Forty-eight thousand boxes containing thousands upon thousands of documents from the Saddam Hussein regime are slowly revealing a relationship between Iraq and Al-Qaeda. This link has been reported by bloggers and a few magazines but … where is the Mainstream Media when we need it? Here’s another article:
A handwritten dossier dated Aug. 17, 2002, confirms an operational cell of al-Qaeda inside Iraq and identifies its key member as Ahmed Fadil Nizal Al Khalaylah—also known as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the current leader of al Qaeda in Iraq. Saddam’s regime, from the document, seems little concerned about the terrorist’s presence—even though tolerating known terrorists violated UN resolutions—and less surprised, perhaps with reason. Another memo, dated Sept. 15, 2001, and from Afghanistan, notes a relationship between al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Baghdad, and a Dec. 1, 2001, memo reports on “the status of rumors” of 3,000 Fedayeen Saddam from Anbar Province who were dispatched “in an unofficial capacity to Afghanistan and have joined the mujahidin to fight with and aid them in defeating the American Zionist Imperialist attack.”
Those admissions are news only to those who believe the U.S. invasion is responsible for the Iraq/al-Qaeda convergence. Documents already publicized by WORLD show Saddam’s regime providing terrorist training and financial support against U.S. forces in Somalia after the Gulf War, and in Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, and elsewhere.
In 2002, when Kurdish forces captured 16 al-Qaeda men crossing the border from Iran, the Kurds convinced only three publications (The New Yorker, The Christian Science Monitor, and WORLD) to send reporters to investigate their stories and failed to persuade the CIA to interview the detainees. One of them, Iraqi Haqi Ismail, was trained in Afghan camps, he told WORLD, after he was recruited by “a man named Ahmed Fadil Khalaylah,” likely the then-unknown Zarqawi.
More terror links are surfacing elsewhere. Iraqi documents obtained by The Weekly Standard this month show Saddam supporting Abu Sayyaf, the Philippine al-Qaeda affiliate, and its leaders consulting in Manila with Iraqi diplomats during the 2002 kidnapping of U.S. missionaries Martin and Gracie Burnham.
These and other disclosures, made earlier, could help U.S. forces fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even now, admits Jamal Ware, spokesman for House Intelligence Committee chairman Hoekstra, “We have no idea what’s in these boxes.” Whether so many files contain actionable intelligence on Mr. Zarqawi, other terrorists, or on the hunt for weapons of mass destruction will remain a mystery until more pages are cleared and released. “Historically the public would never have a chance to see this information. You would need a security clearance,” said Mr. Ware. But you don’t need a security clearance, according to Mr. Tierney, to read the lessons leading up to the Iraq war.
“Once you go to war, fight the war. It should not be something you want to manage for the next three decades,” he said. “When you look at the documents and translations of meetings, you see that the UN template on conflict management does not work. It leads to a pit of all kinds of complicity. It’s like giving your enemies the tape to bind you with.”