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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Saddam's Ties To Al Qaeda: An Undeniable Fact

I promised yesterday that I would do this post. Before I go on though I have to issue an apology. I'm not someone who enjoys writing such a long post because as a reader I don't like to read an extremely long post. This post will be one that is long. So, I apologize to our readers for it's length. There's a lot of information that I have to convey, and there's just no easy way to do this when it's short and sweet.

I have spoken with people that thought this was a relevant topic to go back over, and I've found some new information regarding this subject. The e-mail response from the previous post I did on this was surprising; I was also dismayed with many that responded by telling me I was lying. Let me state this for the record right now: I don't lie. That is an egregious sin in my book. I present what I find, and can confirm. I think Marcie rambled about this last night that we have three rules on the site for posting:

Be relevant
Be accurate
Be polite (no hard swearing, and if "called for," then censor it.)

So, those who call me a liar are either ignorant of the subject, or simply moonbats that can't handle the truth. And on the subject of Saddam Hussein and his ties to terrorism, the truth is that he encouraged them, and financed a few. He also opened up his country to al Qaeda. I brought it up yesterday that during the translation of the tapes, an allusion was made that there were such proxies in Iraq. And to prove that point, Stephen Hayes, during his interview with Mark Jackson, stated that US Marines came across a terror training camp that had been occupied by the PLO. Training manuals located there had the Palestinian flag above the Iraqi flag on the cover of the manuals. There was a makeshift shooting range, showers, a mess hall, a rudimentary dorm-like structure, and an obstacle course that would have challenged the best of our special forces. To say that these people aren't well-trained is a lie; they have thrown everything into training to be a martyr. Their heart and soul--every fiber of their being--believes that this is their path, and nothing is held back. This is what the training manual emphasizes and reinforces that idea many times.

Saddam also paid the families of suicide bombers in Israel $25,000 for their son's sacrifice in the jihad against Israel. In addition to this, documents show that he assisted the Palestinian Liberation Front, the Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade, and Islamic Jihad. In 1999 Abu Nidal was expelled by Gaddafi of Libya. According to some records, Nidal entered Iraq without their knowledge, but records found shortly after the invasion shows that he was assisting in the training of fedayeen troops in terrorist tactics. By 2001, official Iraqi records show he was living openly in Iraq, and not hiding from anyone. It stands to reason that he was being harbored there as long as he proved his worth. Hence, it is speculated that Iraqi intelligence had been tailing him for some time, and when they believed he was going to turn against the regime, he was killed. The Iraqis labled it suicide; this is much like a "mob" suicide as he supposedly shot himself multiple times with many of the shots mortal or so devestating that more shots fired by him would have been virtually impossible. (Anyone remember the story of the guy who committed suicide with a .22 bolt-action rifle? The amusing part was that the NYPD labled it a suicide. The guy shot himself seven times in the chest with that rifle.)

Abu Abbas was another terrorist we discovered in Iraq. This was the man who masterminded and carried out the Achille Lauro hijacking, and participated in the murder of Leon Klinghoffer. Italy took him into custody after that, and while en route back to Italy, the plane was intercepted by US forces, and forced to land. Under pressure from Italy, the US allowed them to have him. Unfortunately for us, they let him go. He journayed to Tunisia, and under pressure from both the US and Italy, they expelled him in 1994. In 1998, he reunified the PLF, and began commanding it again from Baghdad. From then up to 2003, Abbas commanded his organization from Iraq's capitol, reaped the benefits of monetary assistance through Hussein, and helped train PLF members in camps through Iraq.

And then, of course, there are his detailed ties to al Qaeda:

An Iraqi defector to Turkey known by his cover name as "Abu Mohammed" told Gwynne Roberts of the Sunday Times of London that he saw bin Laden's fighters in camps in Iraq in 1997. At the time, Mohammed was a colonel in the fedayeen, a brutal strike force that reported directly to Saddam Hussein. Mohammed described an encounter at the Salman Pak training facility southeast of Baghdad. At that vast compound run by Iraqi intelligence, Muslim militants trained to hijack planes with knives--practicing on a full-size Boeing 707. Colonel Mohammed recalls his first visit to Salman Pak this way: "We were met by Colonel Jamil Kamil, the camp manager, and Major Ali Hawas. I noticed a lot of people were queing for food. [The major] said to me: 'You'll have nothing to do with these people. They are Osama bin Laden's group and the PKK [a Muslim terror group known for atrocities in Turkey] and Mojahedin-e Khalq [a terror group active in Pakistan]."

