Reasons for war with sadam hussein obamahttp://www.reasons-for-war-with-iraq.info/
Pre-War Quotes from Democrats
"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998. *
"Together we must also confront the new hazards of chemical and biological weapons, and the outlaw states, terrorists and organized criminals seeking to acquire them. Saddam Hussein has spent the better part of this decade, and much of his nation's wealth, not on providing for the Iraqi people, but on developing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them."
President Clinton, Jan. 27, 1998. * video
"Fateful decisions will be made in the days and weeks ahead. At issue is nothing less than the fundamental question of whether or not we can keep the most lethal weapons known to mankind out of the hands of an unreconstructed tyrant and aggressor who is in the same league as the most brutal dictators of this century."
Sen. Joe Biden (D, DE), Feb. 12, 1998 *
"It is essential that a dictator like Saddam not be allowed to evade international strictures and wield frightening weapons of mass destruction. As long as UNSCOM is prevented from carrying out its mission, the effort to monitor Iraqi compliance with Resolution 687 becomes a dangerous shell game. Neither the United States nor the global community can afford to allow Saddam Hussein to continue on this path."
Sen. Tom Daschle (D, SD), Feb. 12, 1998 *
"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
Madeleine Albright, Feb. 18, 1998. *
"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb. 18, 1998. *
"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998. *
"As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998. *
"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
Madeleine Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999. *
"This December will mark three years since United Nations inspectors last visited Iraq. There is no doubt that since that time, Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to refine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."
Letter to President Bush, Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL) and others, Dec, 5, 2001. *
"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them."
Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002. *
"We know that he has stored away secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002. *
"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002. *
"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."
Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002. *
"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."
Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002. *
"My position is very clear: The time has come for decisive action to eliminate the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. I'm a co-sponsor of the bipartisan resolution that's presently under consideration in the Senate. Saddam Hussein's regime is a grave threat to America and our allies..."
John Edwards (D, NC), Oct. 7, 2002 * video
"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force — if necessary — to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."
Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002. *
"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years .... We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002. *
"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do."
Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002. *
"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members.... It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct. 10, 2002. * video
"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction.
Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002. *
"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime .... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction .... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real ...."
Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003. *
Watch this must see video for pre-war quotes by several Democrats.
Watch this must see video for pre-war quotes by John Kerry.
Iraq and a History of Terrorism
On December 3, 1976, the New York Times reported that radical Palestinians have gathered in Iraq to mount a terrorist campaign against "moderate" arab governments. The group referred to in the article was known as Black June and they were led by the terrorist Abu Nidal. On August 5, 1978, the New York Times reported that this Palestinian group was linked to Iraq's intelligence service. Abu Nidal was a ruthless terrorist who planned the 1973 assault on an American passenger plane in Rome that resulted in 34 deaths and the 1974 bombing of TWA 841 which resulted in 88 deaths. link link
On April 24, 1977, the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) was reorgainized under the leadership of the terrorist Abu Abbas. According to an October 13, 1985 article in the New York Times, the group was organized with money and help from the Iraqi government. link
