Saddam and Al Qaeda

The Telegraph recently reported on a memo that the Iraq Governing Council "found" that indicates a clear connection between Saddam's regime and Al Qaeda. The contents of the memo are two paragraphs, detailed here in brief:

The first paragraph states that "Mohammed Atta, an Egyptian national, came with Abu Ammer (an Arabic nom-de-guerre - his real identity is unknown) and we hosted him in Abu Nidal's house at al-Dora under our direct supervision.

"We arranged a work programme for him for three days with a team dedicated to working with him . . . He displayed extraordinary effort and showed a firm commitment to lead the team which will be responsible for attacking the targets that we have agreed to destroy."

There is nothing in the document that provides any clue to the identity of the "targets", although Iraqi officials say it is a coded reference to the September 11 attacks.

The second item contains a report of how Iraqi intelligence, helped by "a small team from the al-Qaeda organisation", arranged for an (unspecified) shipment from Niger to reach Baghdad by way of Libya and Syria.

Iraqi officials believe this is a reference to the controversial shipments of uranium ore Iraq acquired from Niger to aid Saddam in his efforts to develop an atom bomb, although there is no explicit reference in the document to this.

The information in this memo is nearly "too good to be true", and seems questionable considering the second item about Nigerian uranium. Putting the veracity of the memo aside, this type of confirmation of a recent link between Saddam and Al Qaeda would certainly hurt the 2004 Democrat Candidate. Especially Dean. It's possible that this memo could be fake, but the link could be entirely plausible, if not probable. Each passing day could provide either the definitive proof of such a link, or even the capture of Osama bin Laden. Either will be devastating for the Democratic candidate if he isn't prepared. (I hope Dean and Clark Campaigns have worked on sound bites for both of these scenarios.)


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