Skip to comments.Terrorist behind September 11 strike was trained by Saddam (New Iraqi PM Allawi)
Posted on 06/02/2004 11:41:36 AM PDT by Eurotwit
Iraq's coalition government claims that it has uncovered documentary proof that Mohammed Atta, the al-Qaeda mastermind of the September 11 attacks against the US, was trained in Baghdad by Abu Nidal, the notorious Palestinian terrorist.
Details of Atta's visit to the Iraqi capital in the summer of 2001, just weeks before he launched the most devastating terrorist attack in US history, are contained in a top secret memo written to Saddam Hussein, the then Iraqi president, by Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, the former head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service.
The handwritten memo, a copy of which has been obtained exclusively by the Telegraph, is dated July 1, 2001 and provides a short resume of a three-day "work programme" Atta had undertaken at Abu Nidal's base in Baghdad.
In the memo, Habbush reports that Atta "displayed extraordinary effort" and demonstrated his ability to lead the team that would be "responsible for attacking the targets that we have agreed to destroy".
The second part of the memo, which is headed "Niger Shipment", contains a report about an unspecified shipment - believed to be uranium - that it says has been transported to Iraq via Libya and Syria.
Although Iraqi officials refused to disclose how and where they had obtained the document, Dr Ayad Allawi, a member of Iraq's ruling seven-man Presidential Committee, said the document was genuine.
"We are uncovering evidence all the time of Saddam's involvement with al-Qaeda," he said. "But this is the most compelling piece of evidence that we have found so far. It shows that not only did Saddam have contacts with al-Qaeda, he had contact with those responsible for the September 11 attacks."
Although Atta is believed to have been resident in Florida in the summer of 2001, he is known to have used more than a dozen aliases, and intelligence experts believe he could easily have slipped out of the US to visit Iraq.
Abu Nidal, who was responsible for the failed assassination of the Israeli ambassador to London in 1982, was based in Baghdad for more than two decades.
NRO: It's been suggested by Isikoff and others that some of the evidence turns up nowadays is forged, that you can't take it on its face value. To what extent is the evidence you present corroborated by other evidence, other documented meetings, etc?--from National Review Online
[Stephen] Hayes: I think they're right on that point and it's almost never a good idea to take these things at face value. There was a report that surfaced in December 2003 that suggested that Mohammed Atta had been in Baghdad during the summer of 2001. And, a little too conveniently, the very same document claimed that the U.S. was seeking uranium from Niger. There's little question that the three-page report was forged. (An interesting side note: That document came not from Ahmed Chalabi, but from CIA favorite Iyad Allawi, the new Iraqi interim prime minister. Allawi has long argued that there was a significant relationship between Saddam's Mukhabarat and al Qaeda.)
Thanks for the reminder!
What was the buzz on this last year?
Sounds juuuuussst a little too pat. They should have included a "PS - We moved all our WMDs out of the country before the invasion. Check Syria."
the U.S. was seeking uranium from Niger??? ...well if it's on the internet it must be true.
Don't get me wrong, I don't necessarily think that makes the memo genuine. But, if the memo's really fake, that was a pretty lousy way to convince people. In fact it was nothing if not a surefire way to make people smell "coverup", even if there was none.
And there's been absolute silence since, hasn't there?
Might be interesting to see if the new interim Iraqi leader is ever asked about this at a press conference, eh? :-)
Hayes obviously misspoke.
Would be nice to know how Hayes comes to that conclusion. Is it based on the findings of the handwriting expert who didn't see the actual memo?
But all we really know is Chalabi told a top Iranian spy the US broke a tippy-top secret Iranian code. We really know this because the top Iranian spy secretly communicated to Tehran in the tippy-top secret code that the same tippy-top secret code had been broken.
Or so I read...
No Kidding ???!!!! Who would have thunk
Unfortunately, if he is ever asked about this connection, it won't be by an English speaking reporter and the media would never bother printing the translation if it undermines their ideology.