In December 1977, Carlos the Jackal (a.k.a. Ilich Ramirez Sanchez) a "terrorist for hire" met with Saddam Hussein. Carlos was openly supported by the Iraqi government. link link
On July 15, 1978, the LA Times reported that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) had formally asked the government of Iraq to hand over the terrorist Abu Nidal "so he would get what he deserves." The article reported Iraq had given support to Abu Nidal and even provided him with his own radio station which he called "the voice of the Palestinian revolution." Among other things, the radio station had launched virulent attacks on two Palestinian leaders shortly before they were assassinated earlier that year. link
In 1979, Congress passed legislation (Export Administration Act of 1979) which required the executive branch to create and maintain a list of countries deemed to have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism. In December 1979, the Carter Administration declared four countries as state sponsors of terrorism including: Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Southern Yemen. link link link
On August 30, 1980, the New York Times reported in an article titled "U.S. Forbids Sale of Jetliners to Iraq" that the Carter Administration decided to block the sale of five Boeing jets due to Iraq's involvement in recent terrorist activities. The article reported that, within the previous few months, Iraqi diplomats were involved in attempted bomb attacks in Vienna and West Berlin. link
On November 9, 1982, the Los Angeles Times reported in an article titled "Top Arab Terrorist Back in Baghdad" that Abu Nidal had recently moved back to Iraq after being expelled from the country four years earlier. His presence in Iraq was confirmed by President Saddam Hussein. link
Abu Abbas was the mastermind of the October 1985 Achille Lauro cruise ship hijacking. Leon Klinghoffer, a 69-year-old Manhattan retiree, was rolled by Abbas's men, wheelchair and all, into the Mediterranean. After holding some 400 passengers hostage for 44 hours, the hijackers surrendered to Egyptian authorities in exchange for safe passage to Tunisia aboard an Egypt Air jet. The airliner, however, was forced by U.S. fighter planes to land at a NATO base in Sicily. Italian officials took the hijackers into custody but Abu Abbas possessed a get-out-of-jail card: an Iraqi diplomatic passport. Seeing that this terrorist traveled as a credentialed Iraqi diplomat, the Italian authorities let Abbas flee to Yugoslavia. link link link
On January 21, 1986 the Associated Press reported the May 15 Organization is an Iraqi-based terrorist group headed by a Palestinian who goes by the name of Abu Ibrahim. The article quoted an Israeli military officer who said the group "specializes in blowing up planes in the air. They operate with the active support of Iraqi intelligence." The May 15 Organization was responsible for five attacks on American and Israeli airliners between 1982 and 1983 including the August 11, 1982 bombing of Pan Am flight 830 over Honolulu which killed one teenager and injured 15 other passengers. Members of the group are also suspected in the April 2, 1986 bombing of TWA flight 840 which killed four Americans near Athens. link link link
On May 13, 1986, the New York Times reported that the French Interior Ministry had received confessions for three terrorist bombings including the Marks & Spencer department stores in Paris and London. According to reports, the terrorist in custody had received his orders from a "contact in Baghdad." That contact was Abu Ibrahim, the leader of a radical Palestinian organization called the "Arab Organization of May 15." This group, which received Iraqi government support, was known for its use of sophisticated explosive devices in the form of plastic explosives and suitcase bombs. link link
On March 20, 1990, four months prior to the invasion of Kuwait, the Chicago Tribune asked, "Why is Bush gentle with the Butcher of Baghdad?" The newspaper was upset a British journalist had been recently hanged in Iraq as a spy. Saddam had also declared a school holiday to swell the crowds ordered to demonstrate in front of the British embassy. The Iraqi propaganda minister declared, "Mrs. Thatcher wanted him alive, we gave her the body." link
On March 31, 1990, months prior to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY) reported that five people were indicted for illegally exporting nuclear warhead triggering devices to Iraq. The article reported, "Hussein is one of the world's foremost sponsors of terrorism. Numbered among his clients are a varied assortment of highjackers, bombers and kidnappers around the world." link
On January 16, 1991 President George H.W. Bush announced that twenty eight countries with forces in the Gulf began military operations to remove Saddam Hussein's army from Kuwait. "Some may ask: Why act now? Why not wait? The answer is clear: The world could wait no longer. Sanctions, though having some effect, showed no signs of accomplishing their objective. Sanctions were tried for well over 5 months, and we and our allies concluded that sanctions alone would not force Saddam from Kuwait. While the world waited, Saddam Hussein systematically raped, pillaged, and plundered a tiny nation, no threat to his own. He subjected the people of Kuwait to unspeakable atrocities -- and among those maimed and murdered, innocent children." video
