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Missing link found between Iraq and al-Qaeda?

Iraq al-Qaeda

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#1 the 'Hawk

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Posted 27 April 2003 - 03:16 AM

Link between Iraq, al-Qaeda found

The full story will appear tomorrow, they say-- but for now, this could potentially be *huge*.

Dude. If it's true, I gotta wonder what the document itself says.

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Edited by Certifiably Cait, 27 August 2012 - 01:53 PM.

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#2 Kimmer

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Posted 27 April 2003 - 03:34 AM

WOW! Will you post the link to the full story tomorrow, please.

#3 DWF

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Posted 27 April 2003 - 03:39 AM

I wish the article had more depth to it, I also have to wonder how he found a document, that everybody else missed. Overall I have to question the reporters ethics, he had to steal the document, then altered it, be scraping away the whiteout. :unsure:
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#4 the 'Hawk

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Posted 27 April 2003 - 04:51 AM

^ Easy there with the "ethics" questions, bud. The full story is in tomorrow's Star. Don't go throwing allegations before the full story's in.

I'll link as soon as I see the full tale told. Frankly, I'm a little pissed at the Star's website for giving us what amounts to a "teaser" for tomorrow's big story. So there I can see where you're coming from. But we'll see how the news comes down tomorrow.... how it pisses me off to have to say that.

Besides which, it's an enemy intelligence document. That someone else didn't think to scrape off some white-out from something that'd been blacked over.... boggles my mind.

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#5 DWF

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Posted 27 April 2003 - 05:34 AM

^^^As always, I'll wait to see what the whole article says, but I really don't like internet created rumors. ;)
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#6 Bella

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Posted 27 April 2003 - 02:55 PM

The entire article is now posted on the home page of The Toronto Star - you can't miss it:

http://www.thestar.com

Edited by Bella, 27 April 2003 - 02:56 PM.


#7 Delvo

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Posted 27 April 2003 - 03:47 PM

I don't see what the big deal is here. These connections have been known for a long time, and anyone who's been capable of denying them until now still will. At first I was going to say the "link wasn't missing", but then I realized that that phrase is actually a pretty good analogy for this situation. The "missing link" phrase was coined by people who didn't believe in the evolution of humans from other forms of ape and demanded to see a fossil with intermediate traits; the quantity and variety of fossils of various homonid species is great, but the Creationists still demand that one specific "missing link" as if all the differences between us and other apes could ever be summed up in a single fossil and as if the process weren't already at least partially illustrated as a set of multiple different steps.

#8 the 'Hawk

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Posted 27 April 2003 - 11:26 PM

Here's a link to the story.

I read it in the actual paper. It doesn't say much. But it's somethin'.

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#9 G1223

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Posted 28 April 2003 - 12:09 AM

Well I think part of this is becasue there were folks who were against this war who said there was NO connection now there is a document saying they were wrong.
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#10 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 28 April 2003 - 12:58 AM

G1223, on Apr 27 2003, 09:59 PM, said:

Well I think part of this is becasue there were folks who were against this war who said there was NO connection now there is a document saying they were wrong.
I’d tend to agree this isn’t a intelligence bombshell and if anything the information seems to be fairly dated.  This one is more of a card that the US government can hold up to the world while stating, “see we told you so”.
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#11 Bella

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Posted 28 April 2003 - 02:05 AM

CJ AEGIS, on Apr 27 2003, 10:48 PM, said:

I’d tend to agree this isn’t a intelligence bombshell and if anything the information seems to be fairly dated. 
Actually, it's confirmation of this is not dated at all - it was reported that the documents were only discovered yesterday, as quoted below from the article.  The article also states that this is the first concrete piece of evidence found.

"The documents, discovered yesterday in the bombed-out headquarters of the Mukhabarat, Iraq's most feared intelligence service, amount to the first hard evidence of a link long suspected by the United States but dismissed as fiction by many Western leaders.

The handwritten file, three pages in all, relates to the arrival of a secret envoy sent by bin Laden to Iraq in March, 1998, apparently to establish a clandestine relationship with the Iraqi regime."

