Reasons for War: Things you might have forgotten about Iraq.

    Pre-War Quotes from Democrats
    Iraq and a History of Terrorism
    Connections between Iraq and Al-Qaeda

    Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction
    Life in Iraq under Saddam
    Recommended Reading

Pre-War Quotes from Democrats

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
       President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998.   

"Together we must also confront the new hazards of chemical and biological weapons, and the outlaw states, terrorists and organized criminals seeking to acquire them. Saddam Hussein has spent the better part of this decade, and much of his nation's wealth, not on providing for the Iraqi people, but on developing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them."
       President Clinton, Jan. 27, 1998.    *   video

"Fateful decisions will be made in the days and weeks ahead. At issue is nothing less than the fundamental question of whether or not we can keep the most lethal weapons known to mankind out of the hands of an unreconstructed tyrant and aggressor who is in the same league as the most brutal dictators of this century."
       Sen. Joe Biden (D, DE), Feb. 12, 1998    *

"It is essential that a dictator like Saddam not be allowed to evade international strictures and wield frightening weapons of mass destruction. As long as UNSCOM is prevented from carrying out its mission, the effort to monitor Iraqi compliance with Resolution 687 becomes a dangerous shell game. Neither the United States nor the global community can afford to allow Saddam Hussein to continue on this path."
       Sen. Tom Daschle (D, SD), Feb. 12, 1998    *

"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
       Madeleine Albright, Feb. 18, 1998.    *

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
       Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb. 18, 1998.    *

"We urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
       Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998.    *

"As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
      Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998.    *

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
       Madeleine Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999.    *

"This December will mark three years since United Nations inspectors last visited Iraq. There is no doubt that since that time, Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to refine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."
       Letter to President Bush, Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL) and others, Dec, 5, 2001.    *

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them."
       Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002.    *

"We know that he has stored away secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
       Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.    *

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
       Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.    *

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."
       Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002.    *

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."
       Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002.    *

"My position is very clear: The time has come for decisive action to eliminate the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. I'm a co-sponsor of the bipartisan resolution that's presently under consideration in the Senate. Saddam Hussein's regime is a grave threat to America and our allies..."
       John Edwards (D, NC), Oct. 7, 2002    *   video

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force — if necessary — to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."
       Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002.    *

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years .... We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
       Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002.    *

"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do."
       Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002.    *

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members.... It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
       Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct. 10, 2002.    *   video

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction.
       Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002.    *

"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime .... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction .... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real ...."
       Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003.    *

Watch this must see video for pre-war quotes by several Democrats.      

Watch this must see video for pre-war quotes by John Kerry.      


Iraq and a History of Terrorism

On December 3, 1976, the New York Times reported that radical Palestinians have gathered in Iraq to mount a terrorist campaign against "moderate" arab governments. The group referred to in the article was known as Black June and they were led by the terrorist Abu Nidal. On August 5, 1978, the New York Times reported that this Palestinian group was linked to Iraq's intelligence service. Abu Nidal was a ruthless terrorist who planned the 1973 assault on an American passenger plane in Rome that resulted in 34 deaths and the 1974 bombing of TWA 841 which resulted in 88 deaths.    link   link

On April 24, 1977, the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) was reorgainized under the leadership of the terrorist Abu Abbas. According to an October 13, 1985 article in the New York Times, the group was organized with money and help from the Iraqi government.    link

In December 1977, Carlos the Jackal (a.k.a. Ilich Ramirez Sanchez) a "terrorist for hire" met with Saddam Hussein. Carlos was openly supported by the Iraqi government.    link   link

On July 15, 1978, the LA Times reported that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) had formally asked the government of Iraq to hand over the terrorist Abu Nidal "so he would get what he deserves." The article reported Iraq had given support to Abu Nidal and even provided him with his own radio station which he called "the voice of the Palestinian revolution." Among other things, the radio station had launched virulent attacks on two Palestinian leaders shortly before they were assassinated earlier that year.    link

In 1979, Congress passed legislation (Export Administration Act of 1979) which required the executive branch to create and maintain a list of countries deemed to have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism. In December 1979, the Carter Administration declared four countries as state sponsors of terrorism including: Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Southern Yemen.    link   link   link

On August 30, 1980, the New York Times reported in an article titled "U.S. Forbids Sale of Jetliners to Iraq" that the Carter Administration decided to block the sale of five Boeing jets due to Iraq's involvement in recent terrorist activities. The article reported that, within the previous few months, Iraqi diplomats were involved in attempted bomb attacks in Vienna and West Berlin.    link

On November 9, 1982, the Los Angeles Times reported in an article titled "Top Arab Terrorist Back in Baghdad" that Abu Nidal had recently moved back to Iraq after being expelled from the country four years earlier. His presence in Iraq was confirmed by President Saddam Hussein.    link