During the first Gulf War, on February 4, 1991, the Washington Times wrote an article titled, "Terrorist Camps Deserted in Iraq." The article reported that several terrorist camps inside Iraq were abandoned shortly after the start of the allied bombing campaign. One camp in the western desert was operated by the terrorist Abu Nidal for weapons and explosives training. A terrorist camp near Bagdad was operated by Abu Ibrahim, leader of the Arab Organization May 15. And another terrorist camp near Bagdad was occupied by terrorists of unknown affiliation. Later, after the war, the Washington Times wrote another article dated November 24, 1992 reporting that terrorists were once again training at a camp near Bagdad in violation of the cease-fire terms that ended the Gulf War. link link
On February 4, 1992, The Canadian Press reported, "A Palestinian ex-businessman said Tuesday he was sent on a bombing mission to Europe in 1982 by an Iraqi-based guerrilla group whose leader had close connections with the Baghdad government. Adnan Awad told a U.S. Senate hearing he took a sophisticated briefcase bomb to Switzerland where he was to blow up either an Israeli or an American installation but could not bring himself to do it." Awad said the leader of the group, Abu Ibrahim, had an "open and clear" relationship with the Iraqi government and enjoyed special privileges "like any big officer in Iraq." link
On June 6, 1992, the Associated Press reported that, "U.S. officials knew Palestinian terrorists were finding a safe haven in Baghdad, but for eight years the Reagan and Bush administrations rejected congressional attempts to punish Iraq, newly declassified documents show." A July 1, 1986 memo to then-Secretary of State George Shultz said, "The Iraqis initially endeavored to preserve their terrorist assets, resorting to subterfuge to divert attention from their continued support for terrorist groups." The memo was declassified by the State Department at the request of Rep. Sam Gejdenson, D-Conn. link
During the 1992 presidential campaign, Al Gore criticized the first Bush administration for its "blatant disregard" of Iraq's ties to terrorism. On September 29, 1992 Al Gore said, "The Reagan-Bush administration was also prepared to overlook the fact that the terrorists who masterminded the attack on the Achille Lauro and the savage murder of American Leon Klinghoffer, fled with Iraqi assistance. Nor did it seem to matter that the team of terrorists who set out to blow up the Rome airport came directly from Baghdad with suitcase bombs." Al Gore went on to say, "There might have been a moment's pause for reflection when Iraqi aircraft intentionally attacked the USS Stark in May of 1987 killing 37 sailors, but the administration smoothed it over very fast." link video
Former President George H.W. Bush visited Kuwait between April 14 and April 16, 1993, to commemorate the allied victory in the Persian Gulf War. In late-April 1993, the United States learned that terrorists had attempted to assassinate Bush during his visit to Kuwait and evidence indicated that the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) was behind the assassination attempt. The Kuwaiti authorities arrested 17 persons suspected in the plot to kill Bush using explosives hidden in a Toyota Landcruiser. On June 26, 1993, the United States launched a cruise missile attack against a building housing the Iraqi Intelligence Service in Baghdad in retaliation for the assassination attempt on former President Bush. video link link
On June 27, 1994 ABC News reported that Abdul Rahman Yasin (indicted for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) was known to be living in Iraq. A reporter working for ABC News and Newsweek spotted Abdul Yasin at his father's house in Baghdad. Newsweek reported that, according to neighbors, Yasin was "working for the Iraqi government." At the time, the U.S. government was offering a $2 million reward for information leading to his capture. Yasin was never brought to justice and still remains at large today. The reward for his capture has since increased to $5 million. link link
On October 12, 1994, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Pentagon had placed 155,000 additional ground troops on alert in response to the recent build-up of Iraqi forces near the Kuwait border. These soldiers were in addition to the 36,000 already being sent to the Persian Gulf. "For the next several hours, we're going to watch and see what Iraq is going to do," one official said. "Meanwhile, we are getting ourselves prepared in case the worst comes to pass." link link
