Skip to comments.Iraq Officer Tied to Al-Qadea
Posted on 06/20/2004 1:13:02 PM PDT by Tennessean4Bush
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks has been told "a very prominent member" of al Qaeda served as an officer in Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s militia, a panel member said on Sunday.
Republican commissioner John Lehman told NBC's "Meet the Press" program that the new intelligence, if proven true, buttresses claims by the Bush administration of ties between Iraq (news - web sites) and the militant network believed responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America.
"We are now in the process of getting this latest intelligence," Lehman said.
Commission Chairman Thomas Kean urged the administration to make any such information available to the panel quickly.
"Obviously, if there is any information (that) has to do with the subject of the report, we need it, and we need it pretty fast," Kean said on ABC's "This Week" program. "We'll ask for it and see."
He said the final report would be modified to take any new intelligence into account.
Lehman said the information, contained in "captured documents," was obtained after the commission report was written that stated there was no evidence of a "collaborative relationship" between Iraq and al Qaeda.
"Some of these documents indicate that (there was) at least one officer of Saddam's Fedayeen, a lieutenant colonel, who was a very prominent member of al Qaeda," Lehman said.
"That still has to be confirmed, but the vice president (Dick Cheney (news - web sites)) was right when he said that he may have things that we don't yet have," said Lehman, a former Navy secretary.
Cheney and President Bush (news - web sites) continued to insist that Iraq had ties to al Qaeda after the commission report issued last week found no evidence that Iraq collaborated with al Qaeda.
Lehman did not say whether the additional information was given to the commission in response to demands from Kean and commission vice chairman, Lee Hamilton.
On CBS's "Face the Nation," Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record) said the White House should comply. "I see no reason why not," the Arizona Republican said.
Democratic commission member Richard Ben-Veniste told NBC he hoped Cheney would provide information "on a current basis ... with respect to the individual that John Lehman has talked about."
The Bush administration has been accused by critics of using faulty intelligence about alleged weapons of mass destruction and Iraqi links to al Qaeda to push the nation to war.
Lehman said there was no evidence Saddam was involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America. But he said the recent information about the Fedayeen officer "demonstrates the difficulty that we've had in this commission."
"We're under tremendous political pressures -- everything we come out with, one side or the other seizes on in this election year," Lehman said.
The conclusion of the commission staff report, released last Wednesday, contradicted Bush administration contentions before and after the U.S.-led war on Iraq. The president argued a connection with al Qaeda constituted an unacceptable threat to the United States.
Some officials, including Cheney, suggested an Iraqi role in the Sept. 11 attacks. Bush later ruled out that possibility, but many Americans still believe it and critics have accused the administration of misleading the public.
Bush's Democratic challenger, Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites) of Massachusetts, said the president owed the American public "a fundamental explanation about why he rushed to war for a purpose it now turns out is not supported by the facts."
Keep up your data collection so the tipping point ends up in our favor.
Lehman is a good man. I wonder if he saw all of these lies and spins about to break out and discussed this in private with GW, Rummy or Powell.
So as usual GW let the libs play the dope on the rope trick and let them shoot their wads in these lies released last week.
Now the realities of the links between al Qaeda, and the $oddomites appear to have starting to flow out, and the 9/11 committee can contain them anymore.
Rush, Hannity, Fox News and even some of the liberal news medias are getting the word out like the Putin word.
The left wing mediots have lost control and can't contain, spike and hide the realities of the linkage between al Qaeda and the $oddomites any more.
Cap Huff, GWB has been calm and self-confident in recent weeks, when a lot of people in this forum have been panicky
--Boot Hill: "I concur, his demeanor reminds me of quarterback Joe Montana at the two minute warning. I'll stick with a proven winner."
Yes. I was, fortunately, wrong.
I truly thought that Bush was NOT going to fight back. He took it a long time and I'm still not certain it was the correct strategy.
BUT, the people who said he was pulling a rope a dope were correct and I was, happily, wrong.
No sign yet of a transcript of Kerry's comments two years ago about the connections between Saddam/OBL. I'd like to write a letter to the editor but it will have more impact if I have an exact quote or two and dates. If you see it, could you try to remember to ping me? Thanks.
This is how GW works and does his thing.
He refuses to get into the gutter to wrestle with the vermin rats.
He refuses to walk on the stage the liberals have built with a noose in the center of the stage and stick his head in the noose.
Keep up your good work and watch GW unfold this latest counter to the lies/spin of the left.
That is a quality of leadership that is ultimately God given, but also nurtured, tested, and strengthened over time. Why a larger percentage of people don't see it is a mystery to me.
