The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

News, 23-29/9/01 (1)

News, 23-29/9/01 (1)

The News is still centred on the aftermath of the attacks in New York and
Washington, and the question of possible involvement on the part of Iraq,
and possible reprisals whether they are involved or not. The ŒFinger
Pointing at Iraq¹ section is a series of articles arguing for Iraq¹s
involvement, with one surprising, but superficial, exception from the
Israeli secret service. A lot of this is a matter of who met who where but
there is also a new defector (new to me, anyway) with stories of germ
warfare research. In the Supplement (shorter than last week¹s!) I have put
some articles on the general character of US policy; and also on those
countries whose co operation is necessary if Iraq is to get round the
provisions of the Oil for Food Scheme. There is an interesting article on
the problems posed by the enormous stocks of chemical weapons held by the US


*  Alert by Saddam points to Iraq [Œ"He was clearly expecting a massive
attack and it leads you to wonder why." ...¹ Perhaps it was something to do
with newspaper speculation at the time that the increased rate of bombing
raids was building up to a massive attack.]
*  'No Baghdad connection' [according to the chief of Israeli military
intelligence, also downplaying the likelihood of a direct Iraqi strike on
*  Unholy trinity [bin Laden, Iraq and Sudan] in chemical weapons pact
[according to a paper by Yossef Bodansky - date not given - for the US
Congress Task Force on Terrorism and unconventional weapons]
*  Drain the ponds of terror [extract from Jerusalem Post article saying
toppling Saddam would be easy]
*  Was bin Laden working with Iraq? [Laurie Mylroie, who, um, thinks he
probably was]
*  Bite the bullet and target Iraq [William Safire. His argument is largely
centred on the presence of a fundamentalist Islamic movement in the
autonomous Kurdish region which, he says, is supported by Iraq]
*  Washington's hawk [Paul Wolfowitz] trains sights on Iraq [extracts giving
some details on Wolfowitz¹s background]
*  Eyes turn to Iraq in attack on U.S. [More details on the Woolsey/Mylroie
*  1998 Bin Laden meeting with Iraqi intelligence officer investigated
[Meeting in Afghanistan and meeting between Atta and Iraqi intelligence
*  Hotel clue points to an Iraqi connection [Osama bin Laden seen in Baghdad
in 1998]
*  Saddam has germ warfare arsenal, says defecting physicist [ŒDr al Sabiri
(not his real name)¹. Nasty tales. Nasty if they¹re untrue. Nastier if
they¹re true.]


*  Iraq Considers Itself a U.S. Target [Short extracts giving strong
statement against attacking Iraq from the Secretary General of the Arab
*  Iraq warns US against a 'suicidal war sans limits'
*  Saddam says condolences to US would be hypocrisy

AND, IN NEWS, 23-29/9/01 (2)


*  Iraq: Iranian forces use missiles to attack mujahedin near Baghdad [Was
this Œterrorism¹?]
*  Rafsanjani says Iraq is blocking implementation of UN resolution ending
imposed war [and some Iranian responses to Sept 11, including Ayatollah
Khameini: "America does not have the competence to guide a global movement
against terrorism, and...Iran will not participate in any move which is
headed by the United States."]
*  Egyptian- Iraqi telecommunications
*  Israeli jets in Turkey to bombard Iraq
*  4 Alleged Iraqi Spies Reportedly Arrested


*  Iraq urges OPEC not to increase oil output
*  UN to keep tabs on alleged Iraq oil kickbacks [Question of shortening
price setting period still rages]
*  Rilwanu Lukman is OPEC new president [with OPEC reactions to Sept 11
*  War-risk cover hits Iraqi crude competitiveness [Adverse effects of Sept
11 attacks on Iraqi economy]
*  Shaky Foundations: The US in the Middle East [Short extract from
interesting MERIP analysis outlining Iraqi strategy to become an economic
power even under Oil for Food]


*  U.N. Approves $365 Million in Gulf War Reparations [The sorry tale
continues. It includes Palestinians forced to flee Kuwait. By the Iraqis? Or
by the Kuwaitis? And why does the article seem to suggest that there were
only 1,200 Palestinians in Kuwait at the time of the invasion?]


*  Iraq says it fired on US, British warplanes [Raids on Dohuk, Erbil and
Nineveh on Monday]
*  Western Warplanes Hit Iraq Targets-US Spokesman [Raids on Sahban and
Nassiryah, Thursday]


*  Iran's under-20 basketball team arrives in Iraq
*  Thai, Iraqi World Cup campaigns end


*  Fearing strike, Iraq dismantles refineries, rations fuel [Economic
effects of Iraqi security measures on the Kurdish autonomous zone]
*  PUK Kicks Islamic From Halabja , Iran Interferes


by Jessica Berry in Jerusalem, Philip Sherwell and David Wastell in
Daily Telegraph, 23rd September

Saddam Hussein put his troops on their highest military alert since the Gulf
war two weeks before the suicide attacks on America in the strongest
indication yet that the Iraqi dictator knew an atrocity was planned.

