Iraqi Documents Show al Qaeda Ties

Iraqi Documents Show al Qaeda Ties

By Kenneth R. Timmerman
NewsMax.com | 3/21/2008

A much-publicized report released by the Pentagon last week details the extensive ties between the regime of Saddam Hussein and a wide variety of international terrorist organizations, including Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida.

“Despite their incompatible long-term goals, many terrorist movements and Saddam found a common enemy in the United States,” the report’s authors at the Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA) state.

But instead of reporting on this conclusion, most of the media accounts have focused on a single sentence that appears in the executive summary, stating that the report’s authors found “no smoking gun” or “direct connection” between Saddam’s Iraq and al-Qaida.

The United States Joint Forces Command, which commissioned the report from IDA, provided reporters late last week with a CD containing nearly 2,000 pages of supporting documents that purportedly formed the basis of the conclusions authored by Lt. Col. Kevin Woods and James Lacey in the 94-page redacted summary that initially was leaked to the press.

Intriguing Analysis

An analysis by Newsmax identified several documents with critical evidence of Saddam’s close ties to al-Qaida that were overlooked or ignored by the report’s authors, however.

These documents, published previously by the Foreign Military Studies Office of the Joint Reserve Intelligence Center, Fort Leavenworth, have since been taken down from U.S. government Web sites. Newsmax downloaded copies when they were still available.

“This is not a comprehensive, end-all, all-in-one study,” a source familiar with the drafting of the report told Newsmax. He spoke on background because his comments had not been cleared in advance by the U.S. military.

“This was a study very specifically for military lessons learned, to explain an environment. People shouldn’t make this report into something it’s not,” he added.

Another source involved in the report told Newsmax that one reason some documents were not included in the analysis was because of the sheer mass of material available — more than 600,000 documents, in all.

I have written about the Harmony data base of captured Iraqi military and intelligence documents in my recent book, Shadow Warriors: Traitors, Saboteurs, and the Party of Surrender.

One of the most damning documents to emerge from the Harmony data base, I wrote, was a Jan. 18, 1993 order from Saddam Hussein, transmitted to the head of Iraqi intelligence, “to hunt the Americans that are in Arab lands, especially in Somalia, by using Arab elements or Asian (Muslims) or friends.”

In response, the head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service informed Hussein that Iraq already had ties with a large number of international terrorist groups, including “the Islamist Arab elements that were fighting in Afghanistan and [currently] have no place to base and are physically present in Somalia, Sudan, and Egypt.” In other words, al-Qaida.

The authors of the IDA study note that Saddam’s Iraq “was a long-standing supporter of international terrorism,” and that these particular documents provided ‘detailed evidence of that support.’”

The study also points out that the captured documents “reveal that Saddam was training Arab fighters (non-Iraqi) in Iraqi training camps more than a decade prior” to the 2003 war.

But the study shies away from identifying them as al-Qaida terrorists, even though many of them were members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, whose leader, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahri, became the deputy leader of al-Qaida in 1998.

Preparations for Suicide Operations Against U.S.

While the IDA study includes no information that would show operational ties between Saddam’s regime and the 9/11 hijackers, it reveals that Saddam personally gave orders on Sept. 17, 2001 to his general military intelligence directorate to recruit Iraqi officers for “suicide operations” against the United States.

The 112-page Harmony data file ISGQ-2005-00037352 contains Saddam’s order, as well as personal pledges to carry out suicide operations from more than one hundred “volunteers,” including a brigadier general.

In the order he issued just one week after the 9/11 attacks, Saddam stated that the volunteers should sign pledges “to be written in blood,” presumably their own.

Four years before this order, Saddam announced with great fanfare that he had tasked a prominent Iraqi calligrapher to produce a Quran written with his own blood. Saddam reportedly had doctors draw his blood for the task.

Several other key documents are glaringly absent from the IDA report and provide direct evidence of Saddam Hussein’s deep involvement with al-Qaida and its component organizations.