After the end of major combat operations in Iraq, Ravi Nessam, an Associated Press reporter, noted that satellite photos of "Salman Pak, about 15 miles southeast of Baghdad...show an urban assault training site, a three-car train for railway-attack instruction, and a commercial airliner sitting all by itself in the middle of the desert."

Nessam continued: "Speaking at an April 6, 2005 press conference, General [Vincent] Brooks said: 'The nature of the work being done by some of those people captured, their influences to the type of training they received, all of these things give us the impression that there was terrorist training that was conducted at Salman Pak.' "

Nationally syndicated columnist Deroy Murdock sifted through the publicly available information about al Qaeda operatives training at Salman Pak, and reported on "Sabah Khodada, a former Iraqi army captain who once worked at Salman Pak. On October 14, 2001, Khodada granted an interview to the PBS television program Frontline stating 'This camp is specialized in exporting terrorism to the whole world.' " "He added: ' Training includes hijacking and kidnapping of airplanes, trains, public buses, and planting explosives in cities...how to prepare for suicidal operations.'" "He continued: 'We saw people getting trained to hijack planes...They are even trained how to use utensils for food, like forks and knives provided in the plane' " to hijack the aircraft.

In the spring of 1998, the Iraqi regime promised to provide "weapons development" assistance to al Qaeda. "The following, according to 9-11 Commission Staff Statement 15, bin Laden took the Iraqis up on their pledge. [Iraqi intelligence officer Farouk al-] Hijazi told his interrogators in May 2003 that bin Laden had specifically requested [from Iraq] Chinese-manufactured anti-ship limpet mines as well as training camps in Iraq.--Mohammed Atef, the head of al Qaeda's military wing until he was killed by the US in Afghanistan in November 2001, told a senior al Qaeda member now in US custody that the terror network needed labs outside of Afghanistan to learn how to make chemical weapons. Secretary of State Colin Powell asked "Where did they go, where did they look? They went to Iraq."

The Iraqis had the Third World's largest poison gas operation prior to the 1991 Gulf War and had perfected the technique of making hydrogen cyanide gas. The Nazis used to call that gas 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.

Summing up his agency's view, then CIA director George Tenet told the Senate Intelligence Committee in February 2003: "Iraq in the past has providedtraining in document forgery and bomb making to al Qaeda. It also provided training in poisons and gases to two al Qaeda associates; one of these [al Qaeda] associates characterized the relationship as 'successful.' Mr. Chairman, this information is based on a solid foundation of intelligence. It comes to us from credible and reliable sources. Much of it is corroborated by multiple sources."

The above points come from Richard Miniter's bestselling book "Disinformation: 22 Media Myths That Undermine The War On Terror." Miniter isn't the only one who has done this research, and connected dots. Stephen Hayes wrote a book back in 2004 called "The Connection: How al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America." From that work, I cite the following:

On 28 March, 1992, the Mukhabarat compiled such a list. It is twenty pages long, with "Top Secret" marked at the top of each page. On page 14 is a now-familiar name: Osama bin Laden. The authors of the document assert that bin Laden "is in good relationship with our section in Syria." The list was recovered after the [First Gulf] war by the Iraqi National Congress--a group long-opposed to Saddam Hussein--and turned it over to US officials. The Defense Intelligence Agency has determined the document is authentic. ...

Eleven months after the list was put together, six people were killed and more than one thousand injured in a bombing at the World Trade Center. A top secret CIA document concludes that a "solid case" exists that al Qaeda operatives conducted the attacks. Fragmentary evidence points to Iraqi involvement. An Iraqi terrorists admitted to mixing chemicals for the bomb. Another conspirator made forty-six phone calls to Iraq two months before the polt's masterminds arrived in the United States--one of them from Baghdad. One of the bombers returned to Baghdad with the active assistance of the Iraqi embassy in Amman, Jordan, and received safe haven and financial support from the Iraqi regime for nearly a decade after thos attacks. ...

Stephen Hayes cites two important addresses. One given via letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee on 7 October, 2002, by then-CIA Director George Tenet: [He] reported that the intelligence community had accumulated "solid reporting of senior-level contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda going back a decade."

