Scott. I think I am going to post the email exchanges with some of these people in the press soon on this topic at http://www.regimeofterror.com

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  15. Dc says: 15

    AyeC,
    Not to mention the huge mosques he was building just before the war.

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  16. Scott Malensek says: 16

    Ya know, YEARS and YEARS ago-long before the invasion, and perhaps even before GWB, there was a documentary on HBO about Saddam. I think it had “uncle” in the title. The movie was fantastic. It showed the mosque he had built surrounded by a giant man-made lake and an island in the shape of his thumbprint in it. I wish I could remember the title, and see it again. Anyone ever heard of it?

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  17. @Dc:

    I don’t think I heard about that. I’ll have to do some research.

    Thanks for mentioning it.

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  18. @Scott Malensek:

    I think this may be what you’re talking about.

    “Uncle Saddam”

    Here’s the NY Times review:

    Did you know that Saddam likes to be greeted with a kiss near the armpit? That he sometimes fishes with grenades? That he is building the world’s largest mosque near a man-made island shaped exactly like his thumbprint? These are among the personal details Mr. Soler has gathered in his highly selective and darkly humorous biography, meant to highlight what he calls the “camp” aspects of a dictator’s rule.

    This is one I would like to see: “House of Saddam”

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  19. Scott Malensek says: 20

    Yeah, I’d like to see the second, but it is the first that I’m talking about. It was put out in 2000. Dunno if I’d call it a parody. Avail in poor quality at google video and on ebay.

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  20. You’re right about the parody descriptor.

    The first couple of blurbs I found on the net, combined with the cover design which appears on Amazon, led me to the wrong conclusion.

    http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=uncle+saddam&hl=en&emb=0&aq=f#

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  21. Scott,

    Here’s another excellent documentary.

    I’m not sure if you’ve seen this one or not.

    ReplyReply
  22. One would think that this vindication, for me personally, would be a positive event. It is not. Too many have died, some of them I knew, because the libtards hated GWB so badly that these facts brought out YEARS ago, were totally ignored and GWB did nothing to defend himself.

    At least the news is out now.

    Let the spin begin.

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  23. Ron says: 24

    To Scott:
    Nice post. I have read most of the other FA posts regarding operational ties between Saddam and AQ. Very well documented and sourced.

    My question is was there every any definitive evidence linking Saddam to 9/11?

    Thanks

    Ron

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  24. Scott Malensek says: 25

    Ron,
    There are lots of claims-even from Iraqi PM’s and intelligence sources-that argue the 911 musclemen were trained in Iraq. I’m not sold on it, BUT there is no doubt that the long war w Saddam (the 1991 war never ended chronologically, realistically, or at least in the eyes of Iraqis and Al Queda) led to the 911 attacks. Some call it blowback, others fragmentation, or side effect, in any event…the 4 consistent themes of Al Queda’s 1996-2001 war on the US were all related to the US war on Iraq from 1991-2001. Even the 911 Commission doesn’t dispute this. In fact, they cite it.

    The ONLY reason that people claim the war in Iraq had nothing to do w the war on terror is either ignorance or political partisanship. History/hindsight is 20-20 on the fact that the cause of Al Queda’s 1993 rebirth was the US war on Iraq.

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  25. Ron says: 26

    To Scott:

    Thanks for the reply.

    I originally supported invading Iraq simply because Saddam was a murderous tyrant. It’s nice to know that there were bigger and better reasons for the invasion. I feel somewhat vindicated as I was a staunch supporter of Bush’s decision to invade and yet numerous friends told me it was a destraction from the War on Terror.

    How wrong they were!

    Ron

    ReplyReply
  26. Ryan says: 27

    Hey Mataharley,

    I was just wondering if you could provide links that show Saddam had helped Ayman Al Zawahiri as far back as 1993? Thank you.

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  27. Scott says: 28

    Ryan, do you have Excel? If so, please email me at smalensek@neo.rr.com , and I can send you a timeline that should help
    :)

    ReplyReply
  28. Ryan says: 29

    Thanks Scott. I will shoot an e-mail to your address as soon as I can. I am kind of buried in school work right now so I might take a while. Either way, thanks for the response.

    ReplyReply
  29. MataHarley says: 30

    Ryan, sorry for the delay. Just tapped into FA for the first time today.

    What you need to be reading is the Iraqi Perspectives Reports, of which there are five volumes. You can find links to all five volumes either at the FAS site, or at Scribd

    Volume 1 examines the relationships between the regime of Saddam Hussein and terrorism in its local, regional, and global context. Volumes 2 through 4 contain the English translations and detailed summaries of the original Iraqi documents cited in Volume 1. Volume 5 contains additional background and supporting documents.

    I’ll post few excerpts that should catch your interest. But I suggest a full read of all of Vol 1, and consult the translated exhibits in the remaining volumes as you desire. These are based on the Harmony and ISG documents of the Saddam regime archives captured in 2003, but took years to get even these few translated. There are still volumes and hundreds of thousands of documents still not translated and released to the public.

    What you will need to remember is that al Zawahiri was, from 1993 and on, the grand pooo-bah of EIJ (Egyptian Islamic Jihad) prior before he merged that group with Bin Laden’s AQ a few years later. Zawahiri’s relationship with OBL did not magically begin with the 2001 merger.

    Two other memoranda in this folder are from Saddam through his Presidential Secretary to a member of the Revolutionary Council and to the IIS Director, respectively.

