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News, 16-22/9/01 (1)

News, 16-22/9/01 (1)

Iım finding it difficult to know how to deal with the present crisis. I
agree with Seb Willisı view that we should try to keep the focus on Iraq and
on sanctions, but when there is a mad elephant loose in the backyard it is
difficult to ignore. The following does keep the emphasis on Iraq but it
will be followed by a very cumbersome supplement on the American jihad
against Œterrorismı. There arenıt that many articles but most of them are
long. It will have no pretentions to being either comprehensive or a
selection of the best material available and I hope that in future if I
continue with anything like it, it will be greatly shortened.


*  Attacks backed by Saddam? [Lays out roughly the case for implicating Iraq
in the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing]
*  Old enemies of Saddam point finger at Iraq [Opinion in Kuwait]
*  Yalmas [Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey]denies reports on attacking Iraq
*  Israelis believe Iraq had role in US attack-Jane's [Account of article in
Janeıs Defense Weekly arguing that the real culprit is Hizbullahıs Imad
Moughniyeh. No precise connection with Iraq us given]
*  Tel Aviv points to Iraq [very short extract in continuation of above]
*  Kids angry over Iraqi full-staff flag insult

by Leonard S. Spector & Jonathan B. Tucker
Boston Globe, 21st September
[Rehearses reasons for doing this almost as though the US hadnıt been trying
to do it for the past three years]
Reuter's, 22nd September
Jesse Helms of course. No great surprises there.


*  Saddam says U.S. response is misguided
*  Iraq Denies Involvement in Suicide Attacks
*  Iraqi deputy premier cables condolences to American charity organization
[Voices in the Wilderness] on attacks victims
*  Iraq says it got relief expertise thanks to US strikes
*  Iraq urged to be neutral [The Iraqi newspaper Babel thinks, probably
rightly, the Iraqis should keep their heads down just at the moment]
*  Saddam Criticizes Bush Over Remark [about either being with the US or
with the terrorists]

AND, IN NEWS, 16-22/9/01 (2)


*  The sons who promote Saddam's cruel legacy [This article by Robert Fisk
goes back to 8th September but I missed it. It seems a good idea to produce
it now when Fisk, who is approaching greatness in the quality of his
reporting, is likely to be seen in some quarters as an apologist for
*  Ex Iraqi official shot
*  Gulf War Mine Kills Three, Injures Three - INA


*  Egypt to export 250m dollars' worth of food to Iraq
*  Iraq, Iran agree to coordinate on "imperialism"
*  Very soon a common market between Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Libya
*  Iraq Accuses Kuwait of Violating Conventions on Joint Oil Fields
*  Kuwait rejects Iraq's accusation of "excessive exploitation" of joint


*  British Warplanes Strike Southern Missile Site [Near Basra. Reported on
Wednesday 19th Sept]
*  Iraq says it hit two US or British planes[Near Basra and Shahban.
*  US, British warplanes strike Iraq over no-fly zone threat [Al-Amrah and
Talil. Friday]


*  German Industry to Uphold Ties with Iran, Iraq International trade
*  Wheat export to Iraq might be delayed


*  UN sanctions committee bans Iraq from importing helicopters for
agricultural purposes


*  Bin Laden's Plan to Destabilize Kurdistan [Important article on radical
Islam in the autonomous Kurdish zone. Interesting to note that it seems to
be particularly strong in the region of Halabja, victim of the chemical
warfare attack at the end of the Iran/Iraq war]

FINGER POINTING AT IRAQ,3523,929518-6096-0,00.html

[by James Woolsey?]
Business Day (South Africa? Zambia?), 17th September

IN THE immediate aftermath of Tuesday's attacks, attention has focused on
terrorist chieftain Osama bin Laden; and he might well be responsible.

But intelligence and law enforcement officials investigating the case would
do well to at least consider another possibility: that the attacks whether
perpetrated by Bin Laden and his associates or by others were sponsored,
supported, and perhaps even ordered, by Iraq's President Saddam Hussein.

