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Report: Iraq Document Details Bin Laden Contacts

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Iraqi intelligence agents contacted Osama bin Laden (news - web sites) when he was in Sudan in the mid-1990s as part of an effort by Baghdad to work with foes of the Saudi ruling family, The New York Times reported on Friday, citing a newly disclosed document.

U.S. officials described the document as an internal Iraqi intelligence report detailing efforts to seek cooperation with several Saudi opposition groups, the newspaper said.

The contacts described in the report came before bin Laden's al Qaeda organization had become a full-fledged terrorist group, the Times said.

The document states that Iraq (news - web sites) agreed to rebroadcast anti-Saudi propaganda, and that a request from bin Laden to begin joint operations against foreign forces in Saudi Arabia went unanswered, the newspaper said. There was no further indication of collaboration, the Times said.

President Bush (news - web sites) insists that ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) had a dangerous relationship with al Qaeda.

But the bipartisan commission probing the Sept. 11 attacks has said there was no evidence of a "collaborative relationship" even though there were contacts between Iraqis and al Qaeda, including a Sudan meeting between bin Laden and Iraqi intelligence officers.

The newspaper said the newly released document was obtained from the Iraqi National Congress as part of a trove that the exile group gathered after Saddam was toppled last year. Some of the intelligence provided by the group has been discredited.

A U.S. government task force studied the document and concluded it appeared authentic, the newspaper said.

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Guest endymion

The more that I see about the ties between the Bush family and the Saudis, the more it makes me think how silly it is that Saddam would work directly with bin Laden.

We already know that he was opposed to working directly with Islamist fundamentalists in general because he needed to repress their influence to maintain his hold on power. Now aside from that why would he go out before 9/11/2001 and work closely with bin Laden? From Saddam's point of view at that time bin Laden was tainted by connections to Bush and could not be trusted. Bin Laden's Saudi origins and family ties and ties to the US-backed Mujahedeen in Afghanistan would have made Osama look like a potential US spy to Saddam. The more I read the more it looks like that's what Saddam was thinking.

Just a thought...

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just a thought...

when two people share the same enemies or goals...dont u think they would help each other? didnt Abu Musab al-Zarqawi get medical attention in Iraq after losing his leg fighting the Americans in Afghan?

just a thought...

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Guest endymion

The US, Iraq and the Mujahedeed all were on the same side not too long ago. Saddam was very paranoid and suspicious of peoples' loyalties. Saddam turns on the US, is he to assume that the Mujahedeen have also turned on the US or is he going to consider them suspect because they are not only Islamic fundamentalists but also because they are financed by the Americans?

Saddam's #1 priority was maintaining power, partly by defending against infiltration by US-backed CIA operatives (bin Laden would have been a suspect) and Islamic fundamentalists (bin Laden was that). Screwing with the US was way further down on Saddam's priority list.

If he did find the spare time to put some effort into screwing with the US then Saddam would have done it using people who he knew that he could trust. That means his own people, he was notoriously paranoid about using his people for everything he did. According to Putin, that's exactly what Saddam was doing. Using his own special forces against US interests, not putting his rare trust into a potential threat to his regime.

This 'alliance' between Saddam and Osama that Bush tells us was there because he says so, is not materializing and it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense in the first place.

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This 'alliance' between Saddam and Osama that Bush tells us was there because he says so, is not materializing and it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense in the first place.

eh...i think a tie does exist..one way or the other...if u have plan that can work and it involves ur enemies...why not help another Muslim? i guess THIS is truly a matter of opinion and will be dated for years to come...

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Guest endymion

if u have plan that can work and it involves ur enemies...why not help another Muslim?

That theory might work except that the assumption that Saddam saw himself and Osama as sharing a common enemy is not necessarily correct.

Saddam's list of threats and potential enemies included both fundamentalist Muslims and CIA operatives.

Osama bin Laden was known to be both.

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Saddam's list of threats and potential enemies included both fundamentalist Muslims and CIA operatives.

Osama bin Laden was known to be both.

an ex CIA op' that could strike the US..ur Saddam and u DONT take a chance on this? ever hear of Salman Pak?

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Guest endymion

Seems to me that he couldn't risk showing weakness to the fundamentalists, especially considering that he knew that he was bluffing about the WMD. We didn't know that at the time but he sure did.

People don't get why he would bluff WMD like that. He wasn't bluffing to us, he was bluffing to the fundamentalists and the Iranians. He so desperately had to maintain that bluff to stay in power that he had to keep upping the ante as the Americans pressed the issue.

So going out and asking a fundamentalist for help in attacking the US when you're bluffing to the region that you are in a position of such strength that even the Americans are afraid of you, that just doesn't make sense. Chewbacka story.

And Saleen, there are enough big goofy Americans pointing at Arab penises and laughing already. Doesn't seem to be helping the situation.

I remind you that you are the one who touted the Putin statement that Saddam was planning his aggression against us using his own special forces, not through Islamist fundamentalist alliances. I also point out that this document in this threat describes Saddam contacting a group in opposition of the Saudi government (an equivalent of the CIA cooperation with the Iraqi National Congress) and not a terrorist organization. It describes Saddam later blowing off an offer from a weirdo crackpot cult freak. According to Putin he then put his effort into his own special forces attacks on US interests. This is all information from you guys who support Bush. This is the best that you can dig up.

