Jewish World Review August 20, 2002 / 12 Elul, 5762

Jack Kelly

Jack Kelly
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No proof of Saddam's wrongdoing? Yeah, right


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Those who oppose war with Iraq argue that Saddam Hussein is too dangerous, and not dangerous enough.

If we attack Iraq, and Saddam responds with weapons of mass destruction, we could suffer a lot of casualties; Israel could be devastated; oil markets could be roiled; other governments in the region could be destabilized, and the Europeans would be in a snit, argues the New York Times.

Former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft argued in the Wall Street Journal Aug. 8 that there is no proof Saddam has nuclear weapons, or that he has aided al Qaeda in its campaign of terror against the United States.

Though Saddam is a "menace" who wants to dominate the Persian Gulf, "he is unlikely to risk his investment in weapons of mass destruction...by handing such weapons to terrorists," Scowcroft said.

But on at least four occasions since the Gulf War, Saddam's intelligence officers have furnished support to terrorists targeting Americans:

  • The first World Trade Center bombing on February 26, 1993 was organized by Ramzi Yousef, whose escape from New York was facilitated by false documentation that could only have been supplied by Iraqi intelligence, said Laurie Mylroie in her book, "Study of Revenge."

    Yousef traveled under a passport under the name of Abdul Basit, a Kuwaiti national. To create a "legend" for Yousef which included genuine information about Basit but with Yousef's fingerprints, someone would have had to have had access to the files of Kuwait's ministry of interior, which was controlled by Iraq, Mylroie said.

  • On April 14, 1993, Iraq plotted to assassinate former President Bush during a visit to Kuwait. Two Iraqi nationals were captured with a sophisticated car bomb. They admitted under interrogation they had been recruited by Iraqi intelligence, which supplied them with the bomb. After an investigation, the CIA concluded "with confidence" that the recruitment of the assassins had been authorized "at the highest levels" of the Iraqi government.

  • In December of 1998, a plot to blow up Radio Free Europe in Prague was aborted when Jabir Salim, second secretary at the Iraqi embassy in Prague and an intelligence officer, defected. Salim was given $150,000 to hire terrorists who would not be traceable back to Iraq. He told the CIA, Britain's MI-6 and Czech intelligence the bombing was authorized by Saddam Hussein.

  • In April of 2001, Ahmad Khalil Al-Ani, the Iraqi intelligence officer who replaced Salim after his defection, met with Mohammed Atta, leader of the Sept. 11 hijackers, according to Czech intelligence. Some in the State Department and the CIA doubt the meeting actually took place, but it has been confirmed by the prime minister of the Czech republic, by his interior minister, and by the deputy foreign minister who ordered the expulsion of Al-Ani after the meeting. There are other, less well documented indications that Saddam Hussein has been waging a terror war against the United States:

  • Ramzi Yousef's chief confederate in the first World Trade Center bombing was Abdul Rahman Yasin, who fled to Baghdad after the bombing, where he remains.

  • Yousef, who now resides in a federal penitentiary in Canon City, Colorado, was arrested after a plot he was hatching to hijack U.S. airliners in the Pacific was discovered by Philippine police in 1995. His chief confederate in that plot told authorities Yousef also had planned the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City in April, 1993.

  • Sabah Alami, an Iraqi military officer who defected in 1999, said that at Salman Pak, a military base 21 miles from Baghdad, a Boeing 707 was maintained on which terrorists were trained in airline hijacking and sabotage. An intelligence officer who defected last year said "Islamicists" had been training on the 707 as recently as September, 2000.

If we wait until after Saddam attacks us with nuclear or biological weapons, we will have a casus belli that even Scowcroft and the New York Times would recognize. But for millions of Americans, that could be too late.

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© 2002, Jack Kelly