To this end, investigators should revisit the 1993 bombing of the World
Trade Centre. A few years ago the facts in that case seemed straightforward:
The mastermind behind the bombing, who went by the alias Ramzi Yousef, was
in fact a 27-year-old Pakistani named Abdul Basit. But late last year, AEI
Press published Study of Revenge: Saddam Hussein's Unfinished War Against
America, a book about the bombing written by AEI scholar Laurie Mylroie.

The book's thesis is that the original theory of the attack, given by James
Fox (the FBI's chief investigator into the 1993 bombing until his
replacement in 1994) was correct: that Yousef was not Basit but rather an
Iraqi agent who had assumed the latter's identity when police files in
Kuwait (where the real Basit lived in 1990) were doctored by Iraqi
intelligence during the occupation of Kuwait.

If Mylroie and Fox (who died in 1997) are right, then it was Iraq that went
after the World Trade Centre last time. Which makes it much more plausible
that Iraq has done so again. According to the theory of the 1993 bombing
embraced by federal prosecutors and the Clinton administration, Yousef/
Basit was another Middle Eastern student who became radicalised in his 20s.

But it is worth noting that the only two publicly reported items suggesting
that Yousef and Basit are the same man could very easily have been products
of Iraqi tampering with Kuwaiti police files: a few photocopied pages from
earlier Basit passports that had clearly been tampered with, provided by
Yousef in New York in 1992 to get a Pakistani passport in Basit's name, and
fingerprints matching Yousef's found in Basit's police file in Kuwait.

It is also worth noting that Basit and his family, who lived in Kuwait,
disappeared during the Iraqi occupation, and the family has never
reappeared. Was this a random tragedy of war or part of an effort to set up
a false identity for Yousef?

Moreover, the Fox/Mylroie theory that Yousef, via Iraqi intelligence, stole
Basit's identity would explain a number of troubling differences between
Basit in the summer of 1989 (when he left the UK after three years of study)
and Yousef in September 1992 (when he arrived in New York).

If the two are indeed the same man, then, over the course of three years he
would have: (a) grown four inches (from five foot eight inches to six feet)
in his 20s; (b) put on between 35 and 40 pounds; (c) developed a deformed
eye; (d) developed smaller ears and a smaller mouth; (e) gone from being an
innovative computer programmer to being computer challenged; (f) aged
substantially more than three years in appearance; and (g) changed from
being a quiet, smiling young man respectful to women to a rather different
one (a sound file in Yousef's computer, for example, includes his voice
saying "F***, f***, f***" and "Shut up, you bitch").

What incentive would the US government have had to overlook these changes,
stipulate that Basit and Yousef were the same person, and turn away from any
suggestion that Saddam was behind the first World Trade Centre attack?

One can only speculate. But by arguing that the 1993 World Trade Centre
bombing and a separate, FBIthwarted plot to bomb New York tunnels and
buildings were connected as parts of a common conspiracy, prosecutors made
convicting the participants under the very broad seditious conspiracy law,
far simpler.

As for the Clinton administration itself, there would be less need to
confront Saddam, and perhaps less need to make hard choices, if it didn't
finger him as being behind the World Trade Centre bombing.

And indeed, ever since Fox's ousting, federal prosecutors and the White
House have hewed to the line that most terrorist attacks on the US are
either the products of "loose networks" of folks who just somehow come
together or are masterminded by the mysterious and unaccountable Bin Laden.

Explicit state sponsorship, especially by Iraq, has not been on the agenda.

The Clinton administration, meanwhile, treated Saddam informer National
Security Adviser Sandy Berger's famous metaphor like the mole in an
international version of the "Whack-a Mole" carnival game: If you bopped him
on the head, he'd stay in his hole for a while. But what has he been doing
while he's down there?

If Fox and Mylroie are right, he has been quite possibly planning,
financing, and backing terrorist operations against the US. As of yet, there
is no evidence of explicit state sponsorship of the September 11 attacks.
But absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Does it not seem curious
that Bin Laden issues fatwas, pushes videotapes, quotes poems, and orders
his followers to talk loudly and often about his role in attacks on the US?
Does someone want our focus to be solely on Bin Laden's hard-to-reach self,
and not on a senior partner?