Throughout the 1990's the U.S. Department of State listed Iraq as a country known to sponsor international terrorism. The Department of State's 1994 Patterns of Global Terrorism report stated, "Since 1991, in violation of UN Security Council resolutions, the Government of Iraq has obstructed the international community's provision of humanitarian assistance. We believe that Iraq is responsible for more than 100 attacks on relief personnel and aid convoys over the past four years. Moreover, the Government of Iraq has offered monetary 'bounties' to anyone who assassinates UN and other international relief workers." link
On January 17, 1995 the Boston Globe reported possible Iraqi involvement in the World Trade Center bombing. "I believe the totality of the evidence points toward Iraqi involvement," said James Fox, former special agent in charge of the FBI's New York office and the man credited with solving the bombing case. "I should say, I arrived at that conclusion after not believing it at first," he added. Fox explained that an eight-page State Department analysis that was classified but made available to him suggested that Iraqi sponsorship of the World Trade Center bombing was the "most likely scenario." link link
The U.S. Department of State's 1995 Patterns of Global Terrorism report stated, "Iraq continues to provide haven and training facilities for several terrorist clients. Abu Abbas' Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) maintains its headquarters in Baghdad. The Abu Nidal organization (ANO) continues to have an office in Baghdad. The Arab Liberation Front (ALF), headquartered in Baghdad, continues to receive funding from Saddam's regime. Iraq also continues to host the former head of the now-defunct 15 May organization, Abu Ibrahim, who masterminded several bombings of US aircraft." link
On September 4, 1996, Newsday reported the United States had launched a cruise missile strike the prior day against Saddam Hussein to make him "pay a price" for unleashing his army against the northern Kurds. Over a two day period the United States launched a total of 44 cruise missiles into Iraq. President Clinton said, "Our objectives are limited but clear: To make Saddam pay a price for the latest act of brutality, reducing his ability to threaten his neighbors and America's interests." link video
On September 12, 1996, National Public Radio interviewed a former CIA chief of counter-terrorism who said Iraq might have been a state sponsor behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. NPR pointed out that Ramzi Ahmed Yousef came to the United States with an Iraqi passport and also reported that indicted co-conspirator Abdul Rahman Yasin was currently living in Baghdad. link link
On March 2, 1998, U.S. News & World Report wrote that Saddam Hussein had dispatched some 30 terrorist teams around the world to strike U.S. interests prior to the first Gulf War. Disaster was averted, the article reported, by a combination of U.S. intelligence and Iraqi incompetence. Iraq had shipped automatic weapons and explosives to embassies overseas but most of the Iraqi agents were amateurish and easily detected. Two men who did get through accidentally blew themselves up in the Philippines before they could bomb a U.S. cultural center in Manila. link
On January 27, 1999 an article in the New York Times titled "A Much-Shunned Terrorist Is Said to Find Haven in Iraq" stated that "Abu Nidal, one of the world's most infamous terrorists, moved to Baghdad late last year and obtained the protection of President Saddam Hussein, according to intelligence reports received by United States and Middle Eastern government officials." The article quoted a counterterrorism expert who said that, regarding Abu Nidal, "Osama bin Laden is a student by comparison." link
On January 12, 2001 The Miami Herald reported that the Navy changed the status of Lt. Commander Michael Scott Speicher from killed in action to missing. Speicher was listed as the first casualty of the Gulf War when his F/A-18 Hornet was shot down on January 17, 1991. This change in status also makes him the last to be still unaccounted for. President Clinton said information about the case "makes us believe that at least he survived his crash... and that he might be alive." Clinton said U.S. officials have begun trying to determine whether Speicher is alive, and "if he is, where he is and how we can get him out." link
After the Gulf War in 1991, no-fly zones were established in northern and southern Iraq to protect the Iraqi Kurds and Shiites from Saddam's forces. The U.S. military enforced these no-fly zones up until the second Iraq war in March 2003. Iraq considered this an affront to its sovereignty and in December 1998 began shooting at American aircraft patrolling these zones. On March 28, 2001, General Tommy Franks reported to the House Armed Services Committee that during the prior year alone, coalition forces had flown nearly 10,000 sorties inside Iraqi airspace and those aircraft were engaged by surface-to-air missiles or anti-aircraft fire more than 500 times. Franks reported that during the prior year, naval forces had intercepted 610 ships while enforcing U.N. sanctions designed to limit Saddam Hussein's ability to smuggle oil out of Iraq. On any given day, U.S. Central Command operated in the region with some 30 naval vessels, 175-200 military aircraft, and between 18,000 and 25,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines. video video link link