I can't subscribe to every decision GWB has taken in his tenure, but here is where character really counts. I trust that even in his "bad" decisions, there were good reasons for making them. I suspect that even he himself is critical of some decisions he has made.
This commission is just finding out about this when all of us here had this information weeks ago? Incompetence.
You are exactly right. Character means that people say, "if he says there was danger, there must have been danger". Trust in a leader is essential.
Yep, but what is news about this is the White House confirming it and sending the evidence to the 911 commission for consideration in their final report.
Yeah, they don't search for the truth very hard, do they?
But what about the October Surprise......
this is way too early....
Excellent summary of GW and his process and choices.
By the time GW, Rummy, Powell and others get through releasing the connections between al Qaeda and Iraq/Soddomite, the mediots will drop their latest hot potatoe and move on to their next fabrication.
They will pretend that this latest attempt to electronically lynch GW didn't really happen.
"From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime. Our nation has been put on notice, we're not immune from attack. We will take defensive measures against terrorism to protect Americans." -- President George W. Bush, September 20th, 2001
There is irrefutable proof of a connection between the Hussein regime and terrorists. Iraq provided training, financial aid, and refuge for terrorists, and as such, and in accordance with the pledge made by President Bush to the American people in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Iraq became the enemy of America.
The liberal press will have you believe that Bush claimed that there was a connection between Hussein and the attacks on 9/11, that's a lie, Bush never made such a claim. Now, they will report that the 9/11 commission found "no links" between Iraq and 9/11, but is failing miserably to also report that the same commission found proof of Saddam's links to Al Qaeda.
AND, as I recall, right after 9/11, when Bush announced he'd be going after nations that harbored terrorists, even the leftists applauded and supported him.
Here's all the reason we needed to invade Iraq:
And here's Bush's plan:
Then there's this:
Keep that drumbeat going, Mr. Kerry. It will only make you look even MORE stupid than you already do!
9/11 panel: New evidence on Iraq-Al-Qaida
By Shaun Waterman
UPI Homeland and National Security Editor
Published 6/20/2004 5:27 PM
WASHINGTON, June 20 (UPI) -- The commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks has received new information indicating that a senior officer in an elite unit of the security services of deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein may have been a member of al-Qaida involved in the planning of the suicide hijackings, panel members said Sunday.
John F. Lehman, a Reagan-era GOP defense official told NBC's "Meet the Press" that documents captured in Iraq "indicate that there is at least one officer of Saddam's Fedayeen, a lieutenant colonel, who was a very prominent member of al Qaida."
The Fedayeen were a special unit of volunteers given basic training in irregular warfare. The lieutenant colonel, Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, has the same name as an Iraqi thought to have attended a planning meeting for the Sept. 11 attacks in January 2000, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The meeting was also attended by two of the hijackers, Khalid al Midhar and Nawaf al Hamzi and senior al-Qaida leaders.
Lehman said that commission staff members continued to work on the issue and experts cautioned that the connection might be nothing more than coincidence.
"Shakir is a pretty common name," said terrorism analyst and author Peter Bergen, "and even if the two names refer to the same person, there might be a number of other explanations. Perhaps al-Qaida had penetrated Saddam's security apparatus."
Analysts say the Fedayeen was not an intelligence unit, but an irregular militia recruited from clans loyal to the regime in the capital, in Saddam's hometown of Tikrit and in the surrounding Tigris valley area. Michael Eisenstadt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think tank set up by the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC, described them to United Press International last year as "thugs and bumpkins."
He said the Fedayeen were "at the low end of the food chain in the security apparatus, doing street level work for the regime."
Nevertheless, the revelation seems sure to stoke the controversy over the extent of links between al-Qaida and Saddam's regime, links that were cited by the Bush administration as a justification for the invasion of Iraq.
On Wednesday, the commission published a staff statement saying that contacts between the regime and al-Qaida "do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship" and that, "We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al-Qaida cooperated on attacks against the United States."
Critics of the Bush administration seized on the comments as evidence that the White House had sought to mislead Americans about the relationship between Saddam and al-Qaida.
President Bush's likely Democratic opponent, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said the president need to give "a fundamental explanation about why he rushed to war for a purpose it now turns out is not supported by the facts."
Both Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, however, continued to stress that the links were extensive. Cheney hinted that the commission did not have all the facts, telling one interviewer that he "probably" had access to intelligence commission staff and members had not seen.
Sunday, Lehman acknowledged that, "the vice president was right when he said he may have things that we don't yet have. And we are now in the process of getting this latest intelligence."
Democratic panel member Richard Ben-Veniste agreed that the panel should study any more recent intelligence, "If there is additional information, we're happy to look at it, and we think we should get it."