Well, if that is correct, the new PM seems to be a liar.
and if there were, we would only hear about it through OUR lovely interpreters - the partisan media.
Wow, prepare for a huge onslaugt of stories on the evening news, WashComPost and NySlimes.
don't expect the 3 stooges to pick up on this.
Well, but ideology cuts both ways. Wouldn't they want to trap the new US-approved Iraqi interim leader into admitting having foisted fraudulent documents on the American public in an effort to curry favor and gain prominence with the US occupiers? That would lead to a "crisis" whereby the new leader's honesty is questioned etc and thus prove that we're still as deep in a "quagmire" as ever.... right? :-)
So hey, reporters, what are you waiting for? Ask Allawi about the memo.
In fact, if time goes by and we see no questions from the Western press about the memo, it's almost safe to conclude that they believe it's geniune, is it not? If it's really such an obvious fake, you'd think all the Woodward/Bernstein wannabes would be waving it in front of Allawi's face the first chance they get. I guess we'll see either way :-)
Hey! I gotta e-mail from a Nigerian guy who says he's stuck on the ISS!.............Must be true!
I predicted all this. The summer of tying up loose ends. Saddam's trial is right off the horizon. It's going to play out just as I suspected. WTC1, OKC, WTC2 and Saddam sez "I had some Feyadeen I could not control.....they did this".
GWB is just too bouncy in his step not to be holding major cards.
too early. they will not be able to turn away from the saddam trial.
Well, hello. The truth is starting to seep out.
(Even if this is an older article)
John Loftus is also talking about the Saddam trial to offer lots of revelations.
But Bush is cutting is way too close in my opinion. Summer is generally a time when people don't pay attention to alot of news, and if it comes too close to the election, it looks like an October surprise stunt and loses credibility.
Boy they sure spiked that story when it came out.... time to resurface it I say!
This can't come too soon or it will be supplanted by something else (as incredible as that sounds) before the election. Heck, capturing Saddam was old news a week after it happened. Don't forget Padilla. He's probably John Doe 2.
Don't fret. It's all coming together. Hopefully the folks who lost loved ones at OKC will get some terror relief akin to the folks at WTC.
ah crap it is old news. well anyway I stand by my prediction.
Whether or not people pay attention to the Saddam trial, it will produce tons of soundbites, videoclips, and talking points with which Bush can bash the Democrats all fall long. He can just take clips of Pelosi, Kennedy, and Gore and put them side by side with Saddam testifying. I almost feel sorry for them. Almost.
Yeah, and then the Iranian agent was assassinated by the Iranians for being so dumb.
Less than two months before 9/11/01, the state-controlled Iraqi newspaper Al-Nasiriya carried a column headlined, American, an Obsession called Osama Bin Ladin. (July 21, 2001)
In the piece, Baath Party writer Naeem Abd Muhalhal predicted that bin Laden would attack the US with the seriousness of the Bedouin of the desert about the way he will try to bomb the Pentagon after he destroys the White House.
The same state-approved column also insisted that bin Laden will strike America on the arm that is already hurting, and that the US will curse the memory of Frank Sinatra every time he hears his songs an apparent reference to the Sinatra classic, New York, New York.
That and hundreds of other links below. Also, today, House Congressional members read into the record the fact that Clinton in the late 90's talked repeatedly about the deal that OBL and Saddam struck.
OBL agreed not to attack Iraq if Saddam would train the terrorists in WMD usage.
Was he? I haven't read that yet.
Saddam, reportedly, is a Frank Sinatra fan.
I wonder if this will make it into Allawi's speech to Congress? Wouldn't that be a hoot.
Now that this comes out, this is the best explaination of what happened.
It's time for him to stand up and shout it again now that more might pay attention to him.
forget the OKC stuff. If that's what comes out of this Saddam trial - its not going to accrue to Bush's benefit. The media will only talk about why McVeigh was allowed to be executed then.