Among them is a 1999 notebook kept by an unidentified Iraqi intelligence official that detailed meetings between top Iraqi leaders and visiting Islamic terrorists. (Harmony document ISGP-2003-0001412).

One Baghdad visitor was Maulana Fazlur Rahman a signer of Osama bin Laden’s infamous 1998 fatwa calling on Muslims to “murder Americans.” Another was Afghan mujahedin leader Gulbudin Hekmatyar, who was also supported by Iran.

Roy Robison, a former U.S. government contractor who published an analysis of Saddam’s relationship to al-Qaida last year, argues that when Rahman met with Iraqi Vice president Taha Yassin Ramadan in 1999 “he did so as the father of the Taliban and as a leader of the World Islamic Front which declared war on the U.S the year before.”

Another document not included in this latest report was a review by Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) of their ongoing ties with Osama bin Laden and other opponents to the Saudi regime (Harmony document ISGZ-2004-009247).

This document reads like a memorandum for the record, written in early 1997, tracing the beginnings of the Iraqi regime’s relationship to Osama bin Laden.

In a letter dated Jan. 11, 1995, Saddam Hussein personally authorized the General Director of Intelligence to establish direct contact with bin Laden in Sudan, the report states.

The initial meeting with bin Laden took place just one month later, on Feb. 19, 1995, and included an offer by Iraq to provide bin Laden with broadcasting facilities and a discussion of plans “to perform joint operations against foreign forces in the land of Hijaz [ie, Saudi Arabia].

Following bin Laden’s expulsion from Sudan, in July 1996, the memo states that the Iraqi intelligence service is “working to revitalize this relationship through a new channel.”

The IDA report includes in its supporting documentation a detailed report by the Iraqi general director of intelligence in response to an “action directive” issued by Saddam on Jan. 18, 1993, ordering his intelligence service to establish relations with terrorist groups around the world and to develop the “expertise to carry out assignments.”

In addition to a variety of Palestinian groups, the document lists the Hezb Islami of Afghanistan, the Islamic Scholars Group of Pakistan, the Jam’iyat “Ulama Pakistan, all of which subsequently became affiliated with al-Qaida.

The authors of the IDA report note in the abstract accompanying their work that the captured documents provide “evidence that links the regime of Saddam Hussein to regional and global terrorism, including . . . Islamic terrorist organizations.”

While the documents “do not reveal direct coordination and assistance between the Saddam regime and the al-Qaida network, they do indicate that Saddam was willing to use, albeit cautiously, operatives affiliated with al-Qaida,” and to provide financing and training of these outside groups.

“This created both the appearance of and, in some ways, a ‘de facto’ link between the organizations,” the report’s authors stated.

Much of the polemic over Saddam’s support for al-Qaida arises from disputed claims, put forward in a Czech government intelligence report, that an Iraqi intelligence official met with 9/11 pilot Mohamed Atta in Prague in the April 2001.

No documents have surfaced that would corroborate that claim, while in press interviews well after the liberation of Iraq, the Iraqi intelligence officer who reportedly met with Atta in Prague told reporters that the meeting never took place.

All Iraqi Roads Lead to Terrorism

Contrary to the accounts that have appeared in mainstream media outlets, the Harmony documents and the IDA report show beyond any doubt that Saddam Hussein was willing to fund, train, and use Islamic terrorists, including groups affiliated with al-Qaida, to carry out his long-standing plans against the United States and U.S. allies in the region.

A 2002 annual report to the Iraq Intelligence Service M8 directorate of liberation movements shows that the IIS hosted 13 terrorist conferences during the year, and that Saddam personally received 37 congratulatory messages from international terrorist groups. The annual report also noted that the IIS had issued 699 passports to terrorists during the year.

“Saddam supported groups that either associated directly with al-Qaida [such as the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, led at one time by bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri], or that generally shared al-Qaida’s stated goals and objectives,” the IDA report states.

But an element of competition also kept Saddam from too much direct involvement with al-Qaida, the IDA report states.