If we hope to answer that question, the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing is a
good place to start looking. No-one other than the prosecutors, the Clinton
justice department and the FBI had access to the materials surrounding that
case until they were presented in court, because they were virtually all
obtained by a federal grand jury and hence kept not only from the public but
from the rest of the government under the extreme secrecy requirements of
the federal rules of criminal procedure.

Now a new administration, a new attorney-general and a new FBI director
should investigate the materials that Abdul Basit handled while in the UK
1988 and 1989, which were taken into custody by Scotland Yard. If those
materials have Yousef's fingerprints on them, then the Fox/Mylroie theory is
likely wrong. But if they don't, then Yousef was probably a creature of
Iraqi intelligence. Which means that Saddam still considered himself at war
with the US in 1993. And, tragically, he may still today.

R James Woolsey served as director of the US's Central Intelligence Agency
from February 1993 to January 1995. This article first appeared in The New

by David Graves in Kuwait
Daily Telegraph, 19th September

ABDULAZIZ al Awadi took a long sip of his black coffee and thought deeply.
"You know," he said, measuring his words carefully. "I can't help but think
that all this will lead back to Baghdad, and it will mean the end of Saddam
Hussein at last."

The Kuwaiti businessman, out for a genial lunch with friends at a lavish
hotel in Kuwait City, spoke for many in the oil-rich state, invaded by Iraq
11 years ago and liberated by an international coalition seven months later.

"There is unfinished business to do, and the world will not be safe until
Saddam goes forever," he said. His friend, Anwar al Madina, 52, was equally
reflective. "Osama bin Laden and his group may have carried out the attacks
in the United States, but who is behind them?

"I am sure, that when the Western intelligence services have done their
investigations, the trail will lead back to one place . . . Baghdad."

While the Kuwaiti government has been one of the most hawkish Arab
supporters of the new war against terrorism, many hope that the military
campaign will lead ultimately to Baghdad and the eventual toppling of

A senior diplomat said: "The Kuwaitis would love for Saddam to put his head
above the parapet, so the US and its allies can blow it off." Significantly,
Saddam has been the only Arab leader to praise the hijackers who wreaked
such devastation in New York and Washington.

The Emir of Kuwait, who relies on US and British forces stationed in his
small, but economically vital, country to defend it against a renewed
invasion by Iraq, was one of the first Arab leaders to offer unequivocal
support to America and give authorisation for the state to be used for any
military operations in the Middle East.

Kuwait will also supply refined petroleum products to be used by the
American war machine. An oil tanker has already been chartered by Washington
to take 235,000 barrels of marine diesel fuel from Kuwait to the Diego
Garcia air base in the Indian Ocean.

A personal message of support will be passed from the Emir to the British
Government today when the new Kuwaiti Defence Minister, Sheikh Jaber
al-Mubarak al-Sabah, meets Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, in London.

They will discuss the crisis and the potential role of the RAF detachment
which operates Tornados from the Ali al Salem air base in the country. For
the Kuwaiti government, the spectre of Saddam close to the north is a
continuing shadow hanging over the country.

The Kuwaitis would have preferred that the coalition forces who invaded
southern Iraq in 1991 to have continued to Baghdad and toppled Saddam.
Instead, the multi-national force abided by United Nations resolutions and
remained in the south.

Although Kuwait, using its enormous oil wealth, has been essentially rebuilt
since its liberation, and luxury cars and designer shops are as ubiquitous
as they were before the invasion, there is a strong feeling that the country
will never be entirely at peace until Saddam goes and is replaced by a more
moderate government in Iraq.

A continuing scar of the war is the unknown fate of more than 600 prisoners
captured in Kuwait by the Iraqis. The Kuwaitis maintain that many are still
alive in Iraqi prisons, 10 years on from the end of the war. Despite
pressure from the UN, no information has been forthcoming from Baghdad,
which claims it has no information on them.

"We have made it quite clear where we stand, and we stand against
terrorism," said a leading Kuwaiti government official. "If the Americans
decide Saddam was implicated in this vile act and attack him, we would
welcome it."

