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Of Saddam And Al Quieda

Captain Ed over at CQ this morning [1], notes an ABC NEWS report that isn’t getting the attention it deserves for reasons that should be obvious to you;

During the 1990s, Zarqawi trained under bin Laden in Afghanistan. After the fall of the Taliban, he fled to northwestern Iraq and worked with poisons for use in potential attacks, officials say.
During the summer of 2002, he underwent nasal surgery at a Baghdad hospital, officials say. They mistakenly originally thought, however, that Zarqawi had his leg amputated due to an injury.

In late 2002, officials say, Zarqawi began establishing sleeper cells in Baghdad and acquiring weapons from Iraqi intelligence officials.

Says Ed to all of this:

Late 2002? That preceded the American effort to get UNSC Resolution 1441 passed, as well as our presentations to the Council demonstrating Iraqi links to al-Qaeda. Certainly, Saddam’s willingness to allow Zarqawi to live in Baghdad demonstrates his affinity for promoting terrorism (just as his hosting of Abu Nidal and payment to families of suicide bombers). Surely Saddam would not have countenanced Zarqawi’s establishment of sleeper cells and the transfer of weapons by the IIS to his groups without ensuring that he and Zarqawi were working together. In light of the discovery of the binary sarin shell, one has to wonder what other weapons Saddam may have transferred to al-Zarqawi. How about all those chemical weapons Zarqawi tried to use in Jordan, for example?

The only conclusion? Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda were active allies and Hussein provided material support for AQ’s terrorism. That certainly supports the argument for war in Iraq and underscores the Bush contention this week that Iraq is the central front in the war on Islamofascist terror.

That it does, Ed. That it does indeed.
RTWT