Abu Abbas was the mastermind of the October 1985 Achille Lauro cruise ship hijacking. Leon Klinghoffer, a 69-year-old Manhattan retiree, was rolled by Abbas's men, wheelchair and all, into the Mediterranean. After holding some 400 passengers hostage for 44 hours, the hijackers surrendered to Egyptian authorities in exchange for safe passage to Tunisia aboard an Egypt Air jet. The airliner, however, was forced by U.S. fighter planes to land at a NATO base in Sicily. Italian officials took the hijackers into custody but Abu Abbas possessed a get-out-of-jail card: an Iraqi diplomatic passport. Seeing that this terrorist traveled as a credentialed Iraqi diplomat, the Italian authorities let Abbas flee to Yugoslavia.    link   link   link

On January 21, 1986 the Associated Press reported the May 15 Organization is an Iraqi-based terrorist group headed by a Palestinian who goes by the name of Abu Ibrahim. The article quoted an Israeli military officer who said the group "specializes in blowing up planes in the air. They operate with the active support of Iraqi intelligence." The May 15 Organization was responsible for five attacks on American and Israeli airliners between 1982 and 1983 including the August 11, 1982 bombing of Pan Am flight 830 over Honolulu which killed one teenager and injured 15 other passengers. Members of the group are also suspected in the April 2, 1986 bombing of TWA flight 840 which killed four Americans near Athens.    link   link   link

On May 13, 1986, the New York Times reported that the French Interior Ministry had received confessions for three terrorist bombings including the Marks & Spencer department stores in Paris and London. According to reports, the terrorist in custody had received his orders from a "contact in Baghdad." That contact was Abu Ibrahim, the leader of a radical Palestinian organization called the "Arab Organization of May 15." This group, which received Iraqi government support, was known for its use of sophisticated explosive devices in the form of plastic explosives and suitcase bombs.    link   link

On March 20, 1990, four months prior to the invasion of Kuwait, the Chicago Tribune asked, "Why is Bush gentle with the Butcher of Baghdad?" The newspaper was upset a British journalist had been recently hanged in Iraq as a spy. Saddam had also declared a school holiday to swell the crowds ordered to demonstrate in front of the British embassy. The Iraqi propaganda minister declared, "Mrs. Thatcher wanted him alive, we gave her the body."    link

On March 31, 1990, months prior to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY) reported that five people were indicted for illegally exporting nuclear warhead triggering devices to Iraq. The article reported, "Hussein is one of the world's foremost sponsors of terrorism. Numbered among his clients are a varied assortment of highjackers, bombers and kidnappers around the world."    link

On January 16, 1991 President George H.W. Bush announced that twenty eight countries with forces in the Gulf began military operations to remove Saddam Hussein's army from Kuwait. "Some may ask: Why act now? Why not wait? The answer is clear: The world could wait no longer. Sanctions, though having some effect, showed no signs of accomplishing their objective. Sanctions were tried for well over 5 months, and we and our allies concluded that sanctions alone would not force Saddam from Kuwait. While the world waited, Saddam Hussein systematically raped, pillaged, and plundered a tiny nation, no threat to his own. He subjected the people of Kuwait to unspeakable atrocities -- and among those maimed and murdered, innocent children."    video

During the first Gulf War, on February 4, 1991, the Washington Times wrote an article titled, "Terrorist Camps Deserted in Iraq." The article reported that several terrorist camps inside Iraq were abandoned shortly after the start of the allied bombing campaign. One camp in the western desert was operated by the terrorist Abu Nidal for weapons and explosives training. A terrorist camp near Bagdad was operated by Abu Ibrahim, leader of the Arab Organization May 15. And another terrorist camp near Bagdad was occupied by terrorists of unknown affiliation. Later, after the war, the Washington Times wrote another article dated November 24, 1992 reporting that terrorists were once again training at a camp near Bagdad in violation of the cease-fire terms that ended the Gulf War.    link   link

On February 4, 1992, The Canadian Press reported, "A Palestinian ex-businessman said Tuesday he was sent on a bombing mission to Europe in 1982 by an Iraqi-based guerrilla group whose leader had close connections with the Baghdad government. Adnan Awad told a U.S. Senate hearing he took a sophisticated briefcase bomb to Switzerland where he was to blow up either an Israeli or an American installation but could not bring himself to do it." Awad said the leader of the group, Abu Ibrahim, had an "open and clear" relationship with the Iraqi government and enjoyed special privileges "like any big officer in Iraq."    link

On June 6, 1992, the Associated Press reported that, "U.S. officials knew Palestinian terrorists were finding a safe haven in Baghdad, but for eight years the Reagan and Bush administrations rejected congressional attempts to punish Iraq, newly declassified documents show." A July 1, 1986 memo to then-Secretary of State George Shultz said, "The Iraqis initially endeavored to preserve their terrorist assets, resorting to subterfuge to divert attention from their continued support for terrorist groups." The memo was declassified by the State Department at the request of Rep. Sam Gejdenson, D-Conn.    link