Since the attacks, The Telegraph has learnt that the Iraqi leader had been
providing al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden's terrorist network, with funding,
logistical back-up and advanced weapons training. His operations reached a
"frantic pace" in the past few months, according to Western intelligence

Saddam has remained out of the public eye in his network of bunkers since
the military alert at the end of August and moved his two wives, Sajida and
Samira, away from the presidential palaces in Baghdad to Tikrit, his home
town 100 miles to the north.

The CIA also claims to have proof that bin Laden aides were in contact with
Iraqi intelligence in the days before the New York outrage. One intelligence
official said that there had been nothing obvious to warrant Saddam's
declaration of "Alert G", Iraq's highest state of readiness. "He was clearly
expecting a massive attack and it leads you to wonder why," he said.

The CIA is understood to have evidence that Mohammed Atta, one of the
suicide bombers, met an Iraqi intelligence officer earlier this year in
Prague. Further evidence of Iraqi complicity emerged last week. In the past
four months at least three high-ranking Iraqi intelligence officials - among
them Hassan Ezba Thalaj, a veteran officer with a reputation for
ruthlessness - have visited Pakistan to meet representatives of al-Qaeda.
Previous visitors have taken large sums of money with them, including Ahmed
al Jafari, a senior Baghdad intelligence officer who took £420,000 18 months
ago. Other funds have been forwarded via banks in Lebanon.

The "operational brains" behind the September 11 attack have been named by
an Israeli intelligence official as Imad Mugniyeh, the head of special
overseas operations for Hizbollah, and Ayman al Zawahri, an Egyptian and a
senior figure in al-Qaeda. The official quoted by Jane's, the military
journal, said they "were probably financed and got some logistical support
from the Iraqi intelligence service".

Zawahri was indicted in New York in 1999 in connection with the 1998
bombings of the United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, attacks
blamed on bin Laden. Mugniyeh organised anti-American attacks in Lebanon in
the 1980s, including the suicide lorry bombing of the Marine barracks in
Beirut in 1983, and led a network of kidnappers who held dozens of
Westerners hostage.

Although the US is understood to have found no hard evidence linking Baghdad
directly to the kamikaze attacks, hardliners in the Bush administration are
pushing for Iraq to be targeted in the war on terrorism.

Colin Powell, the Secretary of State, has argued, however,that taking on
Saddam immediately could "wreck" the coalition by driving away Arab
countries whose support will be needed.

Saddam has a long track record of hosting terrorists and running guerrilla
training camps. Khidhir Hamza, the Iraqi scientist who headed Saddam's
nuclear bomb-making programme until he defected to America in 1994, said it
was "highly possible" that the Iraqi regime played an indirect role in last
week's attack through support and training for the hijackers.

"Saddam has an intelligence network which knows its way around the world,"
he said. "Nobody else in the region has such a sophisticated and
well-financed network."

In a further development, Iraqi exiles have learnt from contacts in Baghdad
that 58 young pilots, handpicked for their loyalty to the regime, underwent
a rigorous three-month suicide mission course in 1999. The training took
place at two separate airbases in Iraq.

Daily Star (Bangladesh), 24th September

Reuters, Jerusalem: The chief of Israeli military intelligence said in an
interview published yesterday he saw no signs that Iraq was involved in the
September 11 attacks in the United States.

"I don't see a direct link between Iraq and the hijackings and terror
attacks in the United States," Major-General Amos Malka, concurring with US
assessments, told Israel's Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.

"I know many people are wondering whether this kind of attack could be
carried out without the help of a country and they immediately point at Iraq
or Iran," Malka said.

"But as far as intelligence is concerned, I cannot point at the moment to a
connection. There is no Iraqi angle or infrastructure that we can point to
at this stage."

Last week, a US intelligence office, asked how strong the evidence was that
Iraq was behind the attacks against the World Trade Center in New York and
the Pentagon in Washington, said: "Not very, at this time. We're still
looking but not very."


In the interview, Malka said there was no reason for Israelis to panic "and
run to refresh their gas mask kits."

He forecast that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein would target Israel only as
a last resort and would be wary of exposing now "what he has tried to hide
for the past 10 years," a reference to Scud missiles and launchers.

"But if he feels that the noose is tightening around his neck, he might take
steps that would put us in the picture," Malka said.,5936,2919891%255E9

by Chris Griffith
Courrier/Mail (Australia), 24th September

AS intelligence services try to prove who was behind the New York and
Washington attacks, the evidence is mounting that a secret pact was forged
between Osama bin Laden, Iraq and Sudan to wage a terrorist war against the
The pact, forged in 1998, led to Iraqi experts helping to build a chemical
weapons factory especially for bin Laden's terrorists in Sudan and bin Laden
and Saddam Hussein's Iraq co operating to build several others.