    • In the first, from January 1993, and coinciding with the start of the US humanitarian intervention in Somalia, the Presidential Secretary informed the council member of Saddam’s decision to “form a group to start hunting Americans present on Arab soil; especially Somalia.”

    Let’s see…. Saddam’s regime decided to form a group to hunt Americans in Somalia in 1993… which you may remember as Black Hawk Down. From the Lawrence Wright series of articles I linked above in the 2001 merger sentence: Also found in the New Yorker

    In June of 2001, two terrorist organizations, Al Qaeda and Egyptian Islamic Jihad, formally merged into one. The name of the new entity—Qaeda al-Jihad—reflects the long and interdependent history of these two groups. Although Osama bin Laden, the founder of Al Qaeda, has become the public face of Islamic terrorism, the members of Islamic Jihad and its guiding figure, Ayman al-Zawahiri, have provided the backbone of the larger organization’s leadership. According to officials in the C.I.A. and the F.B.I., Zawahiri has been responsible for much of the planning of the terrorist operations against the United States, from the assault on American soldiers in Somalia in 1993, and the bombings of the American embassies in East Africa in 1998 and of the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen in 2000, to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11th.

    And just who was it that did the training of the Somalia troops that assaulted our US troops in Somalia? Bin Laden.

    Let’s see… Saddam uses Zawahiri and other jihad/AQ related groups for more than a decade before OIF (that’s at least 1993, and when Zawahiri was the head of EIJ), and the Saddam regime forms group to “hunt Americans” in Somalia in 1993. Zawahiri has been responsible for the assault on the Black Hawk down soldiers, and Bin Laden trains the troops that murder our troops.

    What could be the connection?

    A. Managing Relationships

    Iraq was a long-standing supporter of international terrorism. The existence of a memorandum (Extract 10) from the lIS to Saddam, written a decade before OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, provides detailed evidence of that support. Several of the organizations listed in this memorandum were designated as international terrorist organizations by the US Department of State.

    [Mata Musing: the "list" includes many named jihad groups, but the excerpts from Extract 10 pertinent is:]

    We list herein the organizations that our agency [IIS] cooperates with and have relations with various elements in many parts of the Arab world and who also have the expertise to carry out assignments indicated in the above directive [the cited directive has not been discovered yet].

    ……snip…….

    Islamic Jihad Organization [Egyptian Islamic Jihad]
    In a meeting in the Sudan we agreed to renew our relations with the Islamic Jihad Organization in Egypt. Our information on the group is as follows: It was established in 1979.
    Its goal is to apply the Islamic shari’ a law and establish Islamic rule. It is considered one of the most brutal Egyptian organizations. It carried out numerous successful operations, including the assassination of Sadat.

    We have previously met with the organization’s representative and we agreed on a plan to carry out commando operations against the Egyptian regime.

    ~~~

    Nurturing Organizational Relationships

    Captured Iraqi archives reveal that Saddam was training Arab fighters (non-Iraqi) in Iraqi training camps more than a decade prior to OPERATION DESERT STORM (1991). A Saddam memorandum directed the IIS to submit a list of foreign nationals who were trained in Iraq and carried out operations during the 1991 war against the United States. 33 In response, the IIS sent a list of one-hundred names of foreign national fighters, categorized by country (Extract 11, next page).

    ~~~

    When attacking Western interests, the competitive terror cartel came into play, particularly in the late 1990s. 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 longterm vision. A directive (Extract 24) from the Director for International Intelligence in the IIS to an Iraqi operative in Bahrain orders him to investigate a particular terrorist group there, The Army of Muhammad.

    …….snip……..

    The agent reports (Extract 25) that The Army of Muhammad is
    working with Osama bin Laden.

    ~~~

    The Saddam regime was very concerned about the internal threat posed by various Islamist movements. Crackdowns, arrests, and monitoring of Islamic radical movements were common in Iraq. However, Saddam’s security organizations and bin Laden’s terrorist network operated with similar aims, at least for the short tenn. Considerable operational overlap was inevitable when monitoring, contacting, financing, and training the regional groups involved in
    terrorism. Saddam provided training and motivation to revolutionary pan-Arab nationalists in the region. Osama bin Laden provided training and motivation for violent revolutionary Islamists in the region. They were recruiting within the same demographic, spouting much the same rhetoric, and promoting a common historical narrative that promised a return to a glorious past. That these movements (panArab and pan-Islamic) had many similarities and strategic parallels does not mean they saw themselves in that light. Nevertheless, these similarities created more than just the appearance of cooperation. Common interests, even without common cause, increased the aggregate terror threat.

    Saddam’s interest in, and support for, non-Iraqi non-state actors was spread across a wide variety of revolutionary, liberation, nationalist, and Islamic terrorist organizations. For years, Saddam maintained training camps for foreign “fighters” drawn from these diverse groups. In some cases, particularly for Palestinians, Saddam was also a strong financial supporter. 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. 97

    ~~~

    Saddam’s “business model” also included using terrorist events to his advantage even when he had no direct connection to them. One example is an audio file of a meeting between Saddam and his senior advisors recorded sometime in 1994. The subject was the 1993 attack against the World Trade Center in ew York; Iraq now had a suspect in custody, Abdul Rahman Yasin. 101

    Saddam discusses the possibility that the attack was part of the “dirty games that the American intelligence would play if it had a bigger purpose.” 102 The participants in this meeting discuss other possible explanations, including direct or indirect involvement of either Israel or various factions in Saudi Arabia or Egypt. These alternative theories resonate with Saddam; he doubts that Abdul Rahman Yasin, convicted of being the ringleader, is capable of such an operation.