During the 1992 presidential campaign, Al Gore criticized the first Bush administration for its "blatant disregard" of Iraq's ties to terrorism. On September 29, 1992 Al Gore said, "The Reagan-Bush administration was also prepared to overlook the fact that the terrorists who masterminded the attack on the Achille Lauro and the savage murder of American Leon Klinghoffer, fled with Iraqi assistance. Nor did it seem to matter that the team of terrorists who set out to blow up the Rome airport came directly from Baghdad with suitcase bombs." Al Gore went on to say, "There might have been a moment's pause for reflection when Iraqi aircraft intentionally attacked the USS Stark in May of 1987 killing 37 sailors, but the administration smoothed it over very fast."    link    video

Former President George H.W. Bush visited Kuwait between April 14 and April 16, 1993, to commemorate the allied victory in the Persian Gulf War. In late-April 1993, the United States learned that terrorists had attempted to assassinate Bush during his visit to Kuwait and evidence indicated that the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) was behind the assassination attempt. The Kuwaiti authorities arrested 17 persons suspected in the plot to kill Bush using explosives hidden in a Toyota Landcruiser. On June 26, 1993, the United States launched a cruise missile attack against a building housing the Iraqi Intelligence Service in Baghdad in retaliation for the assassination attempt on former President Bush.    video   link   link

On June 27, 1994 ABC News reported that Abdul Rahman Yasin (indicted for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) was known to be living in Iraq. A reporter working for ABC News and Newsweek spotted Abdul Yasin at his father's house in Baghdad. Newsweek reported that, according to neighbors, Yasin was "working for the Iraqi government." At the time, the U.S. government was offering a $2 million reward for information leading to his capture. Yasin was never brought to justice and still remains at large today. The reward for his capture has since increased to $5 million.    link   link

On October 12, 1994, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Pentagon had placed 155,000 additional ground troops on alert in response to the recent build-up of Iraqi forces near the Kuwait border. These soldiers were in addition to the 36,000 already being sent to the Persian Gulf. "For the next several hours, we're going to watch and see what Iraq is going to do," one official said. "Meanwhile, we are getting ourselves prepared in case the worst comes to pass."    link    link

Throughout the 1990's the U.S. Department of State listed Iraq as a country known to sponsor international terrorism. The Department of State's 1994 Patterns of Global Terrorism report stated, "Since 1991, in violation of UN Security Council resolutions, the Government of Iraq has obstructed the international community's provision of humanitarian assistance. We believe that Iraq is responsible for more than 100 attacks on relief personnel and aid convoys over the past four years. Moreover, the Government of Iraq has offered monetary 'bounties' to anyone who assassinates UN and other international relief workers."    link

On January 17, 1995 the Boston Globe reported possible Iraqi involvement in the World Trade Center bombing. "I believe the totality of the evidence points toward Iraqi involvement," said James Fox, former special agent in charge of the FBI's New York office and the man credited with solving the bombing case. "I should say, I arrived at that conclusion after not believing it at first," he added. Fox explained that an eight-page State Department analysis that was classified but made available to him suggested that Iraqi sponsorship of the World Trade Center bombing was the "most likely scenario."    link   link

The U.S. Department of State's 1995 Patterns of Global Terrorism report stated, "Iraq continues to provide haven and training facilities for several terrorist clients. Abu Abbas' Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) maintains its headquarters in Baghdad. The Abu Nidal organization (ANO) continues to have an office in Baghdad. The Arab Liberation Front (ALF), headquartered in Baghdad, continues to receive funding from Saddam's regime. Iraq also continues to host the former head of the now-defunct 15 May organization, Abu Ibrahim, who masterminded several bombings of US aircraft."    link

On September 4, 1996, Newsday reported the United States had launched a cruise missile strike the prior day against Saddam Hussein to make him "pay a price" for unleashing his army against the northern Kurds. Over a two day period the United States launched a total of 44 cruise missiles into Iraq. President Clinton said, "Our objectives are limited but clear: To make Saddam pay a price for the latest act of brutality, reducing his ability to threaten his neighbors and America's interests."    link   video

On September 12, 1996, National Public Radio interviewed a former CIA chief of counter-terrorism who said Iraq might have been a state sponsor behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. NPR pointed out that Ramzi Ahmed Yousef came to the United States with an Iraqi passport and also reported that indicted co-conspirator Abdul Rahman Yasin was currently living in Baghdad.    link   link

On March 2, 1998, U.S. News & World Report wrote that Saddam Hussein had dispatched some 30 terrorist teams around the world to strike U.S. interests prior to the first Gulf War. Disaster was averted, the article reported, by a combination of U.S. intelligence and Iraqi incompetence. Iraq had shipped automatic weapons and explosives to embassies overseas but most of the Iraqi agents were amateurish and easily detected. Two men who did get through accidentally blew themselves up in the Philippines before they could bomb a U.S. cultural center in Manila.    link

