February 21, 2006
More Evidence of Saddam's Links to al-QaedaBy Ray Robison
Many people and institutions have a stake in the conclusion that Saddam Hussein's Iraq had no connection to al—Qaeda and the attacks on the United States, culminating (so far) in the destruction of 9/11. One spokesman coming to the fore of late to defend this position, despite increasing evidence to the contrary, is Paul Pillar, a former senior CIA official.
Pillar was recently featured in the Washington Post in a story written by Walter Pincus:
Last night on MSNBC, Paul Pillar was interviewed by Chris Matthews. Pillar told Chris Matthews that there was no link between Saddam and al—Qaeda.
With such an impressive sounding title as 'National Intelligence Officer' far be it from little old me to challenge his claims. But maybe I will anyway.
The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point just released a study on al—Qaeda. Part of the study included al—Qaeda documents captured in Afghanistan. The study focus is on al—Qaeda, and had nothing to say about any connection between Saddam and al—Qaeda.
But such evidence is there none the less, buried in the details.
One document talks about Saddam:
The author is relating a meeting between himself and Zarqawi. Now look at the Harmony number AFGP—2002—601693. That means this document was written, captured, and processed into the Harmony database before the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Now look at these passages:
We can conclude from this that these men are at a high level for one of them to be openly writing letters critical of al—Zawahri. It continues skipping a few lines for brevity:
I included the second sentence because it seems equivalent to swearing to God that this was true, which is probably significant for a Jihadist.
Consider carefully that these are captured al—Qaeda document from Afghanistan from what would seem to be a high level source.
But wait, there's more, as the TV commercials say. On page 2:
So the author tells us here that in 2002, before the invasion of Iraq that people came to the aid of the Taliban (actually they were probably Mujahedeen outside of Afghanistan) and brags that the leader was a friend of the infidel Saddam and that they were most pious.
But don't the Jihadists hate Saddam? We have been told this repeatedly by those who dismiss any possible link between al—Qaeda and Saddam.
The answer is found in the report itself. There are a wide variety of philosophies inside even al—Qaeda, and it is quite probable that even if Osama Bin Laden hated Saddam,, his buddy al—Zawahri, as the leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, had obtained support from Iraq. I demonstrated this yesterday in an American Thinker article. Al—Qaeda is more than Bin Laden. Saddam and al—Qaeda did cooperate.
Wait a minute, what am I thinking? The National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia said there was no connection. How could he be mistaken?
Ray Robison is a Sr. Military Operations Research Analyst with a defense contractor at the Aviation and Missile, Research, Development, Engineering Command in Huntsville, Alabama. His background includes over ten years of military service as an officer and enlisted soldier including the Gulf War and Kosovo operations. Most recently he worked as a contractor for DIA with the Iraqi Survey Group