Lehman added that the row illustrated the political minefield the commission was trying to tiptoe through in an election year when the focus of their inquiry is such an explosive issue. "We're under tremendous political pressures. Everything we come out with, one side or the other seizes on in this election year to try to make a political point on," he said.
He pointed out that the Clinton White House had made the same charges the current administration did about the danger that Iraq might pass chemical or biological weapons to al-Qaida. Those charges, he said, formed the basis for the missile strikes against alleged terrorist targets in Sudan in August 1998. "The Clinton administration portrayed the relationship between al-Qaida and Saddam's intelligence services as one of cooperating in weapons development," he said.
Commission Vice Chairman Lee H. Hamilton, a former Democratic congressman from Indiana, played down the differences between the commission's view and that of the administration. "When you begin to use words like 'relationship' and 'ties' and 'connections' and 'contacts,'" he told ABC's "This Week," "everybody has a little different view of what those words mean. But if you look at the core statements that we made ... I don't think there's a difference of opinion with regard to those statements.
"If there is, it has to be spelled out to me. "
Chairman Thomas Kean, meanwhile, stressed that the staff statement released Wednesday did not represent the settled view of the whole commission: "These staff reports have come along every now and then in connection with our public hearings. These staff reports are interim documents. The commission, for instance, does not get involved, the members, in the staff reports. When we do the report itself, that will be a product of the entire commission."
He added that there much more evidence of links between al-Qaida and Iran or Pakistan than Iraq, and pointed out that, "Our investigation is continuing. We're not finished yet."
The commission's two days of meetings last week marked their final public gatherings. They are to deliver a final report by July 26. Congress formed the commission to look into possible U.S. intelligence failures prior to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in which some 3,000 people were killed after the hijacking of four jetliners than crashing the aircraft into buildings in New York and Washington and in rural Pennsylvania.
(Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Thanks for keeping your eye on the ball.
I've been pointing out Hikmat Shakir for a couple of years now with all these timelines and the 911 commission thinks this is new?
Posted on 05/27/2004 11:28:26 PM PDT by JohnHuang2
Recently translated documents captured by U.S. forces provide new evidence of a direct link between Saddam Hussein's regime and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.
Rosters of officers in Saddam's Fedayeen list Lt. Col. Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, who was present at the January 2000 al-Qaida "summit" in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at which the 9-11 attacks were planned, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Fedayeen was the elite paramilitary group run by Saddam's son Uday, which was deployed to do much of the regime's dirty work.
The U.S. has never been sure Shakir was at the Kuala Lumpur meeting on behalf of Saddam's regime or whether he was an Iraqi Islamist on his own, the Journal notes.
The paper cautions, however, it is possible the Shakir listed on the rosters is not the Iraqi of the same name with proven al-Qaida connections.
But sources tell the Journal the authenticity of the three Fedayeen rosters is not in question. Coalition forces have found millions of documents that still are being sorted, translated and absorbed, the paper said.
Reported accounts of the al-Qaida planning summit said Shakir had a job at the Kuala Lumpur airport he obtained through an Iraqi intelligence agent at the Iraqi embassy. Among the al-Qaida operatives in attendance were the two who flew American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon Khalid al Midhar and Nawaz al Hamzi and Ramzi bin al Shibh, the operational planner of the 9-11 attacks. Also in attendance was Tawfiz al Atash, a high-ranking Osama bin Laden lieutenant and mastermind of the USS Cole bombing.
Shakir left Malaysia four days after the summit finished, Jan. 13, 2000, then turned up in Qatar, where he was arrested Sept. 17, 2001, four days after the attacks. A search uncovered phone numbers of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers' safe houses and contacts and information related to a 1995 al-Qaida plot to blow up a dozen commercial airliners over the Pacific.
But Shakir, inexplicably, was released after a brief detention and flew to Amman, Jordan, where he was arrested again. The Jordanians released him, however, with the OK of the CIA, after pressure from the Iraqis and Amensty International.
He was last seen returning to Baghdad.
Noting the volume of evidence, the Journal said, "One of the mysteries of postwar Iraq is why the Bush Administration and our $40-billion-a-year intelligence services haven't devoted more resources to probing the links between Saddam's regime and al-Qaida."
The current official U.S. intelligence conclusion is that Saddam's regime was not involved in supporting the Sept. 11 attacks.
A new book by Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard, "The Connection," puts together the evidence of Saddam's ties to al-Qaida.
"The Baathists killing U.S. soldiers are clearly working with al-Qaida now," the Journal says. "Saddam's files might show us how they linked up in the first place."
As Geostrategy-Direct reported, new evidence about a meeting in Prague between Sept. 11 plot leader Mohamed Atta and Iraqi intelligence officer Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani has been uncovered. If confirmed, the meeting would indicate a role by Saddam's intelligence service in some level of support for the 9-11 plot.