On January 27, 1999 an article in the New York Times titled "A Much-Shunned Terrorist Is Said to Find Haven in Iraq" stated that "Abu Nidal, one of the world's most infamous terrorists, moved to Baghdad late last year and obtained the protection of President Saddam Hussein, according to intelligence reports received by United States and Middle Eastern government officials." The article quoted a counterterrorism expert who said that, regarding Abu Nidal, "Osama bin Laden is a student by comparison."    link

On January 12, 2001 The Miami Herald reported that the Navy changed the status of Lt. Commander Michael Scott Speicher from killed in action to missing. Speicher was listed as the first casualty of the Gulf War when his F/A-18 Hornet was shot down on January 17, 1991. This change in status also makes him the last to be still unaccounted for. President Clinton said information about the case "makes us believe that at least he survived his crash... and that he might be alive." Clinton said U.S. officials have begun trying to determine whether Speicher is alive, and "if he is, where he is and how we can get him out."    link

After the Gulf War in 1991, no-fly zones were established in northern and southern Iraq to protect the Iraqi Kurds and Shiites from Saddam's forces. The U.S. military enforced these no-fly zones up until the second Iraq war in March 2003. Iraq considered this an affront to its sovereignty and in December 1998 began shooting at American aircraft patrolling these zones. On March 28, 2001, General Tommy Franks reported to the House Armed Services Committee that during the prior year alone, coalition forces had flown nearly 10,000 sorties inside Iraqi airspace and those aircraft were engaged by surface-to-air missiles or anti-aircraft fire more than 500 times. Franks reported that during the prior year, naval forces had intercepted 610 ships while enforcing U.N. sanctions designed to limit Saddam Hussein's ability to smuggle oil out of Iraq. On any given day, U.S. Central Command operated in the region with some 30 naval vessels, 175-200 military aircraft, and between 18,000 and 25,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines.    video   video   link   link

On October 14, 2001, a former Iraqi army captain named Sabah Khodada granted an interview to the PBS television program "Frontline" in which he talked about a terrorist training camp in Iraq called Salman Pak. During this interview Khodada stated, "This camp is specialized in exporting terrorism to the whole world."    video   link   link

Saddam Hussein paid $25,000 bonuses to the families of Palestinian homicide bombers. "President Saddam Hussein has recently told the head of the Palestinian political office, Faroq al-Kaddoumi, his decision to raise the sum granted to each family of the martyrs of the Palestinian uprising to $25,000 instead of $10,000," Iraq's deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz declared on March 11, 2002. Mahmoud Besharat, who dispensed these funds across the West Bank, gratefully said: "You would have to ask President Saddam why he is being so generous. But he is a revolutionary and he wants this distinguished struggle, the intifada, to continue."    link   link

Before the rise of Usama bin Laden, Abu Nidal was widely regarded as the world's most ruthless terrorist. The Associated Press reported on August 22, 2002 that Nidal entered Iraq during the late 1990's "with the full knowledge and preparations of the Iraqi authorities." He lived there until August, 2002 when he died of between one and four gunshot wounds. It is believed by many that Abu Nidal was killed on the orders of Saddam Hussein although the Iraqi government claimed that Nidal had committed suicide.    link   link   link

On February 13, 2003, the Philippine government expelled Iraqi diplomat Hisham al Hussein, the second secretary at Iraq's Manila embassy. Cell phone records indicated that the Iraqi diplomat had spoken with Abu Madja and Hamsiraji Sali, leaders of Abu Sayyaf, just before and just after this Al-Qaeda allied Islamic militant group conducted an attack in Zamboanga City. Abu Sayyaf's nail filled bomb exploded on October 2, 2002, injuring 23 individuals and killing two Filipinos plus killing U.S. Special Forces Sergeant First Class Mark Wayne Jackson, age 40.    link   link   link

After the fall of Saddam's government, coalition forces found and destroyed a terrorist training camp located near Baghdad called Salman Pak. This terrorist training camp featured an airplane fuselage where Iraqi defectors had earlier reported foreign terrorists were being trained in hijacking aircraft.    link   link    link

On April 7, 2003, Agence France Presse reported that US Marines discovered a terrorist training camp operated by the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF). The complex featured bomb-making facilities and pictures of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and PLF faction leader Abu Abbas. Other pictures included the terrorist leader Abu Abbas posing with a Republican Guard brigadier general inside the camp.    link

On April 14, 2003, Abu Abbas was captured by U.S. Special Forces during a raid near Baghdad. Abbas had lived in Baghdad since 1994, where he was living under protection of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.    video   video   link

Khala Khadr al-Salahat, accused of designing the bomb that destroyed Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988 (259 killed on board, 11 dead on the ground), also lived in Iraq. He surrendered to U.S. Marines in Baghdad on April 18, 2003.    link   link   link

On September 18, 2003, USA Today ran an article with the headline "U.S. says Iraq sheltered suspect in '93 WTC attack." The article reported that U.S. authorities have evidence Saddam Hussein's regime gave money and housing to Abdul Rahman Yasin, a suspect in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993. Military, intelligence and law enforcement officials reported finding a large cache of Arabic-language documents in Tikrit, Saddam's political stronghold. Some analysts have concluded that the documents show Saddam's government provided monthly payments and a home for Yasin.    link