On October 14, 2001, a former Iraqi army captain named Sabah Khodada granted an interview to the PBS television program "Frontline" in which he talked about a terrorist training camp in Iraq called Salman Pak. During this interview Khodada stated, "This camp is specialized in exporting terrorism to the whole world." video link link
Saddam Hussein paid $25,000 bonuses to the families of Palestinian homicide bombers. "President Saddam Hussein has recently told the head of the Palestinian political office, Faroq al-Kaddoumi, his decision to raise the sum granted to each family of the martyrs of the Palestinian uprising to $25,000 instead of $10,000," Iraq's deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz declared on March 11, 2002. Mahmoud Besharat, who dispensed these funds across the West Bank, gratefully said: "You would have to ask President Saddam why he is being so generous. But he is a revolutionary and he wants this distinguished struggle, the intifada, to continue." link link
Before the rise of Usama bin Laden, Abu Nidal was widely regarded as the world's most ruthless terrorist. The Associated Press reported on August 22, 2002 that Nidal entered Iraq during the late 1990's "with the full knowledge and preparations of the Iraqi authorities." He lived there until August, 2002 when he died of between one and four gunshot wounds. It is believed by many that Abu Nidal was killed on the orders of Saddam Hussein although the Iraqi government claimed that Nidal had committed suicide. link link link
On February 13, 2003, the Philippine government expelled Iraqi diplomat Hisham al Hussein, the second secretary at Iraq's Manila embassy. Cell phone records indicated that the Iraqi diplomat had spoken with Abu Madja and Hamsiraji Sali, leaders of Abu Sayyaf, just before and just after this Al-Qaeda allied Islamic militant group conducted an attack in Zamboanga City. Abu Sayyaf's nail filled bomb exploded on October 2, 2002, injuring 23 individuals and killing two Filipinos plus killing U.S. Special Forces Sergeant First Class Mark Wayne Jackson, age 40. link link link
After the fall of Saddam's government, coalition forces found and destroyed a terrorist training camp located near Baghdad called Salman Pak. This terrorist training camp featured an airplane fuselage where Iraqi defectors had earlier reported foreign terrorists were being trained in hijacking aircraft. link link link
On April 7, 2003, Agence France Presse reported that US Marines discovered a terrorist training camp operated by the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF). The complex featured bomb-making facilities and pictures of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and PLF faction leader Abu Abbas. Other pictures included the terrorist leader Abu Abbas posing with a Republican Guard brigadier general inside the camp. link
On April 14, 2003, Abu Abbas was captured by U.S. Special Forces during a raid near Baghdad. Abbas had lived in Baghdad since 1994, where he was living under protection of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. video video link
Khala Khadr al-Salahat, accused of designing the bomb that destroyed Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988 (259 killed on board, 11 dead on the ground), also lived in Iraq. He surrendered to U.S. Marines in Baghdad on April 18, 2003. link link link
On September 18, 2003, USA Today ran an article with the headline "U.S. says Iraq sheltered suspect in '93 WTC attack." The article reported that U.S. authorities have evidence Saddam Hussein's regime gave money and housing to Abdul Rahman Yasin, a suspect in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993. Military, intelligence and law enforcement officials reported finding a large cache of Arabic-language documents in Tikrit, Saddam's political stronghold. Some analysts have concluded that the documents show Saddam's government provided monthly payments and a home for Yasin. link
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on June 18, 2004, "I can confirm that after the events of September 11, 2001, and up to the military operation in Iraq, Russian special services and Russian intelligence several times received ... information that official organs of Saddam's regime were preparing terrorist acts on the territory of the United States and beyond its borders, at U.S. military and civilian locations." link
In March 2006, a captured Iraqi document was revealed outlining a May 1999 plan for training terrorists. Under the code name "Blessed July" the top ten graduates of a terrorist training camp were to be sent to London for European operations. Other graduates of this terrorist training camp were to be sent to Iran or the Kurdish areas in northern Iraq. The Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) was to provide logistical support for their missions and selection of targets. link link
