Saturday, May 08, 2004

“Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with terrorism.” Ever heard that one? I have. It is a statement of monumental ignorance of the modern history of international terrorism. Hussein had been providing a safe haven and material support to terrorists for two decades before September 11, 2001. Did Iraq play a role in the 9/11 attacks? In my opinion, the jury is still out on that one. Many have stated emphatically that there is no connection. I’m not so sure. One thing is for certain, Saddam Hussein was a terrorist enabler. Want proof? We got proof. The following links should help you out in your next argument with a member of the “the war in Iraq has nothing to do with the war on terrorism” crowd.

Back in the 1980’s, Abu Ibrahim and members of his May 15 terrorist organization lived in and operated from Iraq. This group was responsible for planting bombs on several American airliners in the early 1980’s. Adnan Awad, a member of the group was dispatched to Europe with a bomb he was to use to blow up a hotel owned by Jews. Awad could not bring himself to carry out the bombing and turned himself in to police. This is well documented in a book by investigative journalist Steven Emerson. The book details the extent of support given by the Iraqi government to the terrorists.
-A good site outlining Abu Ibrahim’s activities and support from Iraq can be found here.
-Emerson’s book is out of print. Used editions can be purchased from Amazon.

Notorious terrorist Abu Nidal (a/k/a Sabri al-Banna) was residing in Libya until he was kicked out in 1998. He relocated to Iraq, where he lived until his death in 2002.
-This site and this site have good info on the ANO.
-Here is a VOA editorial written in 1999 (during the Clinton administration) about Abu Nidal and Iraq

Abu Abbas headed a terrorist organization that hijacked the cruise ship Achille Lauro in 1985. The hijackers shot killed an elderly American man in a wheelchair. They dumped him and his wheelchair overboard.
-Here is a news story about the capture of Abbas in (believe it or not) Iraq in the spring of 2003.

The Salman Pak training area was reportedly used to train terrorists.
-This site has an overview of the installation.
-This one features a PBS Frontline interview with a former Iraqi special operations officer who worked at the camp. Interestingly enough, the officer made the following statement:
“I assure you, this operation was conducted by people who were trained by Saddam. And I'm going to keep assuring the world this is what happened. Osama bin Laden has no such capabilities. Why? Because this kind of attacks must be, and has to be, organized by a capable state, such as Iraq; a state where they can provide high level of training, and they can provide high level of intelligence to do such training. How could Osama bin Laden -- who's hiding in the middle of nowhere in Afghanistan in small caves and valleys -- train people and gather information and send people to do such high-level operation? We all know this is a high-level operation. This cannot be done by a person who does not even own a plane in Afghanistan, who cannot offer such training in Afghanistan. This is definitely done by a mastermind like Saddam…”

For those who insist on a 9/11 connection in order for the war to be justified, while definitive proof of such a link has not been provided yet, Iraq expert and former Clinton administration official Laurie Mylroie has an interesting take on the possible connection.
-A Middle east Intelligence Bulletin article by Mylroie asserting a connection between the 1993 WTC bombing and Iraq.
-Another article (written in 1995) linking Iraq to the 1993 WTC bombing.
-A National Review Online article she wrote about the threat Hussein posed to the US.
-A Frontpage Magazine interview with Mylroie about Hussein’s possible 9/11 connection.
-Mylroie’s reply to Richard Clarke.

“Sure Saddam was a vicious thug who brutalized his people, but he posed no threat to the US.” Yeah, sure. Ya gotta minute? I have some beautiful oceanfront land in Nebraska I’m selling.

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