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on June 18, 2004, "I can confirm that after the events of September 11, 2001, and up to the military operation in Iraq, Russian special services and Russian intelligence several times received ... information that official organs of Saddam's regime were preparing terrorist acts on the territory of the United States and beyond its borders, at U.S. military and civilian locations."    link

In March 2006, a captured Iraqi document was revealed outlining a May 1999 plan for training terrorists. Under the code name "Blessed July" the top ten graduates of a terrorist training camp were to be sent to London for European operations. Other graduates of this terrorist training camp were to be sent to Iran or the Kurdish areas in northern Iraq. The Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) was to provide logistical support for their missions and selection of targets.    link   link

On November 29, 2009 a Czech TV station revealed that Iraqi intelligence agents working for Saddam Hussein had plotted an attack on the Prague headquarters of Radio Free Europe. TV Nova aired an exclusive report with information that in 1999 Saddam Hussein ordered a terrorist attack on the US-financed radio station from where programs criticizing his regime were broadcast around the world. In 2003, Czech intelligence officers discovered the plot and confiscated the weapons that Iraqi agents had stockpiled including automatic weapons and a rocket propelled grenade.    link   link


Connections between Iraq and Al-Qaeda

On August 20, 1998, President Bill Clinton ordered a cruise missile attack against a chemical weapons factory in Sudan. The cruise missle strike was in retaliation for the August 7, 1998 truck bomb attacks on U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya which killed more than 200 people and wounded more than 5,000 others. The chemical weapons factory in Sudan was funded, in part, by Osama bin Laden who the U.S. believed responsible for the embassy bombings. Richard Clarke, a national security advisor to President Clinton, told the Washington Post in a January 23, 1999 article that the U.S. government was "sure" that Iraqi nerve gas experts had produced a powdered substance at that plant for use in making VX nerve gas.    link

On August 25, 1998 the Fort Worth Star-telegram reported a link between Iraq and the Sudanese chemical weapons factory destroyed by the United States in a cruise missile attack. The chemical weapons factory was hit because of links to Osama bin Laden who the U.S. believed responsible for the recent embassy bombings. A senior intelligence official said one of the leaders of Iraq's chemical weapons program, Emad al-Ani, had close ties with senior Sudanese officials at the factory. The intelligence official also said a number of Iraqi scientists working with al-Ani attended the grand opening of the factory two years earlier. Emad Husayn Abdullah al-Ani surrendered to U.S. military forces on April 18, 2003.    link   link

On November 5, 1998 a Federal grand jury in Manhattan returned a 238-count indictment charging Osama bin Laden in the bombings of two United States Embassies in Africa and with conspiring to commit other acts of terrorism against Americans abroad. The grand jury indictment also charged that Al-Qaeda had reached an arrangement with President Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq whereby the group said that it would not work against Iraq, and that the two parties agreed to cooperate in the development of weapons.    link   link

On January 11, 1999, Newsweek magazine ran the headline "Saddam + Bin Laden?" The subheadline declared, "It would be a marriage made in hell. And America's two enemies are courting." The article points out that Saddam has a long history of supporting terrorism. The article also mentions that, in the prior week, several surface-to-air missiles were fired at U.S. and British planes patrolling the no-fly zones and that Saddam is now fighting for his life now that the United States has made his removal from office a national objective.    link

On January 14, 1999, ABC News reported, "Saddam Hussein has a long history of harboring terrorists. Carlos the Jackal, Abu Nidal, Abu Abbas, the most notorious terrorists of their era, all found shelter and support at one time in Baghdad. Intelligence sources say bin Laden's long relationship with the Iraqis began as he helped Sudan's fundamentalist government in their efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction."    video   video

On February 13, 1999, CNN reported, "Osama bin Laden, the Saudi millionaire accused by the United States of plotting bomb attacks on two U.S. embassies in Africa, has left Afghanistan, Afghan sources said Saturday. Bin Laden's whereabouts were not known....." The article reports, "Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has offered asylum to bin Laden....."    link

On February 14, 1999, an article in the Aberdeen American News claimed U.S. intelligence officials were worried about an alliance between Osama bin Laden and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The article said bin Laden had met with a senior Iraqi intelligence official near Qandahar, Afghanistan in late December 1998 and that "there has been increasing evidence that bin Laden and Iraq may have begun cooperating in planning attacks against American and British targets around the world." Vincent Cannistraro, former head of counterterrorism at the Central Intelligence Agency said, "It's clear the Iraqis would like to have bin Laden in Iraq." The article said that in addition to Abu Nidal, another Palestinian terrorist by the name of Abu Ibrahim was also believed to be in Iraq.    link