#12 Palisades

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Posted 28 April 2003 - 05:38 AM

Quote

Bin Laden's name appears three times in the handwritten Iraqi file, but each of the references was concealed clumsily with corrective fluid and then blackened with ink, presumably by agents of the Mukhabarat.
You’d think a “feared intelligence agency” would know enough to blacken out the words before applying the corrective fluid.

Quote

The letter describes bin Laden as an "opponent" of the regime in Saudi Arabia and said the message to convey to him through the envoy would relate to "the future of our relationship with him (bin Laden) and to achieve a direct meeting with him."
This suggests that the point of the alleged meeting was to discuss intelligence on Saudi Arabia or possible action against that country. It doesn’t say anything about attacking the United States.

Quote

In a margin note, it mentions the name Mohammed F. Mohammed Ahmed, but there is no indication whether this is the envoy. The documents do not indicate whether an actual meeting took place, or whether any follow-up contact was planned.
That speaks for itself.

Quote

According to U.S. officials, Hijazi travelled to Kandahar, Afghanistan, in December, 1998, for an alleged meeting with bin Laden near his expanding network of terrorist training camps.

Details of that meeting are not known, but U.S. officials cite the allegation as the clearest link to date between Iraq and Al Qaeda.
Sheesh, Delvo, I wonder why some of us think that Bush didn’t have enough evidence to use the alleged link between Saddam and Al Qaeda as a reason for war. Not only has the link been “dismissed as fiction by many Western leaders (Toronto Star),” but here’s a 1/30/2003 LA Times article in which U.S. intelligence officials discounted and dismissed all the evidence of it. Here’s a 4/27/2003 LA Times article on Ansar al Islam's bases:

Quote

Militants' Crude Camp Casts Doubt on U.S. Claims
-- Ansar al Islam's bases show that the Al Qaeda surrogate posed no serious threat beyond its mountain borders, despite what Powell asserted before the war

<snip>

Before U.S. Special Forces and Kurdish fighters overran the region last month, this was the redoubt of Ansar al Islam, the radical Islamic group that the Bush administration alleged was the nexus between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, and therefore part of the justification for invading Iraq. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell asserted in February that Ansar was running a "poison factory" and was intent on exporting terrorism from the Middle East through Europe and into the United States.

Many of the guerrillas who lived here are dead now. Others vanished through the white-rock canyons of northern Iraq. They left behind thousands of pages of documents, letters, wills and computer files that reveal the extent of their ambitions — and call into question the U.S. allegations.

Documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times, along with interviews with U.S. and Kurdish intelligence operatives, indicate the group was partly funded and armed from abroad; was experimenting with chemicals, including toxic agents and a cyanide-based body lotion; and had international aspirations.

But the documents, statements by imprisoned Ansar guerrillas and visits to the group's strongholds before and after the war produced no strong evidence of connections to Baghdad and indicated that Ansar was not a sophisticated terrorist organization. The group was a dedicated, but fledgling, Al Qaeda surrogate lacking the capability to muster a serious threat beyond its mountain borders.

<snip>

The U.S. is tracing a possible link between Hussein's regime and Ansar, but it has not made a solid connection. Much of the investigation centers on one man, Abu Wael, who joined Ansar in 2001 and, according to U.S. intelligence, was Hussein's secret liaison between Baghdad and Ansar. U.S. officials say that Wael and other Ansar members traveled through Baghdad and met with "high-ranking" government members.

When pressed about a direct tie between Ansar and Baghdad, the Special Forces major said: "It's very difficult to make a crystal-clear link. These guys did not take group pictures at their meetings."

<snip>

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#13 AnneZo

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Posted 28 April 2003 - 09:43 PM

British Intelligence says, it ain't what it seems to be.  

They knew previously that someone "reported" to be representing bin Laden had made a trip to Baghdad that year, and say there's no proof a relationship was formed or that any follow-up visit or visits were made or produced any relationship.

#14 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 28 April 2003 - 09:54 PM

IIRC, there was some discussion last year about an isolated meeting between reps of the Iraqi regime and Al Qaeda. Presumably that is the one referred to in this memo.

And, as any single person can tell you, one date does not a relationship make. The gap between Bin Laden's views and Saddam's reality strike me as  a difficult one to bridge, particularly from Bin Laden's side.  Homicidal terrorist or no, he does have the conviction of a true believer.

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