In a paper for the US Congress's Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional
Warfare, its chairman Yossef Bodansky said the chemical weapons factory, in
Soba, south-west of Sudan's capital Khartoum, was built with Iraqi know-how
for Islamic terrorists affiliated mainly with bin Laden.

Bodansky's paper shows a growing brashness of Iraqi involvement in
developing chemical weapons for terrorism in Sudan away from the prying eyes
of US planes patrolling the no fly zone in Iraq. It cites two other
ultra-modern chemical weapons factories built in Sudan with Iraq expertise.

One, at Kafuri, houses laboratories developing chemical weapons, nerve
agents and biological weapons, while another in the Mayu area has production
lines for warheads, bombs and canisters utilising chemical agents. They were
built three years ago.

Iraq and bin Laden both separately forged links with Sudan, in north Africa,
a decade ago.

The Iraqi-Sudanese co-operation began during the 1990 Gulf War when Iraq
sent guns equipped with chemical shells, SCUD-B launchers and missiles to
Sudan to strike Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

The fact these SCUDs originated from Iraq was confirmed in the mid-1990s
when the Russians, after being asked to fix them, recognised the serial
numbers were from missiles sold to Iraq.

After the Gulf war, Iraq needed to protect its chemical weapons development
from US forces patrolling the Gulf.

This escalated in 1997 when Iraq moved weapons it had stored in Yemen to
Sudan, and in the same year, weapons of mass destruction.

Bin Laden's involvement with Sudan began in 1991 after he was expelled from
Saudi Arabia for his anti-government activities. He spent five years living
in Sudan building a complex web of business and financial interests before
returning to Afghanistan.

Intelligence reports claim the secret pact between Sudan, Iraq and bin Laden
was made in October 1998 and there are numerous reports of meetings between
bin Laden and Iraqi officials since.

Some of this evidence emerged in early 1999, when the Paris-based Arab
language newspaper Al Watan Al Arabi reported that western diplomatic and
security sources had warned in secret reports that Iraq, Sudan and bin Laden
were co-operating to build several chemical and germ weapons factories in
Sudan financed by bin Laden and supervised by Iraqi experts and technicians.

It said the Baghdad-Khartoum-bin Laden deal was regarded as the biggest act
of co ordination between extremist Islamic organisations and Baghdad "for
confronting the US, the common enemy".

Late in 1998, Italian paper Corriere della Sera reported: "Saddam Hussein
and Osama bin Laden have sealed a pact."

Jerusalem Post, 25th September


But in the unlikely event that Saddam had no role in this latest attack, he
is certainly no less worthy of removal than he was before September 11.
Saddam had to go even before this, because he is openly defying the UN
Security Council's efforts to disarm him of weapons of mass destruction and
therefore poses a terrorist threat much greater than Osama bin Laden. Saddam
is busy building a nuclear, biological, and chemical umbrella for terrorism.
Most importantly, Saddam is much weaker than he is made out to be. He
already does not control the "no-fly" zones maintained by the US and
Britain. With considerably less force than was employed during the Gulf War,
the US could help the Iraqi National Congress take over most of Iraq and
recognize it as the legitimate provisional government.

Within a short time, most of Iraq's military would defect to the opposition,
and Saddam would effectively be transformed into the mayor of Baghdad. Most
of his much vaunted missile sites would be out of his control, and he would
be too busy fighting for his life to continue his race to rearm. The US and
the Iraqi opposition would both commit to keeping Iraq whole and to holding
free elections to determine Iraq's new government.


by Laurie Mylroie
Boston Globe, 25th september

AS THE UNITED STATES prepares to fight Osama bin Laden, the enemy in this
new war against terrorism is disturbingly ill-defined. Above all, a critical
question has not been addressed: Was bin Laden alone responsible for the
carnage that occurred on Sept. 11, or was he working with an enemy state,
namely Iraq?

As Rafael Eitan, former head of Israel's Mossad, stated, ''I have no doubt
whatsoever that the mastermind of this atrocity is none other than the Iraqi
dictator.'' Former CIA director Jim Woolsey has also fingered Iraq, and
senior officials in the Pentagon agree.

Yet the Bush administration has adopted the position that it is not
necessary to address that issue now. It will take care of bin Laden in the
first phase of this war and deal with the possibility of state involvement

That could be quite dangerous, however. This month's terrible assault should
have made clear that the United States faces a resourceful and ingenious
foe. We have to be equally clever. And we do not know if those behind the
earlier terrorism intend more.

Authorities are jittery. Most ominously, one airplane hijacker and a number
of unidentified Middle Eastern men visited airfields over the past months
asking questions about crop dusters. The planes could be used to disseminate
biological agents and produce casualties on a far greater scale than the
horrific attacks we have already seen.