Although the unequivocal stance by Kuwait has been welcomed in Washington
and London, it will inevitably set it at odds with extreme Islamists. Sheikh
Jaber accepted that when he said Kuwait and other moderate Arab states were
already "terrorist targets" themselves, because of bin Laden's crusade to
oust US troops from the Gulf.

Ordinary Kuwaitis have also shown their support for America and its allies
by placing a carpet of flowers and wreaths outside the US embassy. Crown
Prince Saad al-Abdullah al Sabah, the Prime Minister, visited the embassy
and the Kuwait Red Crescent has donated £360,000 to the US Red Cross.

Full-page advertisements, expressing condolences, have been taken out by
Kuwaiti companies in leading American newspapers. As part of its support for
America, Kuwait will also take action against more than 100 "Islamic charity
groups" operating in the country, which collect what they call zakat, or

Officials said the government had often "turned a blind eye" to the groups,
some of which are suspected of raising funds for extreme Islamic terror

Arabic News, 18th September

The Turkish deputy prime minister on Monday denied news mentioned in the
Turkish daily Hurriet on a tripartite plan to attack Iraq, noting that these
reports are mere rumors.

In its Monday's issue, the Turkish daily Hurriet quoted military and
intelligence sources quoting an Internet web-site that the US, Britain and
Turkey will launch a tripartite plan on three stages against Iraq.

The sources added that the American and Turkish forces will launch an attack
at Beyar and Tefalim in the Iraqi district of Shouman which is controlled by
an extremist Turkish group called ( Jund al-Islam) " the soldiers of Islam,"
whose activities are financed by Osama Bin Laden, while the British units
will launch an attack in the south against al- Basra.

The sources added that the third phase of the plan aims at the Iraqi capital
Baghdad and will be carried out by land and air army units in order to
topple Saddam Hussein regime.

On the other hand, the paper ( Hurriet) quoted the Turkish foreign minister
Ismael Cim as saying during the telephone call he had made with his American
counterpart Colin Powell as warning on Sunday that the situation in the
world will be deteriorated if the Islamic world will be blamed over the
suicide attacks which targeted recently the US.

Boston Herald, 20th September

LONDON (Reuters): The military journal Jane's has reported that Israeli
intelligence believes Iraq was a sponsor of the suicide attacks on the
United States last week.

Foreign Report, published by Jane's Information Group, said on its Web site
Thursday that officers in Israeli military intelligence believed two of the
world's ``foremost terrorist masterminds'' had led the attacks.

The journal named them as Imad Moughniyeh of Lebanon, a man it said was head
of special overseas operations for Hizbollah, and Egyptian Ayman Al Zawahri,
a senior member of prime suspect Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda group.

``The Iraqis, who for several years paid smaller groups to do their dirty
work, were quick to discover the advantages of al Qaeda,'' Foreign Report

``We believe that the operational brains behind the New York attack were
Moughniyeh and Zawahri, who were probably financed and got some logistical
support from the Iraqi Intelligence Service (SSO),'' an Israeli intelligence
source told Foreign Report.

Iraq denied Wednesday that an Iraqi intelligence official had met a
suspected hijacker of one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade
Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington last week, killing

``The U.S. administration and its allies know very well that we have no
relation whatsoever with groups that are being accused now by the U.S. of
committing what happened in the United States,'' Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji
Sabri said.

An Egyptian security source in Cairo Thursday dismissed the report as
``baseless and unfounded.'' A Hizbollah spokesman in Beirut denied that the
group had any link with Moughniyeh.

Foreign Report quoted the Israeli sources as saying that Iraqi intelligence
officers had been shuttling between Baghdad and Afghanistan, meeting
Zawahri, for the past two years.

According to the sources, the Pakistanis captured one of the Iraqi
intelligence officers last October near the border with Afghanistan.

``The Iraqis are also reported to have established strong ties with Imad
Moughniyeh,'' the report said.

It quoted unconfirmed reports in Beirut as saying that Moughniyeh had
undergone plastic surgery and was unrecognizable while Zawahri, thought to
be based in Egypt, could be bin Laden's chief representative outside

The report quoted one Israeli intelligence source as saying Israeli military
intelligence had warned Israel's allies six weeks ago that an
``unprecedented, massive terror attack was expected.''