Connections between Iraq and Al-Qaeda
On August 20, 1998, President Bill Clinton ordered a cruise missile attack against a chemical weapons factory in Sudan. The cruise missle strike was in retaliation for the August 7, 1998 truck bomb attacks on U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya which killed more than 200 people and wounded more than 5,000 others. The chemical weapons factory in Sudan was funded, in part, by Osama bin Laden who the U.S. believed responsible for the embassy bombings. Richard Clarke, a national security advisor to President Clinton, told the Washington Post in a January 23, 1999 article that the U.S. government was "sure" that Iraqi nerve gas experts had produced a powdered substance at that plant for use in making VX nerve gas. link
On August 25, 1998 the Fort Worth Star-telegram reported a link between Iraq and the Sudanese chemical weapons factory destroyed by the United States in a cruise missile attack. The chemical weapons factory was hit because of links to Osama bin Laden who the U.S. believed responsible for the recent embassy bombings. A senior intelligence official said one of the leaders of Iraq's chemical weapons program, Emad al-Ani, had close ties with senior Sudanese officials at the factory. The intelligence official also said a number of Iraqi scientists working with al-Ani attended the grand opening of the factory two years earlier. Emad Husayn Abdullah al-Ani surrendered to U.S. military forces on April 18, 2003. link link
On November 5, 1998 a Federal grand jury in Manhattan returned a 238-count indictment charging Osama bin Laden in the bombings of two United States Embassies in Africa and with conspiring to commit other acts of terrorism against Americans abroad. The grand jury indictment also charged that Al-Qaeda had reached an arrangement with President Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq whereby the group said that it would not work against Iraq, and that the two parties agreed to cooperate in the development of weapons. link link
On January 11, 1999, Newsweek magazine ran the headline "Saddam + Bin Laden?" The subheadline declared, "It would be a marriage made in hell. And America's two enemies are courting." The article points out that Saddam has a long history of supporting terrorism. The article also mentions that, in the prior week, several surface-to-air missiles were fired at U.S. and British planes patrolling the no-fly zones and that Saddam is now fighting for his life now that the United States has made his removal from office a national objective. link
On January 14, 1999, ABC News reported, "Saddam Hussein has a long history of harboring terrorists. Carlos the Jackal, Abu Nidal, Abu Abbas, the most notorious terrorists of their era, all found shelter and support at one time in Baghdad. 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." video video
On February 13, 1999, CNN reported, "Osama bin Laden, the Saudi millionaire accused by the United States of plotting bomb attacks on two U.S. embassies in Africa, has left Afghanistan, Afghan sources said Saturday. Bin Laden's whereabouts were not known....." The article reports, "Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has offered asylum to bin Laden....." link
On February 18, 1999, National Public Radio (NPR) reported, "There have also been reports in recent months that bin Laden might have been considering moving his operations to Iraq. Intelligence agencies in several nations are looking into that. According to Vincent Cannistraro, a former chief of CIA counterterrorism operations, a senior Iraqi intelligence official, Farouk Hijazi, sought out bin Laden in December and invited him to come to Iraq." NPR reported that Iraq's contacts with bin Laden go back some years, to at least 1994, when Farouk Hijazi met with bin Laden when he lived in Sudan. link link
On February 14, 1999, an article appeared in the San Jose Mercury News claiming that U.S. intelligence officials are worried about an alliance between Osama bin Laden and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The article states that bin Laden had met with a senior Iraqi intelligence official near Qandahar, Afghanistan in late December 1998 and that "there has been increasing evidence that bin Laden and Iraq may have begun cooperating in planning attacks against American and British targets around the world." According to this article, Saddam has offered asylum to bin Laden in Iraq. The article said that in addition to Abu Nidal, another Palestinian terrorist by the name of Mohammed Amri (a.k.a. Abu Ibrahim) is also believed to be in Iraq. link
On February 28, 1999, an article was written in The Kansas City Star which said, "He [bin Laden] has a private fortune ranging from $250 million to $500 million and is said to be cultivating a new alliance with Iraq's Saddam Hussein, who has biological and chemical weapons bin Laden would not hesitate to use. An alliance between bin Laden and Saddam Hussein could be deadly. Both men are united in their hatred for the United States....." link