If Iraq was involved in this month's terrorist assaults, might Saddam
actually want the United States to fight bin Laden? Once the battle in
Afghanistan commences, and if another terrible terrorist assault occurs,
won't we interpret it in that context? Aren't we then likely to redouble our
campaign against bin Laden and forget ever more about Saddam? Won't he then
have license to kill even more Americans, because each time an attack
occurs, we blame it on bin Laden and his ilk?

Indeed, the war we are about to fight contradicts the principles under which
the United States fought the Gulf War a decade ago. Then, there was great
emphasis on being clear in our objectives and in the means to achieve them.
Presently, it is the opposite: Let's get bin Laden, and then we'll worry
about what comes next.''

Military commanders have to make decisions on the basis of imperfect
knowledge. To wait for certainty about a situation may be to invite defeat.
That is also relevant to responding to the recent terrorism. A widespread
misunderstanding exists about the FBI investigation and the evidence it will
produce at this early stage of the inquiry. Investigations into major
terrorist attacks are invariably long, tedious affairs. It took two years to
determine that Libya was behind the 1988 bombing of Pam Am 103.

If Iraq was involved in the recent assaults, the FBI is not likely to have
evidence for a long time. Should we then do nothing?

A decade ago, we would have recognized that a state was behind the latest
assaults, even if that state might work with a ''group'' to provide
deniability. The dominant understanding then was that only states had the
capability to carry out major terrorist attacks. Following any such attack,
the experts would speculate about which terrorist state was most likely to
have been responsible. That speculation was based on an understanding of
current politics, not on the FBI investigation, which does not produce
results quickly enough to inform the conduct of national security affairs.

Yet this view was lost during the Clinton years. Bill Clinton treated
terrorism as a law enforcement problem, with the emphasis on arresting
perpetrators and bringing them to justice. The role of states was virtually

If we could recover our understanding of a decade ago, we would recognize
that only a state had the ability to organize, plan, and provide the
intelligence and logistics to carry out the most devastating terrorist
assault in history. Then we would ask which state might have done it, and
only one would come to mind: Iraq.

The United States is still at war with Iraq. We bomb Iraq on a regular basis
and maintain an economic siege that is itself the product of a war. Saddam
attacks us through terrorism, thinly veiling Iraq's role by working with
others. The Clinton administration, however, did not want to recognize that,
and this month's events were the tragic consequence.

Laurie Mylroie, who was an adviser on Iraq to the 1992 Clinton presidential
campaign, is author of ''Study of Revenge: Saddam Hussein's unfinished war
against America.'',3604,557612,00.html

by William Safire in Washington
The Guardian, 25th September

"We're looking for links" between Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist group
and Iraq's Saddam Hussein, said Colin Powell yesterday. So far, the US
secretary of state can see "no clear link" between Bin Laden's forces in
Afghanistan and the America-hater publicly laughing at our grief in Baghdad.

Powell does not want to acknowledge any evidence of sponsorship of Bin Laden
by Iraq because that would demand a crushing blow at an Arab state. It might
limit the diplomatic convoy of consensus he is assembling, which will travel
at the rate of its most grudging member.

The clear link between the terrorist in hiding and the terrorist in power
can be found in Kurdistan, that northern portion of Iraq protected by US and
British aircraft from Saddam's savagery.

Kurdish sources tell me (and anyone else who will listen) that the Iraqi
dictator has armed and financed a fifth column of al-Qaida mullahs and
terrorists that calls itself the Jund al Islam ("Soldiers of Islam"). Its
purposes are to assassinate the leaders of free Kurdistan, to sabotage the
relief efforts of the UN and to whip up religious fervor in that free Muslim
region. That is how Saddam plans to reconquer the no-flight zone that has
been a thorn in his side for a decade.

According to a key member of the Kurdish resistance reached by cellphone in
Suleymaniyah, some 400 "Arab Afghan" mercenaries armed with Katyusha rockets
transported by Toyota Land Cruisers, have been infiltrated into the
liberated region by Saddam's secret intelligence force, the Mukhabarat. They
have already murdered a high Kurdish official as well as a Muslim scholar
who dared to interpret the Koran humanely. This current, direct threat by
Muslim fanatics doing Saddam's bidding is uniting the two squabbling
democratic parties in the free zone. These Kurds are not Arabs or
anti-Turkish terrorists. Nor are they pseudo religious extremists
humiliating women and moderates; on the contrary, the Muslim faith practised
in northern Iraq has long been marked by tolerance.

That brings us to the strategic decision now being debated in President
Bush's war council. Do we respond to our initial, catastrophic defeat in a
wholly multilateral way? That would mean seeking intelligence crumbs from
Saudi and Egyptian potentates, negotiating cautious UN resolutions,
hunkering down to limit the damage of suicide bombers, and beginning a
phased air and ground assault on Bin Laden's "base" in Afghanistan to be
followed up with joint police work for years around the world. It would
fight yesterday's terrorist war.