While both Saddam and bin Laden wanted to drive the West out of Muslim lands and to create a single powerful state that would replace America as a global superpower, “bin Laden wanted — and still wants — to restore the Islamic caliphate while Saddam, despite his later Islamic rhetoric, dreamed more narrowly of being the secular ruler of a united Arab nation,” the report’s authors state.

The relationship between Saddam Hussein and bin Laden bore some resemblance to the Cali and Medellin drug cartels.

While the seemingly rival cartels were vying for market share, “neither cartel was reluctant to cooperate with the other when it came to the pursuit of a common objective,” the report’s authors state.

“Recognizing Iraq as a second, or parallel, “terror cartel” that was simultaneously threatened by and somewhat aligned with its rival helps to explain the evidence emerging from the detritus of Saddam’s regime,” the IDA report states.

Link to First World Trade Center Attack

One terror tie apparently put to rest in this latest report are the suspicions that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center.

Analysts such as Laurie Mylroie have argued for years that Saddam’s regime was behind the 1993 attack, and cited as evidence the fact that a key member of the plot, Abdul Rahman Yasin, fled to Iraq immediately after the bombing.

As I reported in Shadow Warriors, Saddam Hussein recorded all meetings in his presidential office, and the Harmony data base includes tapes from a series of meetings during 1993 that discussed the interrogation of Yasin.

Saddam “discusses the possibility that the attack was part of the ‘dirty games that the American intelligence would play if it had a bigger purpose,’” and expresses concern that Yasin might be an American agent, the IDA report states.

According to Saddam, Yassin was “too organized in what he is saying and [he] is playing games, playing games and influencing the scenario” during his interrogations by Iraqi intelligence. Saddam ordered that the interrogations continue but “actually warns against allowing Yasin to commit suicide or be killed in jail,” the report states.

Saddam believed that “the most important thing is not to let the Arabic public opinion [believe] we are cooperating with the US against the opposition. I mean that is why our announcement [that Yasin is being held] should include doubts . . . [about] who carried out this operation. Because it is possible that in the end we will discover — even if it is a very weak possibility — that a fanatic group who carried it organized the operation.”

Saddam and his advisors were hoping to use the interrogations of Yasin, and whatever information they could gather from him about the organizers of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, to enhance their position in world public opinion.

If handled correctly, Saddam said, Yasin’s confessions “will benefit us greatly; it will benefit us in our issue in the matter of the stance that the U.S. has taken against us.”


Kenneth R. Timmerman was nominated for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize along with John Bolton for his work on Iran. He is Executive Director of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, and author of Countdown to Crisis: the Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran (Crown Forum: 2005).

Qaradawi: Wafa Sultan “had the audacity to publicly curse Allah, His Prophet, the Koran, the history of Islam, and the Islamic nation” She said unbearable, ghastly things that made my hair stand on end” — so now I have to wear this hat

March 21, 2008

Qaradawi: Wafa Sultan “had the audacity to publicly curse Allah, His Prophet, the Koran, the history of Islam, and the Islamic nation”

QaradawiMarch2008.jpg
“She said unbearable, ghastly things that made my hair stand on end” — so now I have to wear this hat

Poor, fragile Qaradawi: “She said unbearable, ghastly things that made my hair stand on end.” He is referring, of course, to Wafa Sultan’s most recent appearance on Al-Jazeera, and he frames his frenzied denunciation here in terms that his jihadist minions will understand as meaning that she must be killed.

The American government should be rushing to protect her. Is that happening?

“Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi Accuses Arab-American Psychiatrist Wafa Sultan of ‘Cursing Allah’ on Al-Jazeera TV,” from MEMRI (thanks to all who sent this in):

In a program on Al-Jazeera TV, Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi accused Arab-American psychiatrist Wafa Sultan of “publicly curs[ing] Allah, His Prophet, the Koran, the history of Islam, and the Islamic nation.”The following are excerpts from the program, which aired on March 16, 2008:

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit: http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1718.htm .

