Monday, June 27, 2005

Hussein's Iraq and Al Qaeda

Picture credit:
http://www.husseinandterror.comThanks to the National Review Online's Deroy Murdoch, here's a compendium of various ties between Hussein's Iraq and Al Qaeda. Andrew McCarthy also described these ties in a separate article. And, of course, no presentation is complete without mentioning Murdock's multimedia presentation entitled, "Hussein and Terror" (not for the faint of heart).

In any event, these make for interesting reading when transformed into an easily readable list of activities:

o After running an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan, [Zarqawi] found his way to Baathist Baghdad, where he reportedly checked into Olympic Hospital, an elite facility run by the late Uday Hussein, son of the captured tyrant. Zarqawi is believed to have received medical treatment for a leg injury sustained while dodging American GIs who toppled the Taliban. He convalesced in Baghdad for some two months. Once he was back on his foot, Zarqawi then opened an Ansar al-Islam terrorist training camp in northern Iraq...

o According to the Clinton Justice Department's spring 1998 indictment of bin Laden, "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."

o In what the CIA nicknamed "Operation Dogmeat," two Iraqi students who lived in the Philippines tried to demolish U.S. Information Service headquarters in Manila. Iraqi diplomat Muwufak al Ani met with the bombers five times before the attack. His car even took them near their target on January 19, 1991. Their bomb exploded prematurely, killing Ahmed J. Ahmed, but his accomplice, Abdul Kadham Saad, survived and was whisked to a Manila hospital. Saad, carrying documents bearing two distinct identities, asked staffers to alert the Iraqi embassy, then recited its phone number.

o Around this time, according to former high-level CIA counterterrorist Stanley Bedlington, Hussein paired Iraqi intelligence operatives with members of the Arab Liberation Front to execute attacks. "The Iraqis had given them all passports," he said, "but they were all in numerical sequence." These tell-tale passport numbers helped friendly governments nab these terror teams.

o President George Herbert Walker Bush ignored information that Hussein "was offering state payment to terrorists," then-Senator Al Gore (D., Tennessee) declared on October 15, 1992. Gore also listed more than a dozen examples of Iraq-sponsored terrorism and said "an estimated 1,400 terrorists were operating openly out of Iraq."

o "In 1992, elements of al Qaeda came to Baghdad and met with Saddam Hussein," Abu Aman Amaleeki, a 20-year veteran of Iraqi intelligence, said on ABC's Nightline on September 26, 2002. Speaking from a Kurdish prison, he added: "And among them was Ayman al Zawahiri," bin Laden's chief deputy. "I was present when Ayman al Zawahiri visited Baghdad."

o Former Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) Deputy Director Faruq Hijazi, reports a reliable foreign spy agency, supplied blank Yemeni passports to al Qaeda in 1992.

o Mohammed Salameh, a 1993 World Trade Center attacker, called Baghdad 46 times in the two months before bomb maker Abdul Rahman Yasin flew from Baghdad to New Jersey to join the plot. Salameh's June 1992 phone bill totaled $1,401, which prompted his disconnection for non-payment. After the blast — which killed six individuals and injured 1,042 — Yasin fled to Baghdad, where records and multiple press accounts show he received safe haven and Baathist cash.

o Based on a 20-page IIS document discovered in Baghdad, the Defense Intelligence Agency reports that "Alleged conspirators employed by IIS are wanted in connection with the [June 25, 1996] Khobar Towers bombing and the assassination attempt in 1993 of former President Bush."

o In an October 27, 2003 memo, Defense Undersecretary Douglas J. Feith explained Hussein's bonus pay for terrorists: "Iraq increased support to Palestinian groups after major terrorist attacks and...the change in Iraqi relations with al Qaeda after the [1998 east African] embassy bombings followed this pattern." A top Philippine terrorist also said Iraq's payments to the al Qaeda-tied Abu Sayyaf grew after successful assaults.

o ABC News reported on January 14, 1999, that it "has learned that in December [1998] an Iraqi intelligence chief, named Faruq Hijazi, now Iraq's ambassador to Turkey, made a secret trip to Afghanistan to meet with bin Laden."

o On January 5, 2000, Malaysian intelligence photographed September 11 hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar being escorted through Kuala Lumpur's airport by VIP facilitator Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, an Iraqi recommended to Malaysian Airlines by Baghdad's embassy there. The pair soon were photographed again at al Qaeda's three-day planning summit for the October 2000 U.S.S. Cole and 9/11 attacks. Three separate documents recently unearthed in Iraq identify an Ahmed Hikmat Shakir as a lieutenant colonel in Uday Hussein's elite Saddam Fedayeen.

o Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al Ani is the former Iraqi diplomat suspected of meeting September 11 ringleader Mohamed Atta in Prague on April 8, 2001, and possibly June 2, 2000, the day before Atta flew from Prague to Newark, New Jersey. Top secret Pentagon records cite a Czech intelligence report that al Ani "ordered the IIS finance officer to issue Atta funds from IIS financial holdings in the Prague office." During the summer of 2000, $99,455 was wired from financial institutions in the United Arab Emirates to Atta's Sun Trust bank account in Florida.

Murdock: Hussein and Terror

Update: SoCalPundit has an excellent set of resources that clarify the links between Hussein's Iraq and Al Qaeda.