Or do we recognise now the greater danger of germ warfare or nuclear attack
from a proven terrorist nation, and couple expected retribution for this
month's attack with a strategy of pre-emptive retaliation? Such use of our
superpower need not require our "going it alone"; civilised nations unafraid
of internal revolt will understand the threat to their citizens and stand
with us.

Iraqi scientists today working feverishly in hidden biological laboratories
and underground nuclear facilities would, if undisturbed, enable the
hate-driven, power-crazed Saddam to kill millions. That capability would
transform him from a boxed-in bully into a rampant world power.

It's troubling when Powell says that President Bush "has not worked out what
he might do in later stages". Now is the time to work out how to strike down
terrorism's boss of all bosses. "Later" may be a stage too late.,3604,558234,00.html

by Julian Borger in Washington
The Guardian, 26th September


Three days after the attack, Mr Wolfowitz described the US military mission
to journalists as follows: "It's not just a matter of capturing people and
holding them accountable, but removing the sanctuaries, removing the support
systems, ending states who sponsor terrorism."

Foreign policy specialists who heard those remarks had few doubts over which
state the 57 year-old military strategist wanted to end. As a Pentagon
official in the first Bush administration, he pressed for US-led troops to
pursue the routed Iraqi forces all the way to Baghdad and topple Saddam

During the Clinton years, as the Dean of the School of Advanced
International Studies (SAIS) of Johns Hopkins University, he advocated
military intervention in Bosnia and Kosovo. He also pressed his argument
that not only was Saddam a suspected sponsor of terrorism, he was also
likely to be a willing supplier of weapons of mass destruction (WMD in
Washington parlance).


His comments triggered a rare open debate inside the rigidly disciplined
Bush administration. The secretary of state, Colin Powell, hardly bothered
to veil his contempt for Mr Wolfowitz's "ending states" suggestion.

"I think 'ending terrorism' is where I would leave it and let Mr Wolfowitz
speak for himself," Mr Powell told reporters.


Mr Wolfowitz's mindset was honed at the University of Chicago, where the
mathematician's son was the protege of Albert Wohlstetter, the father of
hardline conservative strategic thinking. The pupil became a leading Cold
Warrior in his own right. At one point during the Soviet Union's collapse,
he advocated using US troops to guarantee Lithuanian territory against
Russian invasion.


by Dan Fesperman and Michael James
Baltimore Sun, 27th September


Even without discovery of a strong link, the recent attack's echoes of the
1993 bombing and other plots have been striking to Mylroie and Woolsey. To
them, the four simultaneous hijackings and attacks on the World Trade Center
and Pentagon represent the next logical escalation in the plans of Yousef,
the terrorist who directed the 1993 bombing and is now imprisoned.

Yousef's intent in 1993, Mylroie said, was to send one tower toppling into
the other, collapsing both in a poisonous haze of cyanide gas that would
kill thousands more. The collapse did not occur, and the cyanide burned up
in the heat of the explosion, but Yousef wasn't done. He planned another
ambitious attack for early 1995 that never materialized - the simultaneous
bombing of 11 U.S. commercial airliners while crashing another plane into
CIA headquarters in Northern Virginia.

Yousef was not just any operative. Mylroie argues in a detailed chronology
of curious events that he was actually an Iraqi intelligence agent operating
under a stolen identity - a "legend" created for him during Iraq's military
occupation of Kuwait.

But addressing Iraq's possible links to the Sept. 11 attacks will be more
complicated than simply pursuing leads, mostly because the Bush
administration is trying to build support in the Arab and Muslim world for
an anti-terrorism coalition. The populations of many Arab nations sympathize
with Iraq, believing that the United States has bullied the country with
economic sanctions and periodic airstrikes since the end of the Persian Gulf
war in 1991.

Mylroie argues that Iraq has never stopped fighting the war and that
Hussein's chief means of striking back has been terrorism. The foundation of
that contention is spelled out in her year-old book Study of Revenge.

Mylroie dug through government evidence from the trials in the 1993 bombing
case, including much that was never presented in court. She established a
trail of phone records and false identities that she says leads directly to

She says that one of the men indicted in the 1993 bombing plot, Abdul Rahman
Yasin, who fled after the explosion and is still at large, is believed to be
living in Baghdad and is an employee of the Iraqi government. She notes that
the date of the attack, Feb. 26, was the second anniversary of the end of
the gulf war.

But perhaps her most intriguing information concerns the mastermind Yousef.
Known in New York Islamic circles as "Ramzi the Iraqi," Yousef left the
United States shortly after the bombing, traveling on a Pakistani passport
under the name Abdul Basit Karim, with an address in Kuwait.