Moughniyeh, a member of Lebanon's Shi'ite Muslim Hizbollah movement, was
behind a wave of anti-American attacks in Lebanon in the 1980s, including
the suicide truck bombing of a barracks in Beirut in 1983 that killed 241
U.S. Marines and sailors.

He led a network of kidnappers who held dozens of American and other Western
hostages in Lebanon for some seven years.

Moughniyeh's last known address was Tehran.

Zawahri was indicted in New York in 1999 in connection with the bombing of
the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya on Aug. 7, 1998.,5744,2903922%255E27

The Australian (AFP), 21st September


"In recent months, there was a change, and Iraq decided to get into the
terror business," it quoted one expert as saying.

Jane's added: "Our sources believe that it will be very difficult to get to
the bottom of this unprecedented terror operation. However, they believe the
chief of the Iraqi SSO is Qusai Hussein, the dictator's son, and his
organisation is the most likely to have been involved."

by Bridget Harrison
New York Post, 22nd September

Kids who go to schools near the Iraqi mission said yesterday they're
outraged that the mission's flag continues to fly at full-staff.

"It's disrespectful and shameful after all the people we've lost," said
Filippa Fenton, 16, who attends the Rudolph Steiner School around the corner
from the mission to the United Nations, on East 79th Street.

"After all these people have died, it's the least they could do."

Her classmate, Zoei Julich, 16, agreed.

"It's not just the action, it's the mentality behind it," said the furious
teen. "If they're living in America, and America is going through grief,
they should respect that."

Didi Fenton, a parent helping deliver food to the school for a firefighters'
benefit said, "The Iraqis should have been the first to fly the flag at
half-staff to set a good example, especially outside the school."

Parents collecting small kids from the Abraham Lincoln School of Practical
Philosophy next door to the mission were equally upset.

"It's definitely a sign of defiance," said Leo Tsimmer, who fears there may
be explosives in the mission and wants cops to search the mission. "We do
worry about it - the children being so near."

Meanwhile, two flags outside the Libyan U.N. mission on East 48th Street are
also still at full-staff.

"We have had people coming to ask about the flag," said the building manager
who refused to give his name. "But I am not in a position to say anything."


Baltimore Sun, 18th September

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP): The United States is using the attacks on New York and
Washington as a pretext to settle old scores with Muslim countries, Saddam
Hussein said today.

In what was billed as an open letter to Americans, Saddam said differences
in foreign policy had led Washington to assume that "Islam, with Arabs in
the lead of Muslims, are enemies of the U.S."

The message, released by the official Iraqi News Agency, is Saddam's second
such missive to the American people about the Sept. 11 attacks. The first
told Americans their suffering should open their eyes to the pain they've
inflicted on others, particularly Iraqis and Palestinians.

The United States has identified Saudi exile Osama bin Laden as the prime
suspect in the terror assaults. U.S. leaders now are trying to build
international support for a possible armed response.

"The U.S. has made the charge before verification, even before possessing
the minimum evidence about such a charge," Saddam said, saying the U.S.
accusation was really leveled "against all Muslim peoples."

Now, he charged, the United States is using "sheer terrorism and blackmail"
against several countries to win their support, by threatening to add them
to the United States' list of nations that sponsor terrorism. Iraq is one of
the seven countries on that list.

The United States should look to itself when it comes to identifying states
that harbor terrorists, Saddam said.

"Could the United States tell its people how many organizations working
against their own country are existing on the American soil ... and how many
of those accused of killing and theft in other countries are now in the
United States?" he asked.

He identified no groups, but accused Jews of working to orchestrate a clash
between Christianity and Islam.

ABC News, 19th September

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri denied in an interview
published on Wednesday that Iraq was involved in last week's suicide hijack
attacks on New York and Washington.

"The United States, Britain and Western nations and the world know that Iraq
has nothing to do with the attacks against American interests," Sabri told
al-Iqtisadi (Economist) weekly.

