Sunday, December 14, 2003

Iraq-Al Queda Link?
This really seems to be too good to be true. The telegraph is reporting: Terrorist behind September 11 strike was trained by Saddam based on a top secret memo.

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.

The memo was written by Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, the former head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service, to Saddam, describing training that Mohammed Atta received. It is not entirely clear where this memo came from, but the Iraqi Governing Council seems confident that it is legitimate. This certainly is exciting news, but it is so dramatic, I find it hard to believe without further confirmation.

Update: This additional report also puts Syria on the hot seat. This is cheesy-Hollywood-July-Fourth-Will-Smith-blockbuster good. I need confirmation!

Habbush writes that the successful completion of the shipment was "the fruit of your excellent secret meeting with Bashir al-Asad (the Syrian president) on the Iraqi-Syrian border", and concludes: "May God protect you and save you to all Arab nations."

While it is almost impossible to ascertain whether or not the document is legitimate or a clever fake, Iraqi officials working for the interim government are convinced of its authenticity, even though they decline to reveal where and how they obtained it. "It is not important how we found it," said a senior Iraqi security official. "The important thing is that we did find it and the information it contains."

I seriously have to wonder if some over-zealous Iraqis are attempting to "help" the US by producing a memo that ties up all the loose ends in a neat little package. But if this is legit, Dean is done and Bashir is next.

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