On February 18, 1999, National Public Radio (NPR) reported, "There have also been reports in recent months that bin Laden might have been considering moving his operations to Iraq. Intelligence agencies in several nations are looking into that. According to Vincent Cannistraro, a former chief of CIA counterterrorism operations, a senior Iraqi intelligence official, Farouk Hijazi, sought out bin Laden in December and invited him to come to Iraq." NPR reported that Iraq's contacts with bin Laden go back some years, to at least 1994, when Farouk Hijazi met with bin Laden when he lived in Sudan.    link   link

On February 28, 1999, an article was written in The Kansas City Star which said, "He [bin Laden] has a private fortune ranging from $250 million to $500 million and is said to be cultivating a new alliance with Iraq's Saddam Hussein, who has biological and chemical weapons bin Laden would not hesitate to use. An alliance between bin Laden and Saddam Hussein could be deadly. Both men are united in their hatred for the United States....."    link

On December 28, 1999, an article appeared in The Herald (Glasgow, Scotland) titled, "Iraq tempts bin Laden to attack West." The article starts, "The world's most wanted man, Osama bin Laden, has been offered sanctuary in Iraq....." The article quotes a U.S. counter-terrorism source who said, "Now we are also facing the prospect of an unholy alliance between bin Laden and Saddam. The implications are terrifying."    link

On April 8, 2001, an informant for Czech counter-intelligence observed an Iraqi intelligence official named al-Ani meeting with an Arab man in his 20s at a restaurant outside Prague. Following the 9/11 attacks, the Czech informant who observed the meeting saw Mohammed Atta’s picture in the papers and identified Mohammed Atta as the man who met with the Iraqi intelligence official.    link   link   link

On July 21, 2001 [less than two months prior to 911] the Iraqi state-controlled newspaper "Al-Nasiriya" predicted that bin Laden would attack the U.S. "with the seriousness of the Bedouin of the desert about the way he will try to bomb the Pentagon after he destroys the White House." The same state-approved column also insisted that bin Laden "will strike America on the arm that is already hurting," and that the U.S. "will curse the memory of Frank Sinatra every time he hears his songs" - an apparent reference to the Sinatra classic, "New York, New York."    link   link   link

After the 9/11 attacks, Saddam became the only world leader to offer praise for bin Laden, even as other terrorist leaders, like Yassir Arafat, went out of their way to make a show of sympathy to the U.S. by donating blood to 9/11 victims on camera. Saddam later pays tribute to 9/11 by having a mural painted depicting the World Trade Center attack at an Iraqi military base in Nasariyah.
 must see pictures    link

On December 3, 2001 USA Today reported that the CIA had convincing evidence from the mid-1990s Saddam Hussein's regime was funneling money through Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network to the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) in Algeria and other terrorist organizations. Stanley Bedlington, a senior analyst in the CIA's counterterrorism center until his retirement in 1994, said "We were convinced that money from Iraq was going to bin Laden, who was then sending it to places that Iraq wanted it to go."    link

On March 15, 2002 the Christian Science Monitor reported that a Taliban-style group known as Ansar al-Islam was threatening stability in the Kurdish northern region of Iraq. Prior to the start of the Iraq War in 2003, Colin Powell addressed the United Nations and pointed out that both Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida had links with the Ansar al-Islam terrorist group. Saddam had provided arms and funding for this terrorist group waging a jihadist war against the Kurds. One month prior to the formation of Ansar al-Islam, leaders from several Kurdish Islamist factions had visited the al-Qaida leadership in Afghanistan. Ansar al-Islam announced their formation on September 1, 2001 just days prior to the September 11 attacks in the United States.    link   link   link

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a director of an al Qaeda training base in Afghanistan, fled to Iraq after being injured as the Taliban fell (prior to the U.S./Iraq war). He received medical care and convalesced for two months in Baghdad. He then opened a terrorist training camp in northern Iraq and arranged the October 2002 assassination of U.S. diplomat Lawrence Foley in Amman, Jordan.    link   link

CIA director George Tenet (appointed by President Bill Clinton July 11, 1997) wrote in a letter to Senator Bob Graham dated October 7, 2002. "We have solid reporting of senior level contact between Iraq and al Qaeda going back a decade. Credible information exists that Iraq and al Qaeda have discussed safe haven and reciprocal nonaggression. . . . We have credible reporting that al Qaeda leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire WMD capabilities."    link   link

On October 16, 2002, the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 was signed into law. The authorization (Public law 107-243) had passed the House by a vote of 296-133, and the Senate by a vote of 77-23. This resolution stated, "Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;" and "Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of United States citizens."    link

Babil, an official newspaper of Saddam Hussein's government, run by his oldest son Uday, published information that appeared to confirm U.S. allegations of the links between the Iraqi regime and al Qaeda. In its November 16, 2002 edition, Babil identified one Abd-al-Karim Muhammad Aswad as an "intelligence officer," describing him as the "official in charge of regime's contacts with Osama bin Laden's group and currently the regime's representative in Pakistan."    link