Earlier, unidentified U.S. officials had said that Mohammed Atta, one of the
suspected hijackers of one of two aircraft that crashed into the World Trade
Center, had met Iraqi intelligence in Europe.

Iraq has not yet responded to the reports about a meeting between Atta and
its intelligence apparatus.

Arabic News, 19th September

The Iraqi deputy Premier Tareq Aziz has expressed in a message he extended
to the American "Voices in the Wilderness" which stands against the embargo
imposed on Iraq his warmest condolences over the victims of the attacks
targeted the US.

In a message he addressed to the representative of the organization
Catherine Kelley [sic] Aziz said he conveys to members of the organization
as American friends who sincerely consolidated with the Iraqi people,
warmest condolences over the American victims of last Tuesday attacks.

Worthy mentioning that the said US charity organization opposes the embargo
imposed on Iraq and calls for lifting it. Many of its members had visited
Iraq for several times.

Times of India, 21st September

BAGHDAD ( AP ): Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said the United States should
have asked for his country's help in the aftermath of the terror attacks,
because of its experience in saving people from ruins.

During a meeting with officials from the Iraqi Ministry of Military
Industrialization, Saddam said Iraqis had the experience in recovering
bodies and rescuing people from the destruction caused by American bombs
during the 1991 Gulf War.

"If the United States had asked for the Iraqis' experience, we would have
agreed to offer such help for humanitarian reasons and not for the sake of
the American government."

He blamed the United States for failing to ask for Iraq's assistance.

"Yet, they, the Americans, let the people down because the wreckage is still
there and many people died while it was possible to save them by the Iraqis
who are well-trained, because of the miseries inflicted on them by the
United States."

Times of India, 21st september

BAGHDAD ( AFP ): Baghdad should remain neutral toward the anticipated US
strike against Afghanistan so as to deny Washington a pretext to attack
Iraq, a leading Iraqi newspaper said on Thursday.

"We in Iraq should be in the position of spectator, remain cautious and
monitor events, because the enemies will be watching us," wrote Babel, which
is run by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's elder son, Uday.

"The Americans are not prepared to cause trouble in the oil-rich Gulf
region, which is why they will be closely monitoring Iraq," it said.

"If we do anything, Iraq will be hit ... possibly on the scope of 1991," the
daily said in a reference to the Gulf War during which a US-led coalition
expelled Iraqi troops from Kuwait.

"They (Americans) will do this because they will have to, in order to show
they are tough," Babel said, predicting it would be far worse than the three
days of air strikes during December 1998.

Iraq "should prepare for all eventualities, especially since signs have
begun appearing of an intention to drag Iraq's name (into the list of
targets) at the time of their choosing," it added.


Associated Press, 22nd September

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) ‹ Saddam Hussein criticized President Bush on Saturday
for telling nations to choose sides in the coming war against terrorism ‹
saying it was a choice that Iraq has never demanded countries make.

When Iraqis were killed, ``we did not ask the world to be either with us or
with the terror, as America is doing,'' the Iraqi leader told his Cabinet,
in remarks carried on state TV.

``Instead, we thanked those who sympathized with us, without regarding those
who failed to do so as our enemies,'' he said.

Bush told Congress Thursday that nations of the world must decide whether
they are with the United States or with the terrorists.

Hussein accused the U.S. leader of ``treating terrorism with terrorism.''

It was his fourth remark about the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade
Center and the Pentagon. In his first, an open letter to the West, the
leader said Americans should learn through their current pain about the
suffering they've inflicted on others, particularly Iraqis and Palestinians.

Apparently addressing the United States' increasing economic worries,
Hussein said, ``If America deals with the world's peoples in a decent
manner, than its fortunes will be increased and it will face no competition.

``You (Americans) will not be able to achieve stability and security, if you
ride your horses and chase the people,'' he said.

The United States considers Iraq ‹ still under U.S.-supported U.N. sanctions
11 years after the Gulf War ‹ as a state sponsor of terrorism.

The U.S. military campaign now building up strength is expected to target
the Afghanistan base of Osama bin Laden, suspected of masterminding the
attacks on New York and Washington.

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