    ~~~

    In the years between the two Gulf Wars, UN sanctions reduced Saddam’s ability to shape regional and world events, steadily draining his military, economic, and military powers. The rise of Islamist fundamentalism in the region gave Saddam the opportunity to make terrorism, one of the few tools remaining in Saddam’s “coercion” toolbox, not only cost effective but a formal instrument of state power. Saddam nurtured this capability with an infrastructure supporting (1) his own particular brand of state terrorism against internal and external threats, (2) the state sponsorship of suicide operations, and (3) organizational relationships and “outreach programs” for terrorist groups. Evidence that was uncovered and analyzed attests to the existence of a terrorist capability and a willingness to use it until the day Saddam was forced to flee Baghdad by Coalition forces.

    Read the reports and the translated documents, and recognize this is only a small piece of the puzzle that still has yet to be revealed… providing this admin or any future admin puts resources towards this segment of history.

    But what we have undeniable knowledge is that Saddam’s relationship with AQ affiliated jihad movements goes back long before OIF, and that his declared intents to “hunt Americans” in 1993 happens to coincide with Americans hunted by those who were connected to both Zawahiri and Bin Laden.

    You may think only AQ is the enemy. But the more you read, the more you will understand the tenacled and complex relationships to different jihad groups, and their relationship to regimes such as Saddam’s as an unofficial state weapon.

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  30. Scott Malensek says: 31

    Ryan, I sent you the Excel spreadsheet I have which has the links/sources for the following, but…this is what I’ve got for 1993. Hope this helps. If anyone else wants my timeline (1974-2005), lemme know. :)
    -Scott

    1/1/93 Evidence of Iraq’s involvement in terrorist attacks on the United States may have been available long before 9-11. Ramsi Yousef, the mastermind of the first World Trade Center attack in the parking garage, first came to America on an Iraqi passport. Phone records showed calls by Yousef to Baghdad. 

    1/1/93 Iraq refuses to allow UNSCOM to use its own aircraft in Iraq. Iraq begins incursions into the de-militarised zone with Kuwait, and increases its military activity in the no-fly zones. The U.N. Security Council states that Iraq’s actions were an “unacceptable and material” breach of Resolution 687 and warns Iraq of “serious consequences.” Shortly thereafter, the United States, UK, and France launch air raids on southern Iraq. 

    circa 1/1/93 Sometime in early 1993, Bin Laden sent Mohammed Atef to Mogadishu, Somalia to train people how to bring down helicopters with RPG’s as was done by the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan when they fought the Soviets.

    circa 1/1/93 [throughout the 1990's] Bin Laden met at least eight times with officers of Iraq’s Special Security Organization, a secret police agency run by Saddam’s son Qusay, and met with officials from Saddam’s mukhabarat, its external intelligence service, according to intelligence made public by Secretary of State Colin Powell, who was speaking before the United Nations Security Council on February 6, 2003. 

    1/1/93 References to procurement of false passports from Iraq and offers of safe haven previously have surfaced in CIA source reporting considered reliable. Intelligence reports to date have maintained that Iraqi support for al Qaeda usually involved providing training, obtaining passports, and offers of refuge. This report adds to that list by including weapons and money. This assistance would make sense in the aftermath of 9-11.

    circa 1/1/93 1993—al-Qaeda acquires a private plane and sends a pilot to Airman Flight School in Oklahoma in the first instance of Osama bin Laden’s interest in aviation. Link

    circa 1/1/93 1993— MOUSSAOUI starts to attend classes at a London trade school, South Bank University.

    circa 1/1/93 Osama bin Laden had dealings with Iraqi Intelligence as early as 1993 in Somalia. During that period, various militant Islamic groups, to include bin Laden and Iraqi intelligence and military operatives, were in Somalia to organize, train and mobilize radical factions within the Somali populace. (NOTE: Bin Laden claimed this, and it wasn’t until late in the Clinton Administration that it was proven. Mohammed Atef-then AQ’s military commander and #3 man-went to Somalia and trained warlords in the techniques developed in Afghanistan for bringing down helicopters with RPG’s. The result was in fact that the now infamous Black Hawk Down battle came from Somalis trained by Al Queda…exactly as Bin Laden claimed.)

    1/1/93 War in Bosnia continues, as “ethnic cleansing” spreads. NATO threatens airstrikes to defend “safe areas” created to protect Muslims.

    circa 1/1/93 A senior defector, one of Saddam’s former intelligence chiefs in Europe, says Saddam sent his agents to Afghanistan sometime in the mid-1990s to provide training to al-Qaida members on document forgery.

    circa 1/1/93 We know members of both organizations met repeatedly and have met at least eight times at very senior levels since the early 1990s. In 1996, a foreign security service tells us that bin Laden met with a senior Iraqi intelligence official in Khartoum and later met the director of the Iraqi intelligence service.

    circa 1/1/93 Egypt and Sudan at loggerheads over territorial rights to Halaib, prompted by Sudan granting oil exploration concession. Each accuses the other of harbouring opposition elements.

    circa 1/1/93 Iraqi MiG-23 aircraft that fled to Iran in the Gulf War have allegedly been refitted by Iran for use by the Sudanese air force against the SPLA in South Sudan. Lt-Gen Abdel Rahman Said, former army deputy chief of staff and now leading the Sudanese opposition Armed Forces Legitimate Command, says Baghdad was a party to the deal, and that the MiGs – ‘the only type of Iraqi plane that Sudan can maintain’ would go back to Iraq after an unspecified period. He claims Iran has delivered “between 60 and 90 tanks” to Khartoum, as well as long-range howitzers, ammunition and lorries.