McVeigh admitted his guilt and refused stays. He was the trigger man. No problem there. The problem is the govt didn't know he was working with Feyadeen through Phillipines radicals and master plotter Yousef (presently this is conjecture). It can work out ok even with him gone.
we know that. the media will spin it otherwise.
The O'Reilly Factor Wed. 8 pm / 11 pm ET - Will a new report finally prove the link between Saddam and Usama? Bill gets the truth from author Stephen Hayes.
Saddam himself could publicly spill the entire story and the media in the US would still do everything it could to portray the situation as otherwise.
terrorism as just cause ping
this paper is most likely a fabrication, furthermore Nidal was possibly killed by Saddam's people. The reason for this is not clear.
Do not put too much in the fact that Allawi thought this document was genuine, many had this opinion a year ago.
Well, I don't think him saying this a year ago makes him a liar, necessarily. I doubt it was checked out to any extensive degree at that point. He may really have thought that it was genuine.
My question to you and everyone that writes off the Habboush al Tikriti memo as a forgery: Where is the conclusive debunking of this memo?
I don't want to hear about how it is "too convenient" that Niger is mentioned or any other slippery and meaningless logic.
If this was a forgery then it could be established by analysis of the ink, the paper, the handwriting, etc. Where is this analysis?
I can't find it on any Google search I have tried.
I'd say the memo should stand at its face value until it is conclusively disproven.
Great reasoning that only an intellectualy-honest person could put forth. Right on!
What is notable about this story is:
1. The writers had never seen the memo or even a copy of it.
2. The writers allege that Atta was accounted for "most of the time" during the three-day period when he was supposed to have been in Iraq. But this is based on a reconstruction of travels from tickets, phone calls, motel receipts all in his own name. The problem with this is that anyone could have been travelling as Atta to provide him cover. We know that he had several false identities. He could have fairly easily travelled to Iraq surreptitiously while someone else created a legend for him in Las Vegas.
3. To reach the conclusion that the memo is not authentic, and Atta did not travel to Baghdad in May or June 2001, you have to assume that Atta did not make use of any of his tradecraft, that he was operating is "stupid" mode. And for the first time, too, since he was not operating in "stupid" mode during his travels to the Czech Republic in 2000 and 2001.
In short, the Issikoff article does nothing to cast doubt on the al-Tikriti memo and in fact adds to its credibility.
This memo needs to be authenticated or debunked conclusively by scientific methods of analysis once and for all. And not by the likes of Michael Issikoff.
Yes, indeed. Roger that.
You know, it's not too late for Bush and Company to make this Case (the "Anti-Terrorist" Case that they should have made, or at least should have made MUCH LOUDER than the largely-mythical "WMD" Case, two years ago)...
All they have to do, in my opinion, is play the "Doe-Eyed Innocents" to the Cameras and pretend that, "Golly Gee -- we knew that Saddam had Terrorist Links, but we had no idea that it was *this bad*!!" (by this, they defuse the criticism that they didn't make a big deal of Salman Pak and Abu Nidal before the War, and are now "switching rationales" from the WMD case).
"My fellow Americans:
Two Years Ago, when we began calling Saddam Hussein to account for his multiple violations of UN resolutions, at the forefront of our National Security concerns was the terrible possibility that Hussein would develop Links to world-wide Anti-American Terrorist Organizations, and provide those Organizations with the means to acquire and deploy Weapons of Mass Destruction against the United States." (passing reference to the WMD Case) "We previously had intelligence of Iraqi training of Airliner Hijacking Teams at the Salman Pak terrorist training camp south of Baghdad," (passing reference to 9-11) "...and reports provided by Czech intelligence of meetings in Prague between Iraqi government officials and members of the Al-Queda organization involved in the planning and execution of the 9-11 atrocities." (second reference to 9-11, drive the point home)
"We now know, due to the diligent work of the new Iraqi Coalition Government," (nod of support to the New Iraqi Government) "...that Hussein's contacts, training, and support of the most dangerous Anti-American Terrorists in the world was far more advanced and imminent in threat than we had previously feared." (The word "imminent" has been used against Bush repeatedly, even though he didn't say it. Ahh, but he can use it NOW, and cast it back in his critic's teeth). "Documents provided by the Iraqi Coalition Government clearly establish the training and support provided by Hussein's regime to the 9-11 Hijackers, as well as Hussein's determination to continue development of WMD capability".