The information supports other journalists who have uncovered a connection between Iraq and al-Qaida, including Jayna Davis, author of "The Third Terrorist: The Middle Eastern Connection to the Oklahoma City Bombing."
In her book, Davis suggests the Sept. 11 attacks possibly could have been prevented if evidence of an Iraqi and al-Qaida link to the OKC bombing had been pursued.
Davis writes that in November 1997, Hussain Hashem Al-Hussaini a former Iraqi Republican Guardsman whom multiple eyewitnesses identified as McVeigh's elusive accomplice, John Doe 2 confided to his psychiatrist that he was anxious about his airport job because "if something were to happen there, I (Al-Hussaini) would be a suspect." At the time, Al-Hussaini was employed at Boston Logan International Airport, where two of the four 9-11 suicide hijackings originated.
She also reveals court records that suggest one of bombers Timothy McVeigh's and Terry Nichols's accused Middle Eastern handlers had foreknowledge of the 9-11 plot. In addition, Davis discusses information she first uncovered eight years ago that Nichols learned the macabre genius of terrorist bomb making under the training of Philippines-based al-Qaida explosives expert Ramzi Yousef, the convicted mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
In February, columnist and author Jonathan Schanzer wrote in the Weekly Standard of his meeting in a Kurdish prison with Abdul Rahman al-Shamari, who claims he worked for a man who was Saddam's envoy to al-Qaida.
In the interview, al-Shamari confirmed he was involved in assisting Ansar al Islam, an al-Qaida affiliate responsible for attacks against Kurdish and Western targets in northern Iraq. Weapons, "mostly mortar rounds," were supplied to the terrorists, the prisoner told Schanzer.
Besides weapons, al-Shamari says, Saddam's secret police, the Mukhabarat, helped the terror group financially "every month or two months."
In December, Geostrategy-Direct reported Iraqi officers interrogated by the United States and coalition officials said Saddam, through Saudi contacts, had invited al-Qaida insurgents to form suicide and other units to stop the U.S. military in March.
Saddam's contacts with al-Qaida, the officers told interrogators, preceded the Sept. 11 attacks. They said Saudi envoys arranged for al-Qaida insurgents to enter Iraq and begin training in camps around Baghdad.
The al-Qaida insurgents were trained at two camps Nahrawan and Salman Pak under the supervision of the Fedayeen Saddam.
Officers said the Salman Pak training included ways to hijack airplanes. Training was conducted under the supervision of an unidentified Iraqi general who is currently a police commander. They said many of the al-Qaida insurgents left Iraq after their training stint. The London Telegraph reported in December the discovery of a secret memo to Saddam that gives details of a visit by Atta to Baghdad just weeks before the 9-11 attacks. Information obtained by Iraq's coalition goverment indicated Atta was trained in Baghdad by Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal.
"We are uncovering evidence all the time of Saddam's involvement with al-Qaida," said Dr Ayad Allawi, a member of Iraq's ruling seven-man presidential committee, according to the London paper.
"But this is the most compelling piece of evidence that we have found so far," he said. "It shows that not only did Saddam have contacts with al-Qaida, he had contact with those responsible for the September 11 attacks."
In November, the Weekly Standard reported a 16-page top secret government memo to the Senate Intelligence Committee said bin Laden and Saddam had an operational relationship from the early 1990s to 2003 that involved training in explosives and weapons of mass destruction, as well as financial and logistical support, and may have included the bombing of the USS Cole and the Sept. 11 attacks.
I think they're waiting until after the handover of Iraq. Then as the New Iraq government starts letting the cat out of the bag, it will appear more convincing as they produce the documentation and eye witness reports. Maybe?
Why not? Hussein had many, many chances to avert war, and he chose to flip the bird to us and the U.N. one time too many. President Bush knows he made the correct decision, even if the biased, fairly uninformed media disagree.
Some docs weren't obtained until recently, but others, as we know from the Wilson affair, have ben held back or stalled. I wonder how many stalled docs there are out there being sat upon by some bureacratic hack?
"Some docs weren't obtained until recently, but others, as we know from the Wilson affair, have ben held back or stalled. I wonder how many stalled docs there are out there being sat upon by some bureacratic hack?"
When I read the Composts hidden article about Wilson's lies this weekend, the same thought entered my mind.
I think that after the election is over this November, we could get to see and read about a lot of surprises and holdbacks. Data that is being held until after the election as it would prove the terrible potential dangers that $oddomite/Iraq possessed or had passed on. Potential dangers that might make 9/11 look small re harm to Americans.
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