The second came from then-Secretary of State Colin Powell during his presentation to the UN Security Council on 5 February, 2003: "Going back to the early and mid-1990s when bin Laden was based in Sudan, an al Qaeda source tells us that Saddam and bin Laden reached an understanding that al Qaeda would no longer support activities against Baghdad. Early al Qaeda ties were forged by secret high-level intelligence service contacts with al Qaeda.

The Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism released a report overview of Colin Powell's statement to the UNSC, and included this within it:

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 Ladin met with a senior Iraqi intelligence official in Khartoum and later met the director of the Iraqi Intelligence Service.

Saddam became more interested as he saw al-Qaida’s appalling attacks. A detained al-Qaida members tells us that Saddam was more willing to assist al-Qaida after the 1998 bombings of our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Saddam was also impressed by al-Qaida’s attacks on the USS Cole in Yemen in October 2000.

Iraqis continue to visit Bin Ladin in his new home in Afghanistan. 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.

From the late 1990s until 2001, the Iraqi Embassy in Pakistan played the role of liaison to the al-Qaida organization.

Stephen Hayes continues:

A brief look at the history of Saddam's rule in Iraq demonstrates that he was not above using Islam and the languages and practices of the mujahadeen when it suited his purposes. He actively supported Syrian religious extremists in their efforts to overthrow Syrain despot Hafez al Assad, a lontime rival who had backed Iran in the Iran/Iraq War. In 1982, Hassad brutally put down a rebellion in Hama led by the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, a radical Islamic group opposed to his secular regime. Estimates of the death toll range from five thousand to twenty-five thousand. The group dispersed, with its more moderate elements relocating to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and a number of European countries. The radicals, including several of the group's leaders, moved to Iraq. where they were welcomed by Saddam Hussein. Syrian Muslim Brothers trained with Iraqis at the Rashdiya camp outside of Baghdad.

According to US officials and press reports, one of the Syrians who spent time at the Iraqi camp is Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas. Yarkas, captured in Madrid in November 2001, was the leader of al Qaeda's operations in Spain. ... (In a side note, when Spanish authorities seized documents from top al Qaeda operatives in Spain in November 2001, they found an invitation to a party at the residence of the Iraqi ambassador to Spain. The invitation went to Luis Galan Gonzalez, a Spanish convert to Islam who worked for Yarkas under Gonzalez's al Qaeda nom de guerre, Yusef Galan. ...

Saddam did more than tweak his rheotirc and change some laws to court Islamic radicals. "Saddam did make a serious attempt to make in-roads with the extremists," says Dr. Stanley Bedlington, who served as a senior analyst and chief of foreign liaison at the CIA's counterterrorism center from 1986 to 1994. Bedlington neither dismisses nor affirms the notion that Saddam and al Qaeda had a working relationship. "I have an open mind about it, " he says. "They were not ideologically compatible. On the other hand, we do know that al Qaeda operatives were placed in Baghdad. Their hatred of the United States alone could bring them to work together." ...

It was nearly a decade later that the world learned that Saddam invited Ayman al-Zawahiri to Baghdad in 1992. At the time of his trip to Baghdad, Zawahiri, an egyptian physician, was running Egyptian Islamic Jihad, an extremist group that merged with al Qaeda in 1998. Now Osama bin Laden's top deputy, he is the man many terrorism experts credit with making al Qaeda the lethal organization it became in the late 1990s.

The first detailed report of Zawahiri's trip came in a 25 March, 2002 article in The New Yorker written by veteran reporter Jeffrey Goldberg. Goldberg traveled to Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq in early 2002 to report on Saddam's use of chemical weapons on Iraqi Kurds in Halabja at the end of the Iran/Iraq War. In the course of his reporting, Goldberg would learn about a far more immediate threat. He was invited by one of the two rival Kurdish political parties, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, to interview prisoners who claimed detailed knowledge of collaboration, after the 11 September attacks, between Iraqi intelligence and al Qaeda.

One such prisoner was Qassem Hussein Muhammed, a twenty-year veteran of Iraqi intelligence. Qassem told Goldberg that he had been one of seventeen bodyguards assigned to protect Zawahiri on his 1992 trip. Zawahiri, according to Qassem, stayed at the al Rasid hotel and traveled secretly throughout Baghdad. Qassem claimed that he was on the security detail that shuttled Zawahiri to one of Saddam's opulent palaces for a meeting with Saddam.