    1/1/93 In 1993, Iraq sent additional chemical weapons to Sudan, this time through Iran.

    1/1/93 *”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.)” The parenthetic reference to a November 2001 NY Times article, which describes the Salman Pak terrorist training camp outside Baghdad, is notable. A ruling by a Federal Court against the Iraqi regime on behalf of two families of those who died on September 11, 2001 was based partially on that training.

    circa 1/1/93 In 1993, the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) directed and pursued an attempt to assassinate, through the use of a powerful car bomb, former U.S. President George Bush and the Emir of Kuwait. Kuwaiti authorities thwarted the terrorist plot and arrested 16 suspects, led by two Iraqi nationals. 

    circa 1/1/93 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.) The parenthetic reference to a November 2001 NY Times article, which describes the Salman Pak terrorist training camp outside Baghdad, is notable. A ruling by a Federal Court against the Iraqi regime on behalf of two families of those who died on September 11, 2001 was based partially on that training.”

    1/8/93 UNSC presidential statement terms Iraqi restrictions of UN aircraft a material breach of RES 687

    1/10/93 Iraq removes equipment from the Kuwaiti side of DMZ

    1/11/93 UNSC presidential statement condemns Iraq for material breach of RES 687 in preventing UNSCOM from flying its own aircraft

    1/13/93 US, UK, France conduct air raids on Iraqi anti-aircraft missile sites and radar bases in southern Iraq

    1/17/93 US fires missiles at industrial complex in suburban Baghdad

    1/18/93 US and UK launch air raids against radar sites in southern and northern Iraq

    1/19/93 Iraq agrees to allow UNSCOM flights in Iraq.

    1/21/93 An F-16 and an F-4G escorting a French Mirage reconnaissance plane over northern Iraq attack an Iraqi missile battery after the site’s search radar began tracking them.

    1/22/93 An F-4G fires two missiles at a surface-to-air-missile (SAM) site in northern Iraq.

    2/1/93 February 1993 Yazdi, Turabi, and Bashir present their plans to Iranian terror experts in a meeting in Khartoum, Sudan. The Iranians approve, and the attacks are ordered to proceed.

    2/3/93 Iraqi gunners fire at a U.S. aircraft on routine patrol over northern Iraq.

    2/5/93 UNSC adopts RES 806 allowing UNIKOM to take direct action to prevent or redress violations in DMZ

    2/26/93 [1993 World Trade Center bomber ] Ramsi Yousef (aka “Rashid the Iraqi”) flees the United States to Pakistan on a fake Pakistani passport with the name Abdul Basit (A Kuwaiti missing since the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait)

    2/26/93 World Trade Center bombed by Al Queda

    2/26/93 The Iraqis, who had the Third World’s largest poison-gas operations prior to the Gulf War I, have perfected the technique of making hydrogen-cyanide gas, which the Nazis called Zyklon-B. In the hands of al Qaeda, this would be a fearsome weapon in an enclosed space — like a suburban mall or subway station-this same form of cyanide was found in the 1993 WTC attack residue and in the seized bomb-making storage unit.  It was also found in the Euphrates River by advancing US Marines South of Baghdad in 2003

    3/1/93 Spring 1993 Mohammed Farah Aidid meets with Iraqi intelligence officials in the Iraqi embassy. Baghdad promises to aid him in his fight against the Americans with the explicit intent of turning Somalia into another Vietnam for the Americans.

    3/1/93 Spring 1993 Saddam Hussein viewed the operations against the Americans in Somalia important enough to nominate his son Qusay to personally supervise them. The other elements of anti-American operations apparently didn’t support this idea. Those other elements included Bin Laden and his Afghan Arabs, the Iranian-backed Al Quds forces, the Iranian Pasadran, and the Sudanese. Iraqi intelligence reported that Saddam wanted a “Mother-of-all Battles victory in Somalia.” After these reports and after Qusay’s nomination, the Iraqi embassy in Khartoum, Sudan was expanded by the addition of several different Iraqi special intelligence services branches and special security branches. Those new additions were under the control of Sudan’s leader Hasan al-Turabi.

    3/4/93 [1993 World Trade Center bomber ] Salameh is arrested for his part in the WTC bombing

    3/5/93 [1993 World Trade Center bomber ] Abdul Rahman Yasin flees the United States for Iraq where he lives peacefully until his CBS interview years later.

    3/31/93 The UN Security Council passed Resolution 816 authorising enforcement of the no-fly zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina and extending the ban to cover flights by all fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft except those authorised by UNPROFOR. In the event of further violations, it authorised UN member states to take all necessary measures to ensure compliance. An enforcement operation, called “Deny Flight”, began on 12 April 1993. It initially involved some 50 fighter and reconnaissance aircraft (later increased to over 100) from various Alliance nations, flying from airbases in Italy and from aircraft carriers in the Adriatic. By the end of December 1994, over 47,000 sorties had been flown by fighter and supporting aircraft.

    circa 4/1/93 Kuwaiti Intelligence discovers an Iraqi IIS plot to assassinate former President George Bush. [Author's note: in keeping with the tactic of a state-sponsor of terrorism, the attack was to have been carried out by terrorists not IIS operatives.]