To view the MEMRI TV page for Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi, visit: http://www.memritv.org/subject/en/589.htm.

To view the MEMRI TV page for Wafa Sultan, visit: http://www.memritv.org/subject/en/371.htm .

“She Said Unbearable, Ghastly Things That Made My Hair Stand On End”

Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: “Many brothers here and abroad – more from abroad than from here – have called to ask me about the ‘Opposite Direction’ [show on Al-Jazeera TV], and that woman [Wafa Sultan], who leveled accusations against Islam and the Muslims, and cursed Allah, His Prophet, the Islamic nation, the shari’a, and the Islamic faith and culture. She did not omit anything. She was insolent and stopped at nothing.

“I know that our colleague Dr. Faysal Al-Qassem apologized on the following show. I did not watch the [original] show, but I was given a recording. She said unbearable, ghastly things that made my hair stand on end. She had the audacity to publicly curse Allah, His Prophet, the Koran, the history of Islam, and the Islamic nation. She did not spare anything.

“It was all based on ignorance. If only she had some knowledge… But she doesn’t have any knowledge. She doesn’t know the Koran or the Sunna. When she cited a hadith to back up her statements, she used a hadith that scholars consider unreliable.”

Ain’t it always the way? I’ll let you in on a little secret: any and every critic of Islamic jihad and Islamic supremacism is “ignorant.” Any Hadith that someone like Wafa Sultan (or someone like me) quotes is ipso facto unreliable, just as any Qur’an quotation she might adduce would be ripped out of context.

In reality, a brief scan through the portion of the transcript that Marisol posted here on March 7 shows that Wafa referred to Qur’an 9:111 (which guarantees Paradise to those who “kill and are killed” for Allah) and Qur’an 5:33 (which directs Muslims to cut off the hands and feet on opposite sides of those who are enemies of Allah and Muhammad). Qaradawi doesn’t mention this probably because he cannot dispute what she said about those verses.

“If She Had Read The Koran, She Would Have Known That It Forbids Killing People… She Should Read The Torah And Tell Us What It Says””The Prophet said: ‘Allah has given me sustenance under the shadow of my sword.’ This hadith is unreliable. The Prophet did not get sustenance by the sword. If she had read the Koran, she would have known that it forbids killing people: ‘Anyone who kills another person for any reason other than manslaughter or spreading corruption in the land – it is as if he has killed all of mankind.’ […]

“Other than manslaughter or spreading corruption in the land [fasaad].” That’s a big exception right there, particularly given the Islamic understanding of what constitutes fasaad. Qaradawi is quoting Qur’an 5:32, which, incidentally, immediately precedes the verse about amputation that Wafa quoted, 5:33.

And as for the unreliability of the Hadith about the shadow of Muhammad’s sword, Qaradawi doesn’t bother to tell us that the hadith in which Muhammad says “Know that Paradise is under the shades of swords” appears in Bukhari, the hadith collection that Muslims consider most reliable, and in which only a very few ahadith are considered unreliable by any Islamic scholars. Not only does it appear, but it appears in three different places in Bukhari and in two places in Sahih Muslim, the hadith collection considered second most reliable. This repetition is further attestation of its authenticity from a Muslim standpoint, since the multiple renderings are considered to have come from different narrators, indicating that many people heard Muhammad say this.

“In all the raids conducted by the Prophet Muhammad, he was the one attacked. If she knew anything about the Koran and the Sunna…

Actually, no. In my book The Truth About Muhammad, I show how the earliest Islamic sources about Muhammad have him participating in numerous battles, and almost all of them are offensive. I challenge Qaradawi or anyone else to show that I have misused this material.

“She should read the Torah and tell us what it says. With regard to distant cities, the Torah says: ‘Slay all their males by the sword.’ It does not exclude elderly men or children. As for the nearby cities of Palestine, which they call the Promised Land, the Torah says: ‘When you enter them, annihilate everyone, and do not leave a breathing soul.’ The concept of annihilation originated in the Torah. What does that woman have to say about this? This is the Torah in which Bush and the Christian Right believe.