Stephen Hayes points out that much of these meetings were ignored by the press before the Global War On Terror began, and that many people--especially those within the CIA--ignored these minor meetings. Of course, much of this goes back to the Clinton administration. Upon taking his elected office, Clinton offered a conciliatory message to Saddam that basically said, With me you have a blank slate. We know that Clinton wanted little to do with foreign hostilities, preferring to pepper Saddam and Afghanistan with cruise missiles from afar rather than sending in spec-ops soldiers to deal with certain things; like the capture of Osama bin Laden in 1998 instead of launching a missile attack, and missing him completely. But Saddam took advantage of that situation. In 1993, he hosted an Islamic conference in Baghdad. That conference was not to show the Islamic world that he supported them as much as it was a recruitment tool for the proxies he's on tape talking about. Stephen backs this up by pointing out that intelligence officials confirm that the conferences "were crawling with Iraqi intelligence agents recruiting these radicals to help fight a terror war in the West."

We have seen the ties going back as far as the late eighties when Saddam started helping organizations like the PLO and PLF. But in the early-to-mid-nineties, that shifted to the one organization that was truly determined to hit us as hard as they could for the maximum amount of terror it could produce. That was al Qaeda. Bin Laden considered us a blood enemy, just like Saddam did. For Saddam, the first Gulf War never ended. Like what occurred after the end of World War II, Saddam took his fight to the shadows, and utlized the people in the region that lived and thrived in them. In bin Laden, Saddam found not an ideological partner, but a strategic one.

"The enemy of my enemy is my ally." That was the first thing I said when this information started to trickle out once we were in Iraq. I was, to say the least, told to shut up. I was told there was no way that someone as religiously fanatical as bin Laden was would ever work with a secular beast like Saddam. After all, the detractors said, Saddam killed Muslims. Yes, but as we have seen recently, al Qaeda's leaders issued a fatwa that called for the death of any moderate Muslims. They are looked at no differently than infidels are.

We know who are enemy is. For the moonbats it may be the administration--specifically, George W. Bush. For us, we know that these animals have to be stopped. Al Qaeda is just the beginning. The world has a lot of these sorts of groups, including Iran's wonderful terrorist army, Hezbollah. And Iran is looming on our radar screen. They will not be handled dimplomatically. A level of force will have to be used on them. I keep hearing that Israel has a plan on the board. From a strategic point of view, the plan ios a dog, and too much risk will be taken in getting the pilots back home. The only way Israel is doing it is if they can berth their planes somewhere else closer to Iran than where they are. Otherwise, a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities will fall to us. We have the closest base of operations (Reagan battlegroup deployed with the Carter Hall expeditionary assault group, and the Oak Hill--an amphibious assault ship) in the region, and could use a base in the UAE (provided that they're not too ticked about the port deal fiasco) to launch a successful strike.

Make no mistake when I say that things aree heating up again. And whereas Saddam did his best to make sure that these connections were kept on the QT, and weren't readily known, in Iran we know their connections. We know that that sponsor it around the region and within their own nation. They are the number one sponsors of terrorism within the Middle East, and have even had a hand in a couple of minor Chechnyan attacks. If we put Iran on the stage as the top dog of terror, then Saddam was half as bad. Yes, I said that. But here is the point I'm trying to make.

Terrorism can't be allowed to keep formenting. We must stop it here and now. If we don't, it will become a way of life for the world. That doesn't make us secure in any way. We would always have to be on the lookout for the next attack. And, yes we should be looking all the time. We didn't when it came to catching the signs that could have helped us prevent 11 September. That's a lesson I don't think this nation wants to revisit. That's why we went into Afghanistan. That's one of the main reasons why we removed Saddam Hussein. And it will be one of the main reasons why we take action in Iran, and anywhere else where terrorists are given sanctuary.

Publius II


Anonymous KC said...

You're fools. You take obvious glee in your enthusiastic defense of the administration's "reasons for war". Clap clap clap. I doubt that even if your family and friends were killed in war that you would realize how utterly fundamentally wrong warfare and killing is. War is human sacrifice. Get a clue that you are defending criminals. And doing it with glee you sickos.

5:17 PM  

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