Karim was a real person, Mylroie concluded, with a file at Kuwait's Ministry
of the Interior. But she said his file had been tampered with, citing a
notation from Aug. 26, 1990, which stated that he and his family had left
the country for Pakistani Baluchistan, via Iraq and Iran.

The date of the notation was during Iraq's occupation of Kuwait. Friends of
Karim's described him as being shorter and thinner, and with different
facial features, yet the fingerprints contained in the file matched

Mylroie concludes that Iraqi authorities killed Karim during their
occupation of Kuwait, then doctored his file in order to steal his identity
for their agent, to hide his Iraqi ties. Yousef, who was later captured in
Pakistan and convicted for his role, is now in federal prison, where he has
reportedly said little to authorities since Sept. 11.

Missing the big picture

The FBI never looked into Yousef's possible connections to Iraq, despite
early suspicions of Iraqi involvement by the bureau's initial chief
investigator, the late James Fox. Mylroie said the Justice Department was
more interested in obtaining enough evidence to secure convictions of those
indicted in the case.

Paul Bracken, a terrorism expert and a professor at Yale University's School
of Management and Political Science, said that is the typical course, and
because of that, U.S. anti-terrorist investigations have historically
"missed the big picture."

"A foreign policy motive is not high on prosecutors' lists," Bracken said.

The FBI compounded the error by not sharing its findings with U.S.
intelligence services, Mylroie said.

That, too, is a common occurrence when government agencies are operating on
the same turf, according to Andrew C. White, a former assistant U.S.
attorney in Baltimore. And no agency guards its findings more closely than
the FBI, said White, who handled several international cases.


In addition, news accounts describing several of the hijackers' drinking and
gambling habits don't square with the usual abstemious lifestyle of a
fundamentalist Muslim, the sort that supposedly dominates bin Laden's
far-flung networks. Yousef, too, was noted for having a taste for the
nightlife while he lived in the Philippines shortly before the 1993 attack.

This week, Richard Miniter of The Wall Street Journal Europe offered a
compilation of recent news reports of further intriguing tidbits - a London
Daily Telegraph report of warnings relayed to the United States in August by
Israeli intelligence of an imminent large-scale attack with "strong grounds
for suspecting Iraqi involvement"; a report in Canada's National Post that
bin Laden had set up training camps in Iraq in 1997; a report in London's
The Guardian that Farouk Hijazi, a senior Iraqi intelligence officer, had
met in December 1998 with bin Laden, possibly offering him asylum; and a
Washington Post report citing U.S. intelligence sources, who said Iraqi
intelligence agents had been in contact with bin Laden in the days leading
up to Sept. 11.


by John J. Lumpkin
Salon, 27th September

A 1998 meeting between Osama bin Laden and a senior Iraqi intelligence
officer in Afghanistan is coming under new scrutiny as U.S. officials search
for clues of a state sponsor of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Farouk Hijazi, an Iraqi intelligence officer who is Iraq's ambassador to
Turkey, met with bin Laden in Kandahar, a region in southeastern Afghanistan
where bin Laden is known to have training camps, a U.S. official said
Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity. It is not known what was
discussed at the December 1998 meeting.

An Iraqi diplomat, also speaking on condition of anonymity, denied reports
that Hijazi had met with bin Laden. Turkish intelligence officials would not
immediately comment on the reports.

Vice President Dick Cheney said Sunday there was no evidence to link Iraqi
President Saddam Hussein to the attacks by suicide hijackers on the World
Trade Center and the Pentagon.

A second U.S. official said that investigators and intelligence agencies
have no hard evidence linking any country to the attacks, and all
indications are that bin Laden's al Qaida terrorist network was responsible.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity.

The meeting between Hijazi and bin Laden is the second known link between
Iraqi intelligence and those suspected in the hijackings.

One of the suspected hijackers, Mohamed Atta, believed aboard one of two
planes that slammed into the World Trade Center, met in April with an Iraqi
intelligence agent in Europe, officials said.

Atta also apparently had dealings with a German import-export firm that has
been tied to bin Laden's finance chief, officials said Wednesday.


Ahmed Chalabi, leader of the anti-Saddam Iraqi National Congress, is among
those who contend that the Iraqi president supported the attacks. Chalabi
said ties between Saddam and bin Laden date back to the early 1990s, when
bin Laden lived in Sudan. Bin Laden was later expelled.

"We believe that Saddam sees the (al-Qaida) network as a great avenue to
take revenge on the United States," Chalabi said.

by Tom Walker
Sunday Times, 30th September

A CHANCE encounter in a Baghdad hotel may have provided a clue for
investigators trying to establish whether Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi
dictator, was in contact with Osama Bin Laden in the months before the
suicide bomb attacks on American embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam
three years ago.