    4/9/93 Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery sites fire on Provide Comfort aircraft near the Saddam dam in northern Iraq.

    4/14/1993 “Failed Iraqi plot to assassinate Bush family in Kuwait; In fact, if the intelligence George W. was given was correct, he might have lost nearly his entire immediate family, including his father, mother, wife, and two brothers. Just as he sought to avenge his father’s political loss, he would one day go after the man accused of attempting to murder his father and the rest of the family. “”After all,”” he would later comment, when speaking of the Iraqi leader at a Houston fundraiser, “”this is the guy who tried to kill my dad.””

    …As the giant plane took off from Houston’s Ellington Field on April 14, the only passengers were former President Bush, his wife Barbara, their two sons Marvin and Neil, his wife Sharon, and Laura Bush. Her husband, George W. Bush, who had always avoided foreign travel, stayed home to oversee his interest in the Texas Rangers baseball team and to make preparations for his run for the governorship.”

    4/18/93 An Iraqi radar site illuminates two U.S. F-4Gs flying north of the 36th parallel. The site was south of the parallel. One of the aircraft fires an AGM-88 HARM anti-radar missile at the tracking radar and destroyed it.

    5/27/93 UNSC adopts RES 833 reaffirming Kuwaiti border issues in RES 733; guarantees inviolability of border

    circa 6/1/93 In June 1993, NATO Foreign Ministers decided to offer protective air power for the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) in the performance of its overall mandate. In July, NATO aircraft began flying training missions for providing such Close Air Support (CAS).

    6/4/93 The U.S. conducts air strikes against Iraqi intelligence service, in retaliation for evidence linking the Iraqi government to the assassination plot against former president George Bush.

    6/4/93 24 Pakistani Peacekeepers in Somalia are ambushed, shot to death, skinned, and their remains paraded through the streets by a mob. [Author's note: in 1994/95 it is revealed by the Sudanese govt that an Al Queda operative based in The Sudan, and several other Al Queda operatives including #3 man Mohammed Atef, had gone to Somalia, trained Somalis in tactics that had been learned during the fight against Soviets in Afghanistan, and had they themselves taken part in this attack.]

    6/10/93 Iraq refuses to allow emplacement of UN monitoring cameras at weapons facilities

    6/18/93 UNSC presidential statement terms Iraq’s refusal of cameras material breach of RES 687, warns of serious consequences

    6/24/93 A wave of arrests in NYC prevents a followup attack to the 1993 WTC attack. The relationships of the conspirators in both attacks are completely intertwined. The second attack was to focus on the UN headquarters, tunnels, and bridges in NYC.

    6/27/93 U.S. missile strike is launched against Baghdad on basis of “compelling evidence” that Iraq was involved in the April 1993 assassination attempt on former President Bush in Kuwait.

    6/27/93 US launches cruise missile at Iraqi intelligence headquarters in retaliation for assassination plot against former President Bush [a plot that had been discovered 3-4 months earlier] [Author's note: while Clinton Administration officials deny that the retaliation strike was tied to the 6/24 wave of arrests in NYC or the 1993 WTC attack, the retaliation strike was the only US attack ever conducted against Iraq with so little warning and military preparation. It was also the only attack to be conducted completely unilaterally (without even the support of the UK), and it was the fdirst attack to draw massive international condemnation despite the claim that it was in retaliation for a terrorist attack that would often be deemed an act of war.]

    6/28/93 UNSC presidential statement criticizes Iraqi statements on boundary demarcation

    6/29/93 A Southern Watch F-4G fires an anti-radar missile at an anti-aircraft artillery site after the Iraqis illuminated it and another F-4G patrolling the southern no-fly zone.

    7/1/93 A lengthy stand-off takes place between the Iraqi government and U.N. inspectors over Iraq’s refusal to allow inspectors to monitor two missile test sites south of Baghdad. U.N. monitors are withdrawn.

    7/19/93 Iraq agrees to emplacement of monitoring cameras following Rolf Ekeus visit to Baghdad

    7/29/93 In separate incidents, two U.S. Navy EA-6Bs, part of Joint Task Force Southwest Asia, fire anti-radar missiles at Iraqi SAM sites after being illuminated by the sites’ surveillance radars.

    circa 8/1/93 8/93 Unsuccessful attampt by the Al-Jihad organization to assassinate Interior Minister Hassan al Alfi of Egypt.

    8/4/93 Abdul Rahman is indicted for his part in the 1993 WTC bombing.

    8/8/93 A U.S. HUMMV hits a land mine in a pothole in Somalia. The mine was remote detonated. 4 American MP’s were killed. [Author's note: in 1994/95 it is revealed by the Sudanese govt that an Al Queda operative based in The Sudan, and several other Al Queda operatives including #3 man Mohammed Atef, had gone to Somalia, trained Somalis in tactics that had been learned during the fight against Soviets in Afghanistan, and had they themselves taken part in this attack.]

    8/19/93 Two U.S. F-16s report possible SA-3 missile launches west of Mosul and respond with cluster bombs. Two F-15s drop four laser-guided bombs on the site an hour later.