Question for Qaradawi: where are the Jewish or Christian exegetes who take this passage, or have ever taken this passage, as being a command that believers should obey in other times and places? Where are the Jewish or Christian groups committing violence and justifying it by reference to this passage?

“This Woman Had The Audacity To Affront All That Is Sacred””What does that woman have to say about this? She defends the West and sanctions the killing of Muslims in Gaza and elsewhere, claiming that they deserve to be killed.

Here, he is simply lying. She didn’t say anything like that, of course, but Qaradawi knows what will happen if Muslims believe that she did.

“I do not want to discuss this at length, but in my view, this woman had the audacity to affront all that is sacred – the entire Islamic nation, its past, its present, and its future. She had the audacity to affront the Prophet, the Koran, and Allah. She even said that Allah prattles in the Koran. She did not omit anything sacred….

Posted at March 21, 2008 1:26 PM

Obama’s Anger

Obama’s Anger

By Ed Kaitz

The anger is real. It is powerful, and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.”
 – Barack Obama
Back in the late 1980s I was on a plane flying out of New Orleans and sitting next to me was a rather interesting and, according to Barack Obama, unusual black man. Friendly, gregarious, and wise beyond his years, we immediately hit it off.  I had been working on Vietnamese commercial fishing boats for a few years based in southern Louisiana.  The boats were owned by the recent wave of Vietnamese refugees who flooded into the familiar tropical environment after the war.  Floating in calm seas out in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, I would hear tearful songs and tales from ex-paratroopers about losing brothers, sisters, parents, children, lovers, and beautiful Vietnam itself to the communists. 
In Bayou country I lived on boats and in doublewide trailers, and like the rest of the Vietnamese refugees, I shopped at Wal-Mart and ate a lot of rice. When they arrived in Louisiana the refugees had no money (the money that they had was used to bribe their way out of Vietnam and into refugee camps in Thailand), few friends, and a mostly unfriendly and suspicious local population. 

They did however have strong families, a strong work ethic, and the “Audacity of Hope.”   Within a generation, with little or no knowledge of English, the Vietnamese had achieved dominance in the fishing industry there and their children were already achieving the top SAT scores in the state. 

          
While I had been fishing my new black friend had been working as a prison psychologist in Missouri, and he was pursuing a higher degree in psychology. He was interested in my story, and after about an hour getting to know each other I asked him point blank why these Vietnamese refugees, with no money, friends, or knowledge of the language could be, within a generation, so successful.  I also asked him why it was so difficult to convince young black men to abandon the streets and take advantage of the same kinds of opportunities that the Vietnamese had recently embraced. 

His answer, only a few words, not only floored me but became sort of a razor that has allowed me ever since to slice through all of the rhetoric regarding race relations that Democrats shovel our way during election season:

“We’re owed and they aren’t.” 
In short, he concluded, “they’re hungry and we think we’re owed.  It’s crushing us, and as long as we think we’re owed we’re going nowhere.”

A good test case for this theory is Katrina.  Obama, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and assorted white apologists continue to express anger and outrage over the federal response to the Katrina disaster. But where were the Vietnamese “leaders” expressing their “anger?”  The Vietnamese comprise a substantial part of the New Orleans population, and yet are absent was any report claiming that the Vietnamese were “owed” anything. This is not to say that the federal response was an adequate one, but we need to take this as a sign that maybe the problem has very little to do with racism and a lot to with a mindset.