"I have previously outlined My Administration's determination to prosecute Our War on Terror along three fronts -- punishment of those responsible, punishment of those Dictatorial Regimes which gave aid and comfort to the Terrorists, and prevention of the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction into Terrorist hands."
"We now know that our worst fears of Saddam Hussein's connections to Al-Queda Terrorism have been confirmed, and that it was right -- indeed, necessary -- to act against him when we did. With Hussein in custody, he will no longer be providing Training and Support to the Terrorist Organizations which murdered 3,000 of our fellow citizens on September 11, 2001 -- nor will he be developing the capability to pass along to them Weapons of a far more terrible nature." (Re-Visit the "Anti-Terrorism" Case once again, with a passing nod to WMD's in final review)
ETC, etc, et cetera....
Hussein's capture may have been a "gold mine" of Popularity for Bush, but it's played out now six months after the fact. These new Iraqi revelations can at least be a "silver mine", if he's willing to "turn the ship around" and re-prosecute the Anti-Terrorist Case as it should have been prosecuted in the first place.
Granted, it's a bit like trying to turn a Battleship around, but Bush should try it (IMHO). Re-Prosecute the Anti-Terrorist Case, and run it for all it's worth.
Incidentally, if you were to UPDATE the same provision in the constitution that gives the Congress the authority to declare war, what would you claim a "letter of reprisal" to mean in our day and age. (Since we're told that the Constitution is the "living" document, let's let it breathe new life into the "letter of reprisal."
I'd say that a reprisal is a "payback." A letter of reprisal is an authorization to pay back someone who has committed an act of such damage to you, that you authorize all necessary WARTIME action for a specific purpose.
This sounds SUSPICIOUSLY like the "Authorization" granted Pres. Bush by Congress to pursue ANYONE who aided/abetted/harbored any terrorist who acted on 9/11 and any other terrorist group connected to world terrorism.
We don't need NO STINKIN' declaration of War.
We have a "Letter of Reprisal."
It does indeed.
The point of my #47 is that Bush should Re-State his Case, and Re-Formulate it in those terms. Those terms exactly.
When you bet on Two Horses ("WMD" and "Anti-Terrorism"), and your Second Horse ("Anti-Terrorism") wins the Race... it's not too late to point out to the Naysayers that you did, in fact, bet on the Second Horse (even when the First Horse barely even Showed).
Among the contents of this memo is a statement by Habboush to Hussein that Atta: "displayed extraordinary effort" and had demonstrated his ability to lead the team that would be "responsible for attacking the targets that we have agreed to destroy".
The phrase "responsible for attacking the targets that we have agreed to destroy" clearly implies more than mere association between Hussein and al Qaeda, it implies at a minimum tacit assent and approval, and in the context of Atta's continuing contacts with Iraqi Intelligence, can be taken as evidence of Iraqi control of the operation.
The US government has consistently atributed 9-11 to Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda network, and this attribution need not be subject to radical revision. But it is looking all the more likely that while al Qaeda provided the manpower, Saddam Hussein provided at least part of the funding as well as overall direction, using the assets of al Qaeda to attack a mutul enemy - the USA.
It certainly puts Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi intelligence service at the center of the entire enterprise and provide a context for understanding the contact between Atta and al Ani in Prague going back a year.
This entire picture is crying out to be explained graphically and in detail by the President to the American people, much along the lines just suggested.