RE: GOP lawmaker: Saddam linked to 9/11
In 1992 the Iraqi Intelligence services compiled a list of its assets. On page 14 of the document, marked "Top Secret" and dated March 28, 1992, is the name of Osama bin Laden, who is reported to have a "good relationship" with the Iraqi intelligence section in Syria. The Defense Intelligence Agency has possession of the document and has assessed that it is accurate. In 1993, Saddam Hussein and bin Laden reached an "understanding" that Islamic radicals would refrain from attacking the Iraqi regime in exchange for unspecified assistance, including weapons development.
'This understanding, which was included in the Clinton administration's indictment of bin Laden in the spring of 1998, has been corroborated by numerous Iraqis and al Qaeda terrorists now in U.S. custody. In 1994, Faruq Hijazi, then deputy director of Iraqi Intelligence, met face-to-face with bin Laden. Bin Laden requested anti-ship limpet mines and training camps in Iraq. Hijazi has detailed the meeting in a custodial interview with U.S. interrogators. In 1995, according to internal Iraqi intelligence documents first reported by the New York Times on June 25, 2004, a "former director of operations for Iraqi Intelligence Directorate 4 met with Mr. bin Laden on Feb. 19." When bin Laden left Sudan in 1996, the document states, Iraqi intelligence sough "other channels through which to handle the relationship, in light of his current location." That same year, Hussein agreed to a request from bin Laden to broadcast anti-Saudi propaganda on Iraqi state television. In 1997, al Qaeda sent an emissary with the nom de guerre Abdullah al Iraqi to Iraq for training on weapons of mass destruction. Colin Powell cited this evidence in his presentation at the UN on February 5, 2003. The Senate Intelligence Committee has concluded that Powell's presentation on Iraq and terrorism was "reasonable."
'In 1998, according to documents unearthed in Iraq's Intelligence headquarters in April 2003, al Qaeda sent a "trusted confidante" of bin Laden to Baghdad for 16 days of meetings beginning March 5. Iraqi intelligence paid for his stay in Room 414 of the Mansur al Melia hotel and expressed hope that the envoy would serve as the liaison between Iraqi intelligence and bin Laden. The DIA has assessed those documents as authentic. In 1999, a CIA Counterterrorism Center analysis reported on April 13 that four intelligence reports indicate Saddam Hussein has given bin Laden a standing offer of safe haven in Iraq. The CTC report is included in the Senate Intelligence Committee's review on prewar intelligence.
'In 2000, Saudi Arabia went on kingdom-wide alert after learning that Iraq had agreed to help al Qaeda attack U.S. and British interests on the peninsula. In 2001, satellite images show large numbers of al Qaeda terrorists displaced after the war in Afghanistan relocating to camps in northern Iraq financed, in part, by the Hussein regime. In 2002, a report from the National Security Agency in October reveals that Iraq agreed to provide safe haven, financing and weapons to al Qaeda members relocating in northern Iraq. In 2003, on February 14, the Philippine government ousted Hisham Hussein, the second secretary of the Iraqi embassy in Manila, for his involvement in al Qaeda-related terrorist activites. Andrea Domingo, head of Immigration for the Philippine government, told reporters that "studying the movements and activities" of Iraqi intelligence assets in the country, including radical Islamists, revealed an "established network" of terrorists headed by Hussein.