Giovanni Di Stefano, a controversial lawyer who was the business partner of
the late Serbian warlord Arkan, has described how he met Bin Laden - now the
world's most wanted man but then a relatively unknown figure - in the lobby
of the five-star Al-Rashid hotel while negotiating a contract to represent
Iraqi Airlines in Yugoslavia and Italy.

If true, his account could strengthen the view of Washington hawks that Iraq
had a hand in the embassy bombings and the September 11 attacks on the World
Trade Center and the Pentagon, and that Saddam's regime should be targeted
for retaliation.

However, Di Stefano's claim has divided intelligence sources and academics:
some say Bin Laden was plotting strikes against American targets with
Saddam, while others insist he would not have been welcome in Iraq.

Di Stefano said that in March 1998 - five months before the embassy bombings
- he entered the state-run hotel with Tariq Aziz, the Iraqi foreign
minister, and was sitting in the lobby with a business associate.

Richard Butler, the chief United Nations weapons inspector, had just walked
past when they overheard someone sitting nearby say: "That is a man who
brings death to this country."

Di Stefano said he looked over and saw a slightly built man sipping Evian
water. "I said we also had our victims to cry over in Yugoslavia," Di
Stefano recalled. "He walked over, and I remember his piercing eyes and
handshake. His skin was gentle and soft, like a woman's hand."

The two men made polite conversation, and the stranger introduced himself as
Osama Bin Laden, a name that meant nothing to Di Stefano at the time. "He
seemed kind: he talked about a family feast for his children and asked me
about law," Di Stefano said. "He seemed a gentle man, although his eye
movements were a little strange."

It was only on his return to Belgrade in late March that Di Stefano realised
whose hand he had fleetingly grasped. "Arkan told me I should have killed
him," he said.

Laurie Mylroie, the author of Study of Revenge: Saddam Hussein's Unfinished
War against America, which highlights a series of links with Bin Laden, said
the lawyer's story was plausible. "Bin Laden's not capable of doing this
stuff without foreign intelligence, and that comes from Iraq. He can't do it
wasting away in the Hindu Kush," she said. "It all fits in. It's
circumstantial, but there are strong grounds to believe the plot was already
under way."

Although hawks in the Bush administration suspect that Iraq was involved in
the jet attacks, Colin Powell, the secretary of state, has resisted calls
for air strikes against Baghdad.

"The Americans have only ever hinted at Iraq giving material support for Bin
Laden, but they have never produced the evidence," said Professor Paul
Wilkinson, of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence
at St Andrews University.

"It's quite possible Bin Laden was in Iraq. There are differences between
them but that doesn't mean you can exclude contact when they both hate
America so much."

Peter Bergen, whose biography of Bin Laden is to be published shortly, said

Stefano's supposed sighting failed "every common sense test". He believes
ideological conflicts between Bin Laden and Saddam would prevent them
conspiring together.

The relationship between Butler, who arrived in Baghdad on March 22 1998,
and the Iraqi regime deteriorated.

The Iraqis repeatedly denounced America, although they have always denied
any links to Bin Laden.

On August 4 Butler cut short a visit to Baghdad, and three days later
explosions at the American embassies in the Kenyan and Tanzanian cities
claimed 224 lives. Bin Laden has been indicted by Washington for the

Di Stefano has maintained his contacts with Saddam's regime, but says has no
idea why Bin Laden should have been in the Al-Rashid in 1998. "I don't know
and I won't speculate," he said.

by Jessica Berry in Beirut
Sunday Telegraph, 30th September

SADDAM HUSSEIN has directed his top scientists to work exclusively on
expanding his chemical and biological weapons arsenal, one of the regime's
former senior scientists has told The Telegraph.

He said Saddam has ordered the nuclear weapons programme to be shelved
because it had proved too expensive. The disclosures by the nuclear
physicist, a recent Iraqi defector, will add to the alarm of Western leaders
who last week issued a warning of the prospect of chemical attacks on
European and American targets.

Military experts said Saddam's decision could have been linked to the
attacks on New York's World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, which
investigators believe were planned years in advance.

Over the past six months about 3,000 physicists and chemists have been
working flat out on secret programmes to develop both toxins and the means
to deploy them to lethal effect, according to Dr al Sabiri (not his real

The scientist formerly worked at the Atomic Energy Organisation in Baghdad,
but defected because of his growing horror of the regime. "I created death
in Iraq. I had to get out," he said. Details of Dr al Sabiri's defection
cannot be revealed because of fears for his safety.

"I was asked to examine hundreds of complicated and dangerous toxins," he
said. "They were very easy to use to create germs. You could put them in
water or steam, throw them in the air or use them in the soil. We developed
nerve gas, botulism and anthrax.

"One day a light green yellow substance, which was crystallised and packed
in tins, arrived. Suddenly intelligence men came in and rushed it away. I
later found out they were working on some secret project."