    8/22/93 A bomb explodes near a U.S. Army HUMMV destroying the vehicle and seriously wounding 6 American soldiers. [Author's note: in 1994/95 it is revealed by the Sudanese govt that Al Queda operatives including #3 man Mohammed Atef, had gone to Somalia, trained Somalis in tactics that had been learned during the fight against Soviets in Afghanistan, and had they themselves taken part in this attack.]

    9/1/93 Fall 1993 Dr. Ayman Al Zawahiri is in Somalia acting as field commander of the “Afghan Arabs” and coordinator between those fighters, Iraqi fighters, Iranian intelligence, and the various Somali warlords….all against the US/UN forces.

    9/1/93 [Fall 1993] “The Iraqis organized the heavy weapons, mainly the dual-use 23mm guns and RPG-7s, which were used primarily against the U.S. helicopters. The Iraqis were also instrumental in running the external perimeter, blocking repeated U.S.-U.N. attempts to relieve the beseiged force in the defensive perimeter. The Arab “Afghans” were in command of some of the Somali blocking forces as well. Reports conflict as to the extent of Iraqi participation in the actual fighting. A few [Iraqi] Saiqah Commando troops were definately present, giving instructions to [Somali] SIUP fighters.”

    9/1/93 By the Fall of 1993, a large number of Iraqis moved into the area of the Red Sea mountain range — in Madabay in Khawr Ashraf, Port Sudan, in the region of Dalawat on the Red Sea near Hala’ib, and the city of Tawker in region of Karnakanat. The Iraqis brought into these installations high-tech equipment and computers, missiles, defense systems, anti-aircraft systems and radar systems.

    9/14/93 Major General Thomas Montegomery in Somalia asks for reinforcements to create an emergency rapid reaction force in Mogadishu. The request is scaled down by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but approved.

    9/23/93 Sec.Def. Les Aspin vetos the request for heavy armor to be sent to Mogadishu

    9/25/93 An American UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter is shot down in Mogadishu, Somalia. The crew is rescued. [Author's note: in 1994/95 it is revealed by the Sudanese govt that Al Queda operatives including #3 man Mohammed Atef, had gone to Somalia, trained Somalis in tactics that had been learned during the fight against Soviets in Afghanistan, and had they themselves taken part in this attack.]

    circa 10/1/93 After the 8/22 bombing of a U.S. Army HUMMV, U.S. Army Task Force Ranger and Delta Force commandos make 6 raids trying to kill/capture Somali warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid. All fail publicly. [Author's note: in 1994/95 it is revealed by the Sudanese govt that Al Queda operatives including #3 man Mohammed Atef, had gone to Somalia, trained Somalis in tactics that had been learned during the fight against Soviets in Afghanistan, and had they themselves taken part in this attack.]

    circa 10/1/93 Sudan is added to the U.S. State Department’s list of nations that support terrorism. [Author's note: this occurs at the same time as Sudanese intelligence officials were notifying the US of Al Queda terrorists based in Sudan and operating freely in Somalia against US forces. While there is no direct and/or public response toward Al Queda, the Sudan suffers publicly and economically as a supporter of international terrorism]

    10/3/93 U.S. Task Force Ranger makes another daring daylight raid using the same tactics as the 6 earlier raids. This raid captures 22 leaders in Aidid’s organization. During the raid, a U.S. Army ranger falls from a hovering helicopter-halting the operation. While the operation is halted, two Blackhawk helicopters are shot down by Somalis with RPG’s. 18 Americans are killed. Eighty-four Americans are wounded. Two American Delta Force snipers volunteered to protect one of the downed helicopter crews until reinforcements could arrive. They were eventually overwhelmed by thousands of Somalis and killed. Their bodies mutilated and dragged through the streets. Shocking video from a French camera crew is shown around the world within hours of the debacle. One of the pilots protected by the Delta Force snipers is captured. Both Delta snipers received the Congressional Medal of Honor. Somali casualties will never be determined as the nation was in a complete state of anarchy. However, Red Crescent reports state that as many as 3000 were killed and somewhere between 5000 and 10,000 were wounded.

    circa 10/3/93 “On 3 and 4 October, 1993, operatives of Al Queda particpated in the attack on U.S. military personnell serving in Somalia.”

    10/20/93 President Clinton announces the withdrawl of all US troops from Somalia by 3/31/94

    circa 11/1/93 11/93 – Unsuccessful attampt by the Al-Jihad organization to assassinate Prime Minister Atef Sedky of Egypt.

    11/1/1993 Chalabi presents Clinton administration with war plan entitled “The End Game”

    11/1/1993 In November of 1993, Ahmad Chalabi, the leader of the Iraqi National Congress, an opposition group devoted to the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, presented the Clinton Administration with a detailed, four-phase war plan entitled “The End Game,” along with an urgent plea for money to finance it. “The time for the plan is now,” Chalabi wrote. “Iraq is on the verge of spontaneous combustion. It only needs a trigger to set off a chain of events that will lead to the overthrow of Saddam.” It was a message that Chalabi would repeat for the next eight years.

    11/10/93 11/10/1993 John Kerry voted to cut intel spending

    11/12/93 The New York Times reports that the Iraqi government forces have stepped up military pressure against Shiite villages in southern Iraq forcing thousands to flee deeper into the marshes or across the border into Iran.