The mindset that one is “owed” something in life has not only affected black mobility in business but black mobility in education as well.  Remember Ward Churchill?  About fifteen years ago he was my boss.  After leaving the fishing boats, I attended graduate school at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  I managed to get a job on campus teaching expository writing to minority students who had been accepted provisionally into the university on an affirmative action program.  And although I never met him, Ward Churchill, in addition to teaching in the ethnic studies department, helped to develop and organize the minority writing program. 
The job paid most of my bills, but what I witnessed there was absolutely horrifying.  The students were encouraged to write essays attacking the white establishment from every conceivable angle and in addition to defend affirmative action and other government programs.  Of the hundreds of papers that I read, there was not one original contribution to the problem of black mobility that strayed from the party line.
The irony of it all however is that the “white establishment” managed to get them into the college and pay their entire tuition.  Instead of being encouraged to study international affairs, classical or modern languages, philosophy or art, most of these students became ethnic studies or sociology majors because it allowed them to remain in disciplines whose orientation justified their existence at the university.  In short, it became a vicious cycle.
There was a student there I’ll never forget.  He was plucked out of the projects in Denver and given a free ride to the university.  One day in my office he told me that his mother had said the following to him: “M.J., they owe you this.  White people at that university owe you this.”  M.J.’s experience at the university was a glorious fulfillment of his mother’s angst. 
There were black student organizations and other clubs that “facilitated” the minority student’s experience on the majority white and “racist” campus, in addition to a plethora of faculty members, both white and black, who encouraged the same animus toward the white establishment.  While adding to their own bona fides as part of the trendy Left, these “facilitators” supplied M.J. with everything he needed to quench his and his mother’s anger, but nothing in the way of advice about how to succeed in college.  No one, in short, had told M.J. that he needed to study.  But since he was “owed” everything, why put out any effort on his own?
In a fit of despair after failing most of his classes, M.J. wandered into my office one Friday afternoon in the middle of the semester and asked if I could help him out.  I asked M.J. about his plans that evening, and he told me that he usually attended parties on Friday and Saturday nights. I told him that if he agreed to meet me in front of the university library at 6:00pm I would buy him dinner.  At 6pm M.J. showed up, and for the next twenty minutes we wandered silently through the stacks, lounges, and study areas of the library.  When we arrived back at the entrance I asked M.J. if he noticed anything interesting.  As we headed up the hill to a popular burger joint, M.J. turned to me and said:
“They were all Asian.  Everyone in there was Asian, and it was Friday night.”   
Nothing I could do, say, or show him, however, could match the fire power of his support system favoring anger.  I was sad to hear of M.J. dropping out of school the following semester.

During my time teaching in the writing program, I watched Asians get transformed via leftist doublespeak from “minorities” to “model minorities” to “they’re not minorities” in precise rhythm to their fortunes in business and education.  Asians were “minorities” when they were struggling in this country, but they became “model minorities” when they achieved success. Keep in mind “model minority” did not mean what most of us think it means, i.e., something to emulate.  “Model minority” meant that Asians had certain cultural advantages, such as a strong family tradition and a culture of scholarship that the black community lacked.  

To suggest that intact families and a philosophy of self-reliance could be the ticket to success would have undermined the entire angst establishment. Because of this it was improper to use Asian success as a model.  The contortions the left exercised in order to defend this ridiculous thesis helped to pave the way for the elimination of Asians altogether from the status of “minority.”  

This whole process took only a few years.
Eric Hoffer said:
“…you do not win the weak by sharing your wealth with them; it will but infect them with greed and resentment. You can win the weak only by sharing your pride, hope or hatred with them.” 
We now know that Barack Obama really has no interest in the “audacity of hope.”  With his race speech, Obama became a peddler of angst, resentment and despair.  Too bad he doesn’t direct that angst at the liberal establishment that has sold black people a bill of goods since the 1960s.  What Obama seems angry about is America itself and what it stands for; the same America that has provided fabulous opportunities for what my black friend called “hungry” minorities.  Strong families, self-reliance, and a spirit of entrepreneurship should be held up as ideals for all races to emulate.
In the end, we should be very suspicious about Obama’s anger and the recent frothings of his close friend Reverend Wright.  Says Eric Hoffer:
The fact seems to be that we are least open to precise knowledge concerning the things we are most vehement about. Vehemence is the expression of a blind effort to support and uphold something that can never stand on its own.