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US report finds Saddam wasn't linked to al-Qaeda

 
TS
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09/09/2006 03:41 PM
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US report finds Saddam wasn't linked to al-Qaeda
US report finds Saddam wasn't linked to al-Qaeda

A report by the Republican-led Intelligence Committee has destroyed one of the key planks that the White House used to justify invading Iraq.

The report finds that Saddam Hussein had no formal ties to al-Qaeda.

As the United States built its case for invading Iraq, it didn't just rely on suggestions Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Again and again, senior White House officials link the Iraqi regime with al-Qaeda.

GEORGE W. BUSH: Regime has longstanding and continuing ties to terrorist organisations, and there are al-Qaeda terrorists inside Iraq.

DONALD RUMSFELD: We certainly have evidence of senior al-Qaeda who have been in Baghdad in recent periods.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE: Some high-ranking detainees have said that Iraq provided some training to al-Qaeda in chemical weapons development.

DAN BARTLETT: Make no mistake about it. Saddam Hussein had ties to terror.

DICK CHENEY: He had long-established ties with al-Qaeda.

That last comment was from the Vice President Dick Cheney, and it now seems he was very wrong.

The Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee has been examining CIA reports, classified documents and transcripts of interrogations, including of Saddam Hussein himself, and its 400-page report makes it clear there was no relationship between the Iraqi regime and al-Qaeda.

EXCERPT FROM REPORT: Post-war findings indicate that Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al-Qaeda and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime, refusing all requests from al-Qaeda to provide material or operational support. Debriefings also indicate that Saddam issued a general order that Iraq should not deal with al-Qaeda.

The committee also concludes there's no credible information linking Iraq to the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, and it also dismisses suggestions Saddam Hussein sheltered al-Qaeda operative Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

EXCERPT FROM REPORT: Post-war information indicates that Saddam Hussein attempted, unsuccessfully, to locate and capture al-Zarqawi, and that the regime did not have a relationship with, harbour, or turned a blind eye towards Zarqawi.

Post-war information from an al-Qaeda detainee indicated that Saddam's regime considered al-Zarqawi an outlaw

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