    11/16/93 Iraqi demonstrators cross into Kuwaiti territory protesting border demarcation

    11/23/93 UNSC presidential statement terms Iraqi border violations breach of RES 687

    11/26/93 Iraq accepts UN Security Council Resolution 715.

    11/26/93 Iraq accepts RES 715

    12/1/93 By late 1993, the regions surrounding these installations were experiencing strict security measures and 24-hour armed patrols roam around it. In some areas, such as in the Port Sudan area, shepherds and nomads were completely removed from security zones with a 60 km circumference.

    12/21/93 Iraqi troops fire on a U.S. patrol near Faydah in northern Iraq. The patrol is within the security zone established on May 22, 1991. The Iraqis were over a mile away and outside the security zone. Baghdad denies Western reports of the incident as “fabricated and baseless.”

    12/31/93 While the initial movements of WMD stuff were emergency measures or by- products of other considerations, Baghdad reexamined its posture by late 1993. By then, Saddam Hussein had already realized that the UN inspections were not going away, and that the US remained determined to continue the policy of containment and sanctions. Moreover, the US retaliation for the June 1993 narrowly averted an attempt on the life of former President Bush by Iraqi intelligence convinced Baghdad that there would be no reconciliation with the US in the foreseeable future. Hence, Baghdad adopted a long term strategy to endure the global pressure.

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  31. Ironically the media today has the nerve to tell its drone audiences that Ibn Sheikh al Libi was the only member of al Qaeda linking the group to Saddam. Beyond disgusting, partisan and ignorant our media is.

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  32. Ryan says: 33

    Thanks Mataharley and Scott.

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  33. MataHarley says: 34

    Very welcome, Ryan.

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  34. Ryan says: 35

    Hi Scott, do you mind pointing me out to the part where it says Zawahiri got help from Saddam in 1996? Sorry, I was looking at the excel file you sent me, and there is so much that sometimes I lose my place. Thanks.

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  35. Ryan says: 36

    Also, the people at the I.D.A. said in their March 2008 report that they are still looking into intel collected from Iraq and that they only have analyzed a few of them so far. Is there any word on whether they found anything else yet?

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  36. Scott Malensek says: 37

    Good questions Ryan. Looking back 13yrs, it’s tricky to say the least. The big thing in 1996 was the merging of Egyptian Islamic Jihad (which the FBI says had operational ties to Saddam’s govt-I’ll have to look at their website to get the exact wording) with Al Queda’s leadership councils. PLUS UBL was booted from Sudan, almost assassinated, refused sanctuary in Saudi, and fled to Afghanistan where-purely coincidentally(?) the Taliban then suddenly took power over all the other fighting factions. There are also several accounts from 1996 that UBL met w Iraqi officials. I dunno about those. Seems more like IIS guys making contact w UBL and AQ to me. Lastly, in 1996 AQ switched from jihad around the world to jihad that focused on killing Americans-including civilians.

    Now, in 1994 we’re told that (per the 1998 UBL indictment-original version) that AQ setup a relationship w Saddam’s govt to get WMD. AQ wanted WMD, IIS obviously wanted something in return. That brings about the absolute core of the argument against the issue of regime ties: ignorant people tell us that Saddam and UBL never would have worked together because of religious differences. Saddam had a long record of using Islamic fanatics to do deniable, proxy attacks (all leaders in the region have this record), and UBL had a record of working w the CIA, ISI, etc (surely…they’re more “secular” than Saddam). More importantly, however, the issue isn’t the presence or depth of a love affair between Saddam and Bin Laden, but rather a willingness of the IIS to work[use] w AQ and vice versa.

    For specifics re Zawahiri/IIS in 1996…I’ll have to do some lookin’. You’re right, I don’t have anything in the timeline about that; this period talks about “UBL” and/or “AQ” rather than the Z man himself. There’s stuff about the Z man and IIS BEFORE 1996, and lots after. I suspect it’s because in 1996…we just didn’t have anyone looking. Remember the findings of the 2001 Joint House/Senate Intel Committee Investigation into 911: prior to 911, there were never more than 4-40 people in the CIA watching all of AQ, and very few watching Iraq.

    IDA report? Link? If you’re talking about the docs, I go w Mata’s suggestion of reading the Iraqi Perspectives Project report. Additionally, regimeofterror is a great website for this, AND the docs already found and reported on….leave simply no doubt about the matter anymore.

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  37. Ryan says: 38

    Scott, the IDA report I am talking about is the one written by Kevin Woods back in March of 2008. There were a few posts in this blog about the report. Particularly about how McClatchy News started an echo chamber on the false notion that it claimed there were ties between Al Qaeda and the Ba’ath government.

    Here is a URL if you still need more clarification on what report I am talking about.

    - http://regimeofterror.com/archives/2008/03/media_swings_and_misses_on_ida_1/

    As for doubt about the matter regarding Ba’ath party militants (Saddam and his loyalists) working with Al Qaeda, there is plenty of doubt on this issue. Particularly for people who do not read about it and have already decided that they do not believe Saddam had any ties to Al Qaeda.

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  38. Wordsmith says: 39

    UBL had a record of working w the CIA

    Scott, could you elaborate on this with specifics? I have been led to the assumption that the claims of bin Laden and the CIA ever working together (re: conspiratorial anti-American/non-interventionist over-reach belief: CIA created bin Laden) is a myth.

