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Al-Qaeda, Hussein link stronger


Georgetown, Ind.

Once again, Lee Cable in his "A look back while looking forward" managed to tie my stomach in knots as President George W. Bush did for Mr. Cable for eight years.

I used to enjoy the Clarion; unfortunately, you hired Lee Cable, and a friendly little, free newspaper turned into a partisan hit piece. From now on, I'll use it to light the fireplace. Please remind your advertisers for me.

In addition to attacking Laura Bush, the most classy, caring and delightful first lady that the United States has had in 16 years, Cable brought up one of my pet peeves. He claims there was never a connection between Iraq and al-Qaeda.

Here are the facts that Mr. Cable, if he were a journalist, could find for himself:

The following are documented connections between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's Iraqi government:

•1992

Iraq provided safe haven and financial support for Abdul Rahman Yasin, who mixed the chemicals for the 1993 World Trade Center attack. He returned to Iraq after the attack and was provided a house and monthly salary by Saddam Hussein's Iraqi government.

From 1992 to 2003, Saddam Hussein hosted the Popular Islamic Conference annually in Baghdad. In 1992, 500 Islamic jihadists declared that "defending Iraq … is an Islamic duty, because Iraq is a fortress of Islamic jihad."

An Iraqi Intelligence Service memo listed individuals they considered assets. On page 14, Osama bin Laden is included as having a good relationship with the Iraqi Intelligence section in Syria.

Ayman Al Zawahiri, al-Qaeda's second in command, met with Iraqi Intelligence several times between 1992 and 1995, once receiving blank Yemini Passports.

Hasan al Turabi, a Saddam Hussein ally, hosted Osama Bin Laden in Sudan from 1992 to 1996, and brokered a 1993 deal between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden that al-Qaeda would not work against Iraq, and Iraq would assist al-Qaeda on weapons development.

•1993

The Iraqi Intelligence service attempted to assassinate U.S. President George H.W. Bush in Kuwait.

•1994

Senior Iraqi Intelligence officers met with Osama bin Laden three times in Sudan.

•1997

From 1997 to 2000, al-Qaeda member Abu Abdullah al Iraqi received training in chemical and biological weapons in Iraq. He was sent to Iraq by Osama bin Laden to purchase poison gases.

•1998

There was a plot between Iraq and al-Qaeda to blow up UK.. and U.S. embassies in Pakistan.

Abu Haver al Iraqi, Osama bin Laden's best friend, ran al-Qaeda's WMD procurement operation until captured in 1998. He had two direct meetings with Iraqi Intelligence leadership.

In February, Ayman Al Zawahiri met with Iraqi officials, leaving Baghdad with $300,000 for Al-Qaeda.

Al-Qaeda envoy, Mohammed F. Mohammed stayed two weeks in room 414 of the Al Mansour Melia hotel in Baghdad as a guest of Iraqi Intelligence.

An al-Qaeda delegation attended Saddam Hussein's birthday celebration.

An Iraqi delegation traveled to Afghanistan to meet with the Taliban and Osama bin Laden.

The presence of Iraqi chemical experts in Sudan supported President Bill Clinton's decision to destroy the Sudanese Al Shifa pharmaceutical plant.

After Clinton's operation Desert Fox cruise missile attack, Saddam Hussein dispatched trusted intelligence operative Faruq Hijaz to meet with Osama bin Laden.

•1999

"Newsweek" reported an Arab intelligence officer who knew Saddam Hussein personally as warning, "Very soon you will be witnessing large scale terrorist activity run by the Iraqis against western targets." The plan would be run under three false flags: Palestinian, Iranian and al-Qaeda.

Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, eventual leader of "al-Qaeda in Iraq," was traveling freely in Iraq setting up al-Qaeda cells assisted by Saddam Hussein's intelligence officers and more than a dozen al-Qaeda operatives.

•2000

Mohammed Mansour Shahab, a smuggler hired by Iraq to transport weapons to Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, was arrested by anti-Saddam Hussein Kurdish forces.

•2002

Hundreds of al-Qaeda terrorists fleeing the U.S.-led attacks in Afghanistan, fled to Ansar al Islam, an Al Qaeda terrorist camp, in northern Iraq.

Abu Musab Al Zarqawi fled to Baghdad for medical treatment in May.

Al Zarqawi is responsible for the October 2002 murder of U.S. Official Lawrence Foley in Amman Jordan. The murder was planned and financed from Zarqawi's al-Qaeda cell in Iraq.

•2003

Saddam Hussein refused Jordan's requests for extradition of Al Zarqawi from Iraq to Jordan, for prosecution.

According to Hudayfa Azzam, son of Osama bin Laden mentor, Abdullah Azzam, Saddam Hussein welcomed young al-Qaeda members with open arms, and they entered Iraq in large numbers.

President Bush is now enjoying his retirement in Texas knowing that he protected people like Lee Cable from multiple terrorist attacks. I'm sure his stomach is not tied in knots.

Material for this letter was sourced from "The Mother of All Connections," Stephen F. Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn, "The Weekly Standard," July 18, 2005; "The Iraq–Al-Qaeda Connections," Richard Miniter, Tech Central Station, Sept. 25, 2003; and "Ansar al-Islam: Iraq's Al-Qaeda Connection," Jonathon Schanzer, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Jan. 17, 2003.

Kelly Roggenkamp
February 04, 2009


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