On December 28, 1999, an article appeared in The Herald (Glasgow, Scotland) titled, "Iraq tempts bin Laden to attack West." The article starts, "The world's most wanted man, Osama bin Laden, has been offered sanctuary in Iraq....." The article quotes a U.S. counter-terrorism source who said, "Now we are also facing the prospect of an unholy alliance between bin Laden and Saddam. The implications are terrifying." link
On April 8, 2001, an informant for Czech counter-intelligence observed an Iraqi intelligence official named al-Ani meeting with an Arab man in his 20s at a restaurant outside Prague. Following the 9/11 attacks, the Czech informant who observed the meeting saw Mohammed Atta’s picture in the papers and identified Mohammed Atta as the man who met with the Iraqi intelligence official. link link link
On July 21, 2001 [less than two months prior to 911] the Iraqi state-controlled newspaper "Al-Nasiriya" predicted that bin Laden would attack the U.S. "with the seriousness of the Bedouin of the desert about the way he will try to bomb the Pentagon after he destroys the White House." The same state-approved column also insisted that bin Laden "will strike America on the arm that is already hurting," and that the U.S. "will curse the memory of Frank Sinatra every time he hears his songs" - an apparent reference to the Sinatra classic, "New York, New York." link link link
After the 9/11 attacks, Saddam became the only world leader to offer praise for bin Laden, even as other terrorist leaders, like Yassir Arafat, went out of their way to make a show of sympathy to the U.S. by donating blood to 9/11 victims on camera. Saddam later pays tribute to 9/11 by having a mural painted depicting the World Trade Center attack at an Iraqi military base in Nasariyah.
must see pictures link
On December 3, 2001 USA Today reported that the CIA had convincing evidence from the mid-1990s Saddam Hussein's regime was funneling money through Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network to the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) in Algeria and other terrorist organizations. Stanley Bedlington, a senior analyst in the CIA's counterterrorism center until his retirement in 1994, said "We were convinced that money from Iraq was going to bin Laden, who was then sending it to places that Iraq wanted it to go." link
On March 15, 2002 the Christian Science Monitor reported that a Taliban-style group known as Ansar al-Islam was threatening stability in the Kurdish northern region of Iraq. Prior to the start of the Iraq War in 2003, Colin Powell addressed the United Nations and pointed out that both Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida had links with the Ansar al-Islam terrorist group. Saddam had provided arms and funding for this terrorist group waging a jihadist war against the Kurds. One month prior to the formation of Ansar al-Islam, leaders from several Kurdish Islamist factions had visited the al-Qaida leadership in Afghanistan. Ansar al-Islam announced their formation on September 1, 2001 just days prior to the September 11 attacks in the United States. link link link
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a director of an al Qaeda training base in Afghanistan, fled to Iraq after being injured as the Taliban fell (prior to the U.S./Iraq war). He received medical care and convalesced for two months in Baghdad. He then opened a terrorist training camp in northern Iraq and arranged the October 2002 assassination of U.S. diplomat Lawrence Foley in Amman, Jordan. link link
CIA director George Tenet (appointed by President Bill Clinton July 11, 1997) wrote in a letter to Senator Bob Graham dated October 7, 2002. "We have solid reporting of senior level contact between Iraq and al Qaeda going back a decade. Credible information exists that Iraq and al Qaeda have discussed safe haven and reciprocal nonaggression. . . . We have credible reporting that al Qaeda leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire WMD capabilities." link link
On October 16, 2002, the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 was signed into law. The authorization (Public law 107-243) had passed the House by a vote of 296-133, and the Senate by a vote of 77-23. This resolution stated, "Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;" and "Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of United States citizens." link
Babil, an official newspaper of Saddam Hussein's government, run by his oldest son Uday, published information that appeared to confirm U.S. allegations of the links between the Iraqi regime and al Qaeda. In its November 16, 2002 edition, Babil identified one Abd-al-Karim Muhammad Aswad as an "intelligence officer," describing him as the "official in charge of regime's contacts with Osama bin Laden's group and currently the regime's representative in Pakistan." link