    For instance, I have this from Richard Miniter:

    The CIA-Bin Laden Myth
    By: Richard Miniter / Fox News
    Tuesday, September 23, 2003

    The American government did NOT put bin Laden in power in Afghanistan.

    Two years after the Sept. 11 attacks, no memorial service, cable-news talkfest or university seminar seemed to have been complete without someone emerging from the woodwork to wonder darkly why the CIA ever financed Usama bin Laden “in the first place.”

    Everyone from Washington Post reporters to Michael Moore seems to buy some version of this.

    It is time to lay to rest the nagging doubt held by many Americans that our government was somehow responsible for fostering bin Laden. It’s not true and it leaves the false impression that we brought the Sept. 11 attacks down on ourselves. While it is impossible to prove a negative, all available evidence suggests that bin Laden was never funded, trained or armed by the CIA.

    Bin Laden himself has repeatedly denied that he received any American support. “Personally neither I nor my brothers saw any evidence of American help,” bin Laden told British journalist Robert Fisk in 1993. In 1996, Mr. Fisk interviewed bin Laden again. The arch-terrorist was equally adamant: “We were never, at any time, friends of the Americans. We knew that the Americans supported the Jews in Palestine and that they are our enemies.”

    In the course of researching my book on Bill Clinton and bin Laden, I interviewed Bill Peikney, who was CIA station chief in Islamabad from 1984 to 1986, and Milt Bearden, who was CIA station chief from 1986 to 1989. These two men oversaw the disbursement for all American funds to the anti-Soviet resistance. Both flatly denied that any CIA funds ever went to bin Laden. They felt so strongly about this point that they agreed to go on the record, an unusual move by normally reticent intelligence officers. Mr. Peikney added in an e-mail to me: “I don’t even recall UBL [bin Laden] coming across my screen when I was there.”

    There are many reasons to believe them. They knew where the money went. Both men have retired from the CIA; they have no motive to mouth an agency line. And no compelling evidence has emerged that the CIA ever paid bin Laden: no cancelled checks, no invoices, no government reports.

    Those who contend that bin Laden received U.S. funds usually make the following argument: America financed the Afghan rebels, bin Laden was among the rebels, therefore, in one way or another, America gave money to bin Laden.

    This ignores a key fact: There were two entirely separate rebellions against the Soviets, united only by a common communist enemy. One was financed by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states and was composed of Islamic extremists who migrated from across the Muslim world. They called themselves “Arab Afghans.” Bin Laden was among them. When the Saudis agreed to match U.S. contributions dollar-for-dollar, the sheikhs insisted that their funds go exclusively to the “Arab Afghans,” possibly including bin Laden. Meanwhile, U.S. funds went exclusively to the other rebellion, which was composed of native Afghans. Mr. Bearden told me: “I challenge anyone to give any proof that we gave one dollar to any Arab Afghans, let alone bin Laden.”

    Even if the CIA wanted to pay “Arab Afghans” — which agency officials insist they did not — bin Laden would be a far from obvious choice. Bin Laden himself rarely left the safety of Pakistan’s northwestern cities and commanded few troops of his own. At the time, bin Laden was the Arab Afghan’s quartermaster, providing food and other supplies.

    If a CIA officer tried to give money to bin Laden, he probably would not have lived through the experience. The arch-terrorist was known for his violent anti-Americanism. Dana Rohrabacher, now a Republican congressman from California, told me about a trip he took with the mujahideen in 1987. On that trek, his guide told him not to speak English for the next few hours because they were passing by bin Laden’s camp. “If he hears an American, he will kill you.”

    Why is this myth of CIA support for bin Laden so persistent? Some find the myth persuasive because they do not know that America and Saudi Arabia funded two different sets of anti-Soviet fighters. Others on the anti-American left and right, in both Europe and America, find it oddly comforting. It gives solace to those who want to think the worst of us. The CIA-funding myth allows them to return to a familiar pattern, to blame America first. Whatever the cause, this myth weakens America’s case for the war on terror by setting up a moral equivalency between America and Al Qaeda. This animates protests at home and makes it harder to win allies abroad.

    When former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani learned that a Saudi prince had blamed U.S. policies for the Sept. 11 atrocity, he famously turned down the prince’s $10 million donation. His words at the time could be applied to the myth of CIA support for bin Laden: “There is no moral equivalent for this attack,” he said. “Not only are these statements wrong, they’re part of the problem.”

    Peter Bergen:

    The story about bin Laden and the CIA — that the CIA funded bin Laden or trained bin Laden — is simply a folk myth. There’s no evidence of this. In fact, there are very few things that bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and the U.S. government agree on. They all agree that they didn’t have a relationship in the 1980s. And they wouldn’t have needed to. Bin Laden had his own money, he was anti-American and he was operating secretly and independently. The real story here is the CIA did not understand who Osama was until 1996, when they set up a unit to really start tracking him.

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  39. Scott Malensek says: 40

    The CIA didn’t directly put UBL in power, but Milt Beardon (the CIA guy who headed the US support for Muj during Afghan war in 80′s+) was on History Channel and said, (para) ‘We didn’t sell the guns and things to him, but we asked the Saudis to do so, and the Pakistanis to do so.’

    Ultimately, the point I was trying to make is that UBL and AQ are willing to work w secular entities (be it the CIA or IIS or KGB or FSB or ISI or whoever). AQ is a network of militant islamic extremist groups, people, and networks, but ain’t exclusive to fanatics.

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