18. april 2004

Saddam Hussein og forbindelsen til Osama bin Laden og andre terrorister

Debatten om Irak-krigen er polariseret, og når næppe videre. Ingen tvivl om at George W. Bush har valgt den nemme løsning, og delvist solgt krigen mod Saddam Husseins Irak – som en kamp mod terrorismen. Ikke et helt fair billede af situationen, men omvendt, så er verden næppe blevet et ringere sted at leve i med Saddam Hussein fængslet – og det er ligefrem positivt at et talstærkt amerikansk militær konfrontererer alverdens hellige krigere som nu har gjort Irak til deres sag – som i Somalia, Sudan, Kosovo, Afghanistan og fremdeles.

Omvendt, så påstår venstrefløjen under et, at Irak aldrig har været en trussel mod USA, og at Saddam Hussein ingen forbindelse har haft med terrorister – eller Al-Qaeda-netværket. Selvom det er noget nært bevist at Saddam Hussein betalte flere tusinde dollars til palæstinensiske selvmordsbombers familie , og et memo offentliggjort november sidste år i Weekly Standard klart beviste at der var kontakt mellem Saddam Hussein og Al-Qaeda-netværket.

Terrorforskeren Yussef Bodansky udgav i 1998 Bin Laden. The man who declared war on America – som efter terrorangrebet d. 11. september 2001 blev opdateret og genudgivet. Til dagligt er forfatteren leder af The Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unocenventional Warfare, og var tidligere rådgiver for det amerikanske forsvarsministerium.

Her er nogle citater fra Bodansky’s Bin Laden-biografi, med oplysninger jeg ikke tidligere har set på nettet – og hermed naturligvis heller ikke i de danske medier. Måske fordi forfatteren baserer sine oplysninger på efterretningskilder, som hovedsageligt er anonyme – dvs. troværdigheden står og falder med læserens politiske overbevisning. Jeg tror ikke Bodansky lyver når han i sin bog leverer hårde konkrete oplysninger om Saddam/bin Laden-forbindelserne allerede i 1998-1999. Her fra 1998:

Bin Laden moved quickly to solidify the cooperation with Saddam Hussein. In mid-July, Ayman al-Zawahiri traveled to Iraq clandestinely. He met senior Iraqi officials, including Taha Yassin Ramadan, to discuss practical modalities for the establishment of bin Laden’s base in Iraq, the expansion of training for his mujahideen, and a joint strategy for an anti-U.S. jihad throughout the Arab world and North Africa. Baghdad could not have been more helpful, conditioning its support on bin Laden’s promise not to incite the Iraqi Muslim Brotherhood into establishing an Islamic state in Iraq; in other words not to conspire against Saddam Hussein’s reign. While in Iraq, Zawahiri was also taken to visit a potential site for bin Laden’s headquarters near al-Fallujah and terrorist training camps run by Iraqi intelligence. In al-Nasiriyah he saw the training provided to Saudi Islamists. In the name of Osama bin Laden, Zawahiri assumed responsibility camp in the al-Nasiriyah desert established by Iraqi intelligence in about 1997 for terrorists from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. The mere existence of an Iraqisponsored option, however, already alarms Riyadh. Meanwhile Baghdad will be only too happy to help bin Laden strike any American objective anywhere in the world, even with weapons of mass destruction. [s. 324f]

Mere fra 1998-1999:

The moment the bombing campaign stopped, Saddam Hussein dispatched Faruq al-Hijazi to Qandahar. Hijazi, Iraq’s ambassador to Turkey and formerly deputy chief of Iraqi intelligence, has been dealing with bin Laden since 1994. He is also the chief of Iraqi intelligence in Turkey, in charge of acquiring strategic technologies and weapons throughout Europe and smuggling them to Iraq and of smuggling Iraqi assets (people, money, oil) into Europe. In Qandahar, Hijazi met with bin Laden to discuss future terrorist strikes against the United States and Britain. He recommended better coordination of operations with Baghdad and offered bin Laden every possible assistance from Iraqi intelligence. Hijazi gave bin Laden concrete examples of the support Iraqi intelligence could offer by covering issues under his responsibility. In addition Hijazi repeated Saddam Hussein’s offer of shelter and hospitality for bin Laden and his people. Bin Laden agreed in principle to spearhead the revenge campaign against the West in accordance with the recently agreed to operational plans but suggested further study and coordination of specific contingency plans and proposed operations. Both sides agreed on the urgent imperative to expedite the unleashing of the anti-American terrorist war.