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Guest deruk1

I may not write much on here but, I have noticed that the only terror attack anyone knows anything about is 9/11.

And if you want to talk about cia.

Maybe you should look into Sadams buddies in the 80s.

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Guest endymion

If the link between Saddam and Al Qaeda was in Salman Pak and if Bush desperately needs to prove a link, then why did US forces immediately destroy the place?

Interesting reading but that's not going to convince anybody, sorry. This looks a lot more like Saddam working out his own tactics with his own special forces people.

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If the link between Saddam and Al Qaeda was in Salman Pak and if Bush desperately needs to prove a link, then why did US forces immediately destroy the place?

Interesting reading but that's not going to convince anybody, sorry. This looks a lot more like Saddam working out his own tactics with his own special forces people.

did u read that PBS link i put up? according to the ex General...many terrorists were trained at Salman...but the base was well documented by the Marines..i believe they found plans on how to make chemical weapons, chemical suits, gas masks, etc...

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Guest endymion

I read that it looks like Saddam had a training facility himself, for his own men. Where is Al Qaeda? You're trying to establish a link to Al Qaeda remember?

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Guest endymion

Think about this. There are two possibilities:

1) Salman Pak was a direct link between Saddam and Al Qaeda, the smoking gun.

2) Salman Pak was something less interesting.

Now explain to me why the Bush administration, desperate for a link between Saddam and 9/11, isn't pointing at Salman Pak like you are? Explain to me why we immediately destroyed the place once we found it and tested it for the WMD that we though were there but were not?

I'm just curious how you could believe in something that even Bush won't get behind?

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Think about this. There are two possibilities:

1) Salman Pak was a direct link between Saddam and Al Qaeda, the smoking gun.

2) Salman Pak was something less interesting.

Now explain to me why the Bush administration, desperate for a link between Saddam and 9/11, isn't pointing at Salman Pak like you are? Explain to me why we immediately destroyed the place once we found it and tested it for the WMD that we though were there but were not?

I'm just curious how you could believe in something that even Bush won't get behind?

i am offering this along with the original article i have posted...i am not putting my total believe in this place, but it does bring up many questions...this is just a possible piece to a huge puzzle...u might not see it as that, but i do...again this is just a theory...i dont put my 100% believe in what the govt' says or doesnt say...i work with what little facts we are given and make my own personal assumptions...like urself...i was just offering another piece to the puzzle...

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Guest endymion

No, it's definitely interesting, thanks. If you ever get the impression that I'm attacking people here directly then that's incorrect, just for future reference.

Let's review some embarrassing instances where we believed the stories told by Iraqi exiles:

1) Ahmed Chalabi told us that Saddam had WMD, knowing what we wanted to hear, knowing that a sycophant would end up running Iraq with US blessings after Saddam was deposed. He was right of course, but the CIA had to cut him loose after his lies were exposed and after the New York Times apologized for treating his unverified lies as fact. The Bush administration goes into an emergency tailspin trying to distance itself from Chalabi and marginalize the INC.

2) The CIA trusts Iraqi exiles who tell us that Saddam was trying to purchase enriched uranium from Nigeria. The Bush administration endangers the life of an American CIA operative and sets back American intelligence collection in Africa (a vast terrorist hotbed) in order to prop up the convenient story. Bush is now dealing with the embarrassment.

3) Salman Pak. The New York Times has gone on the record with an apology for printing the Salman Pak story in the first place:

In the autumn of 2001, "page 1 articles cited Iraqi defectors who described a secret Iraqi camp where Islamic terrorists were trained and biological weapons produced." But alas! "These accounts have never independently been verified," and thus presumably should never have even been reported.

Here are some other lies from Iraqi exiles:

- Iraq had mobile biological warfare facilities disguised as yogurt and milk trucks and hid banned weapons production and storage facilities beneath a hospital, fake lead-lined wells and Saddam's palaces. No such facilities or vehicles have been found so far.

- Iraq held 80 Kuwaitis captured in the 1991 Gulf War in a secret underground prison in 2000. No Kuwaiti prisoners have been found so far.

- Iraq could launch toxin-armed Scud missiles at Israel that could kill 100,000 people and was aggressively developing nuclear weapons. No Iraq Scud missiles have been found yet.

- Navy Lt. Cmdr. Michael Scott Speicher, missing since the 1991 Gulf war, was seen alive in Baghdad in 1998. The case remains unresolved, but the Navy last week said there was no evidence that Speicher was ever held in captivity.

Anybody else think that maybe a little bit of skepticism might be helpful at this point?

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Guest endymion

Even the State Department believes press reports that most of those shells are now in Syria.

So back to Salman Pak. Our intelligence shows no WMD at Salman Pak, which the INC told us that we would find. The INC reports of the two former Salman Pak trainees have not been verified. The US military destroyed Salman Pak itself immediately.

Why is Bush not jumping up and down and pointing at Salman Pak right now since he is so desperate for a connection?

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