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The Iraq - al Qaeda Connection

Stephen F. Hayes presents the best case to date of a real connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.

According to Hayes, lists of known members of Saddam Hussein's Fedayeen force contained one Lieutenant Colonel Ahmed Hikmat Shakir. Why this is so interesting is that Shakir also turns up on a list of known attendees of the now famous al Qaeda summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2000. It is believed that this was the chief planning meeting for the attack on America that followed a year later.

Certainly far from conclusive proof, but yet another hint that an Iraq connection to 9/11 may not be so far fetched.


What I find fascinating about this article is how the Iraq-OBL connection was simply taken for granted in the late 90's. For example, this quote from Newsweek magazine, January 11, 1999:

Saddam Hussein, who has a long record of supporting terrorism, is trying to rebuild his intelligence network overseas--assets that would allow him to establish a terrorism network. U.S. sources say he is reaching out to Islamic terrorists, including some who may be linked to Osama bin Laden, the wealthy Saudi exile accused of masterminding the bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa last summer.

or this quote from ABC news from later the same week:

Intelligence sources say bin Laden's long relationship with the Iraqis began as he helped Sudan's fundamentalist government in their efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction. . . . ABC News has learned that in December, an Iraqi intelligence chief named Faruq Hijazi, now Iraq's ambassador to Turkey, made a secret trip to Afghanistan to meet with bin Laden. Three intelligence agencies tell ABC News they cannot be certain what was discussed, but almost certainly, they say, bin Laden has been told he would be welcome in Baghdad.

Fascinating stuff. I can't wait for the book to come out.

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