To demonstrate Baghdad’s commitment to cooperating with bin Laden, Hijazi brought with him and gave bin Laden a pack of blank genuine Yemeni diplomatic passports supplied to Iraqi intelligence by their Yemeni counterparts. Such passports are invaluable for the safe international travel of key terronst leaders. Hijazi also promised to expedite additional Iraqi professional support. Soon afterward several Iraqi military-intelligence officers arrived in Afghanistan via Pakistan to assist in the advance training and preparation of the Islamists terrorrorists. The most important were the experts from Unit 999 of Iraqi intelligence. They selected four teams, each consisting of twelve veteran terronsts, for advanced and intense training in sabotage and infiltration techniques for operations in the West in cooperation with Iraqi intelligence. In early January 1999 these teams were already being ained in a barracks on the outskirts of Baghdad.

In late December, Saddam Hussein and his intimate circle concluded here was no escape from escalating the confrontation with the United States… Around the first of the year Qusay Hussein dispatched his confidants, al-Jubburi and al-Shihabi, back to Afghanistan to meet with bin Laden, Zawahiri, and the Islamist terrorist elite. Baghdad offered a joint open-ended, vigorous jihad against Americans throughout the world and against all Arab regimes allied with the United States. In return Iraq asked for an iron-clad guarantee of Islamist cooperarion and support that is, that no Islamist revolution would take place in Iraq throughout this jihad. [s. 361f]

Og der fortsættes, 1999:

In early January 1999 Kuwaiti intelligence confirmed that lere were ‘hundreds of Arab ‘Afghans’ receiving advanced military training’ in camps near al-Nasiriyah in southern Iraq ‘in preparation for playing a crucial role in a military confrontation that is expected to take place quite soon.’ These Arab ‘Afghans’ are being trained by Iraqi intelligence within the context of an alliance Baghdad struck with what Kuwaiti intelligence described as ‘a front comprising six militant organizations whose ranks include former fighters in the Afghan war effort’ – a euphemism for bin Laden’s World Islamic Front for Jihad against Jews and Crusaders. The Kuwaitis learned that this agreement called for ‘the move of hundreds of the members of that front to Iraqi territory’ for advanced training in preparation for their imminent participation in ‘the battle against the allies.’

Igen fra 1998:

Baghdad has not missed the turmoil in the Muslim world caused by the Kosovo crisis. Saddam Hussein decided to capitalize on the building popular hostility to the United States. The Islamists were living up to bin Laden’s promise to build grassroots support for Iraq in the Arab world in early april, Arab sources confirmed the existence of ‘popular movements in a number of Arab countries that are preparing for mass demonstrations and marches to break the Iraq blockade.’ These sources also disclosed the recent organization of a clandestine Islamist support system composed of ’secret cells in most Arab countries that are awaiting the start signal to hit U.S. and British interests and to stage massive demonstrations if London and Washington resume their barbaric aggression against Iraq.’ For Baghdad the mere existence of such an infrastructure was a reaffirmation of the viability of the deal with bin Laden.

Emboldened, Saddam Hussein ordered his son Qusay, commander of the Special Security Forces, to form a new terrorist force for joint operations with the Islamists. Called the al-Nida (the Call) Force, it will consist of thousands of fighters specially trained in guerrilla warfare and special operations tactics. Al-Nida squads are expected to soon be assigned a number of ’secret missions’ all over the world. One of the first moves undertaken by Qusay in connection with the establishment of the al-Nida Force was the activation of long-term dormant networks of Iraqi intelligence planted in the West in the wake of the Gulf War in order to support joint operations with bin Laden’s Islamist terrorists. The threat from the Saddam-bin Laden cooperation was shown by the discovery of a joint terrorist operation in Australia being prepared for the Olympic Games to be held in Sydney in the year zooo. In mid-March, Hamoud Abaid al-Anezi, a senior commander of bin Laden’s, arrived in Melbourne, Australia, with a valid Saudi passport. There he made contact with a just-activated network of four former Iraqi nationals, who as alleged defectors from the Iraqi army had been granted protective political refugee status in Australia in 1991. Together they started combing the Muslim community for young militants, ostensibly to join a jihad in Kosovo and Chechnya. The network was exposed in late April after alAnezi and the Iraqis broke into the house of and beat up a young Muslim who refused to join the jihad and threatened to inform the authorities. [s. 400f]

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