All these substances were tested on Iraqi prisoners, mainly Kurds and
Shi'ites in Radwania jail, in west Baghdad. The projects are headed by Prof
Shaher Mahmoud al Jibouri, a chemist and secret service agent. Senior
Western intelligence officers confirmed the experimentation on prisoners.

"Between April and May this year, 30 prisoners died after being used in
experiments," said one. Earlier this month The Telegraph revealed that at
least 20 Iraqi soldiers had died and about 200 were injured after a chemical
weapons training exercise had gone wrong.

Dr al Sabiri spent five years in the organisation's Neutron Analysis and
Activation Department. Scientists, paid about £10 a month, worked
exclusively on analysing substances, mostly imported, in order to copy and
produce more. Using a small nuclear reactor, they are able to establish the
exact composition of a substance.

There was a shortage of material, which was why he was told to copy the
samples that he was given. At one stage he was asked to reproduce a wax,
crucial for use in firing ballistic missiles. This he did with the help of
several Bulgarian scientists. "Ballistic missiles," he said, "is just one
method they want to use to spread the poisons."

More importantly, he said, the regime is currently working on adapting 12
pilotless aircraft, last used in the Iran-Iraq war during the 1980s.
"Engineers are now working on developing their range. So far they have
managed a range of 700 miles," he said.

"The planes could easily reach Israel, Iran, Turkey or Saudi Arabia. The
idea is to use them to deploy the toxins." Most of the parts, he added, were

A senior Western intelligence officer said last night that at least 30 front
companies, mainly pharmaceutical firms, are under investigation for
supplying Iraq. They are based in Italy, Thailand, the Philippines and the
United Arab Emirates. The companies cannot be named for legal reasons.

The defector's disclosures refute comments by Tariq Aziz, Iraqi deputy prime
minister, who last week denied that the regime had any biological weapons.
Last week Paul Wolfowitz, the United States deputy defence secretary, told
Nato colleagues of "the alarming coincidence between states that harbour
international terrorists and those states that have active, maturing
programmes of WMD [weapons of mass destruction]."

American hardliners are said to be keen to attack Iraq as soon as possible,
and believe that aerial bombardment is sufficient. British defence advisers,
however, have warned Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, against this.

It is unwise, they say, while there is no suitable successor to Saddam. One
intelligence official added: "The other problem is, we have no idea where
Saddam is."


Associated Press, 23rd September


In Jordan, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said Arab countries were
opposed to any strikes against Iraq.

He said such an attack would ``topple the balance of power'' in the region,
and that the U.S. quest to combat terrorism had to be carried out in
consultation with Arab countries.


``We are confident that America is heading to its end,'' Ramadan said.

Daily Star (Bangla Desh), 25th September

AFP, Baghdad: Iraqi newspapers warned the United States on Monday against
pitching itself and the rest of the world into a suicidal war "without
limits" that will have serious socio-economic consequences.

"Everything indicates that America, with its eyes shut, is heading towards
the unknown by launching itself into a suicidal war without limits," said
Ath-Thawra, mouthpiece of the ruling Baath party.

"It seems Washington has nervously and hysterically fallen into the trap set
for it by succumbing to internal and foreign pressures pushing it to involve
itself in conflicts and confrontations without limits with several parties,"
Ath-Thawra said.

Babel, run by President Saddam Hussein's elder son, Uday, said the
"Americans, and behind them, the Zionists, are working with all their might
to transform this defeat (the attacks) into a victory, without considering
the serious consequences of its action."

"These criminals resort to the language of blood, murder and terrorism while
trying to make the world believe that they want to fight these methods," it

"It is not in the interests of any of the world's countries, with the
exception of the Zionist entity, to join up with a hateful and racist US
camp and blow up the world.

Gulf News, 27th September

Baghdad (Reuters): Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said yesterday he would be
a hypocrite if he had sent condolences to the United States over the
September 11 suicide attacks on Washington and New York. "(U.S. President
George) Bush wants us to condole with him," Iraqi television quoted Saddam
as telling a visiting envoy of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"If I had done so, then I would not have respected my Bush is
the president of a state which launches war on us and bombs us in a
despicable terrorist way," he said. A U.S.-led coalition bombed Iraq heavily
during the 1991 Gulf War.

Iraqi targets still come under attack by Western planes policing two
"no-fly" zones in the north and south of the country.

"This would be a hypocrisy if I had send condolences to its president, and
we are not hypocrites," he said.

Iraq has not publicly condemned the devastating attacks, but Saddam's senior
aide, Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz, sent letters of condolences to a
U.S. group opposed to sanctions on Iraq, and to former U.S. attorney general
Ramsey Clark who Saddam said had come "to console us for the calamities
afflicted by America on us".


This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq
For removal from list, email
CASI's website - - includes an archive of all postings.

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]