In December 2002 the House and Senate intelligence committees issued a report on the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. CIA director George Tenet testified (page 137) that, “Atta may also have traveled outside of the U.S. in early April 2001 to meet an Iraqi intelligence officer, although we are still working to corroborate this.” This report also noted (page 211) that, "In February 1999, the Intelligence Community obtained information that Iraq had formed a suicide pilot unit that it planned to use against British and U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf. The CIA commented that this was highly unlikely and probably disinformation." link
On April 25, 2003 CNN reported that Farouk Hijazi had been captured by U.S. forces. Farouk Hijazi was a former intelligence official who may have plotted the attempted assassination of George H.W. Bush in 1993. He was also a contact between Saddam Hussein's regime and Osama bin Laden. Farouk met with bin Laden in Afghanistan in 1998 and is also believed to have met with bin Laden in Sudan in the early 1990's. video
While sifting through the Iraqi Intelligence Service's [Mukhabarat] bombed ruins on April 26, 2003 the Toronto Star's Mitch Potter, the London Daily Telegraph's Inigo Gilmore and their translator discovered a memo in the intelligence service's accounting department. Dated February 19, 1998 and marked "Top Secret and Urgent," it said the agency would pay "all the travel and hotel expenses inside Iraq to gain the knowledge of the message from bin Laden and to convey to his envoy an oral message from us to bin Laden, the Saudi opposition leader, about the future of our relationship with him, and to achieve a direct meeting with him." video link link
On May 7, 2003, a federal judge in New York awarded damages against the government of Iraq after ruling that the families of two victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, suicide hijackings had shown that Iraq had provided material support to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida. Judge Harold Baer ruled that the two families were entitled to $104 million compensation from Iraq, bin Laden, al-Qaida, the Taliban movement and their government of Afghanistan. "Plaintiffs have shown, albeit barely, 'by evidence satisfactory to the court' that Iraq provided material support to bin Laden and al-Qaida." link
The 9/11 Commission Report (pages 228 - 229) provides details of what is known about Mohamed Atta's alleged April 9, 2001 11:00 A.M. meeting with an Iraqi Intelligence agent in Prague. According to the FBI, Mohamed Atta was in Virginia Beach on April 4 and in Florida on April 11. Atta's cell phone records indicate calls were made from Florida during this period but they cannot confirm whether he placed those calls. The report mentions, however, that Czech intelligence has stated publicly they believe there was a 70 percent probability that the meeting took place. The Czech Interior Minister made several statements to the press about his belief that the meeting had occurred. Atta is known to have been in Prague on at least two occasions: once in December 1994 and again in June 2000. link
On September 13, 2006, a deputy prime minister of Iraq by the name of Barham Salih gave a speech in which he 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." link link
In March 2008 the Pentagon declassified results of their investigation into captured Iraqi documents. The report stated, "While these documents do not reveal direct coordination and assistance between the Saddam regime and the al Qaeda network, they do indicate that Saddam was willing to use, albeit cautiously, operatives affiliated with al Qaeda as long as Saddam could have these terrorist–operatives monitored closely. Because Saddam’s security organizations and Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network operated with similar aims (at least in the short term), considerable overlap was inevitable when monitoring, contacting, financing, and training the same outside groups. This created both the appearance of and, in some ways, a “de facto” link between the organizations. At times, these organizations would work together in pursuit of shared goals but still maintain their autonomy and independence because of innate caution and mutual distrust." link link link
In June 2008 the Senate released their report "Whether Public Statements Regarding Iraq By U.S. Government Officials Were Substantiated By Intelligence Information." Among the conclusions (page 71), it reported that public statements by government officials that Iraq (prior to the war) provided safe haven for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other al-Qaida related terrorist members was substantiated by intelligence assessments. link link link
On June 18, 2008 the Iraqi newspaper Kurdistani Nwe published a 2002 letter from the Iraqi presidency that it said proved there was cooperation between Saddam Hussein's regime and Al-Qaeda. The letter, which appeared on the paper's front page, was written by Iraqi intelligence 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. link link
cont., next post