In December 2002 the House and Senate intelligence committees issued a report on the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. CIA director George Tenet testified (page 137) that, “Atta may also have traveled outside of the U.S. in early April 2001 to meet an Iraqi intelligence officer, although we are still working to corroborate this.” This report also noted (page 211) that, "In February 1999, the Intelligence Community obtained information that Iraq had formed a suicide pilot unit that it planned to use against British and U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf. The CIA commented that this was highly unlikely and probably disinformation."    link

On April 25, 2003 CNN reported that Farouk Hijazi had been captured by U.S. forces. Farouk Hijazi was a former intelligence official who may have plotted the attempted assassination of George H.W. Bush in 1993. He was also a contact between Saddam Hussein's regime and Osama bin Laden. Farouk met with bin Laden in Afghanistan in 1998 and is also believed to have met with bin Laden in Sudan in the early 1990's.    video

While sifting through the Iraqi Intelligence Service's [Mukhabarat] bombed ruins on April 26, 2003 the Toronto Star's Mitch Potter, the London Daily Telegraph's Inigo Gilmore and their translator discovered a memo in the intelligence service's accounting department. Dated February 19, 1998 and marked "Top Secret and Urgent," it said the agency would pay "all the travel and hotel expenses inside Iraq to gain the knowledge of the message from bin Laden and to convey to his envoy an oral message from us to bin Laden, the Saudi opposition leader, about the future of our relationship with him, and to achieve a direct meeting with him."    video   link   link

On May 7, 2003, a federal judge in New York awarded damages against the government of Iraq after ruling that the families of two victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, suicide hijackings had shown that Iraq had provided material support to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida. Judge Harold Baer ruled that the two families were entitled to $104 million compensation from Iraq, bin Laden, al-Qaida, the Taliban movement and their government of Afghanistan. "Plaintiffs have shown, albeit barely, 'by evidence satisfactory to the court' that Iraq provided material support to bin Laden and al-Qaida."    link

The 9/11 Commission Report (pages 228 - 229) provides details of what is known about Mohamed Atta's alleged April 9, 2001 11:00 A.M. meeting with an Iraqi Intelligence agent in Prague. According to the FBI, Mohamed Atta was in Virginia Beach on April 4 and in Florida on April 11. Atta's cell phone records indicate calls were made from Florida during this period but they cannot confirm whether he placed those calls. The report mentions, however, that Czech intelligence has stated publicly they believe there was a 70 percent probability that the meeting took place. The Czech Interior Minister made several statements to the press about his belief that the meeting had occurred. Atta is known to have been in Prague on at least two occasions: once in December 1994 and again in June 2000.    link

On September 13, 2006, a deputy prime minister of Iraq by the name of Barham Salih gave a speech in which he said, "The alliance between the Baathists and jihadists which sustains Al Qaeda in Iraq is not new, contrary to what you may have been told." He went on to say, "I know this at first hand. Some of my friends were murdered by jihadists, by Al Qaeda-affiliated operatives who had been sheltered and assisted by Saddam's regime."    link   link

On March 20, 2008 the Pentagon declassified results of their investigation into captured Iraqi documents. The report entitled "Iraqi Perspectives Project -- Saddam and Terrorism: Emerging Insights from Captured Iraqi Documents" stated, "While these documents do not reveal direct coordination and assistance between the Saddam regime and the al Qaeda network, they do indicate that Saddam was willing to use, albeit cautiously, operatives affiliated with al Qaeda as long as Saddam could have these terrorist–operatives monitored closely. Because Saddam’s security organizations and Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network operated with similar aims (at least in the short term), considerable overlap was inevitable when monitoring, contacting, financing, and training the same outside groups. This created both the appearance of and, in some ways, a 'de facto' link between the organizations. At times, these organizations would work together in pursuit of shared goals but still maintain their autonomy and independence because of innate caution and mutual distrust."    link   link   link

In June 2008 the Senate released their report "Whether Public Statements Regarding Iraq By U.S. Government Officials Were Substantiated By Intelligence Information." Among the conclusions (page 71), it reported that public statements by government officials that Iraq (prior to the war) provided safe haven for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other al-Qaida related terrorist members was substantiated by intelligence assessments.    link   link   link

On June 18, 2008 the Iraqi newspaper Kurdistani Nwe published a 2002 letter from the Iraqi presidency that it said proved there was cooperation between Saddam Hussein's regime and Al-Qaeda. The letter, which appeared on the paper's front page, was written by Iraqi intelligence and discussed an intention to meet with Ayman Al-Zawahiri in order to examine a plan drawn up by the Iraqi presidency to carry out a "revenge operation" in Saudi Arabia.    link   link


Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction

In the 1970s, Iraq was unsuccessful in negotiations with France to purchase a plutonium production reactor similar to the one used in France's nuclear weapons program. With French assistance, Iraq then built the Osiraq 40 megawatt light-water nuclear reactor near Baghdad. When Israeli intelligence confirmed Iraq's intention to produce weapons at Osiraq, the Israeli government decided to attack. According to some estimates, Iraq in 1981 was still as much as five to ten years away from the ability to build a nuclear weapon. Others estimated, at that time, Iraq might get its first such weapon within a year or two. On June 7, 1981 Iraqi defenses were caught by surprise and the reactor at Osiraq was destroyed.   link

It is estimated that the Iran/Iraq war cost the two sides a million casualties. Iraq used chemical weapons in that war extensively from 1984. Some twenty thousand Iranians were killed by mustard gas, and the nerve agents tabun and sarin. This marked the first time a country had been named for violating the 1925 Geneva Convention banning the use of chemical weapons.    link

On March 16, 1988, the Iraqi Air Force appeared over the city of Halabja. At the time, the city was home to roughly eighty thousand Kurds. The attack on Halabja was the most notorious and the single deadliest gas attack against the Kurds killing 5,000 civilians and injuring 10,000 more. But, it was just one of some forty chemical assaults staged by Iraq against the Kurdish people.    link

On April 3, 1990, four months prior to the invasion of Kuwait, the Los Angeles Times reported, "Iraqi President Saddam Hussein declared Monday that his military machine has nerve gas and the means to deliver it, threatening to destroy 'half of Israel' if it attacks Iraqi targets." The LA Times also reported that, the week prior, five Iraqi agents were arrested in London attempting to smuggle nuclear triggering devices to Baghdad.    link

After invading Kuwait, Iraq attempted to accelerate its program to develop a nuclear weapon by using radioactive fuel from the Osiraq reactor. It made a crash effort in September, 1990 to recover enriched fuel from this supposedly safe-guarded reactor, with the goal of produced a nuclear weapon by April, 1991. The program was only halted after Coalition air raid destroyed key facilities on January 17, 1991.    link

After the first Gulf War, on April 3, 1991, the U.N. adapted ceasefire resolution 687. As part of this agreement, Iraq was required to destroy, under international supervision, all chemical and biological weapons and stocks of agents and all related development, research, and manufacturing facilities. In the following years, however, Iraq would not cooperate with inspectors. At the end of the second Gulf War, U.S. forces found over 500 chemical weapons proving that Iraq never destoyed their WMD in violation of this ceasefire agreement.    link   link

On January 13, 1993 warplanes from the United States, France and Britain bombed missile sites in southern Iraq. About 80 strike aircraft and 30 support planes took part. The New York Times reported that, "At the same time, Iraq offered to halt its raids into Kuwait. They have been taking place for several days and were a violation of United Nations resolutions. Iraq has also deployed missile batteries in forbidden areas and fired an Iraqi missile at an American plane, actions the United States has described as brazen provocations by Baghdad. In a further warning to Mr. Hussein that he could not continue to flout the will of the United Nations, Mr. Bush announced the dispatch of a battalion-sized task force, composed of about 1,250 American troops, to neighboring Kuwait, where they will act as a deterrent to further Iraqi incursions."    link

On January 18, 1993 the Seattle Post-intelligencer reported that the United States launched a cruise missile attack delivering "the political and diplomatic point" that Iraq must comply with United Nations resolutions. "In a dramatic crescendo for President Bush's final weekend in office, U.S. forces shot down a MiG-23 warplane and struck an Iraqi air defense installation. Hours later, U.S. warships launched about 40 Tomahawks into the night skies near Iraq's capital," they reported. It was the second strike on Iraq within five days. A White House Spokesman said a nuclear weapon fabrications plant was targeted in response to a series of weekend military provocations by Iraq.    link   link

On January 21, 1993, the day after President Bill Clinton was inaugurated, the Los Angeles Times reported, "A solid majority of Americans favor U.S. military intervention to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq." The Times cited a recent poll which asked Americans whether they would back an all-out effort to remove Saddam Hussein even "at the risk of losing some American lives" and 60% of those questioned said yes while only 30% said no.    link

On September 15, 1996 the Washington Post reported the CIA had spent $100 million, or an average of $20 million a year, in efforts to topple Saddam Hussein since the Gulf War. The Post reported that, "Although no U.S. order was given to any Iraqi dissident to kill Saddam, the CIA provided funds to groups that it knew were attempting to do so." When the covert program was expanded early in the year, the agency was authorized by the White House to support acts of sabotage inside Iraq that would create an image of a country descending into chaos. Several Iraqi dissidents claimed a military rebellion failed to materialize because Washington withheld a promised aerial bombardment of Iraqi military positions, but the Clinton administration dismissed the claim that aerial support was promised.    link   link

On March 26, 1997 Secretary of State Madeleine Albright proclaimed, "the evidence is overwhelming that Saddam Hussein's intentions will never be peaceful." In a major foreign policy speech at Georgetown University the Secretary of State was highly critical of the Iraqi dictator. "Consider that Iraq admitted producing chemical and biological warfare agents before the Gulf War that were sufficiently lethal to kill every man, woman and child on earth. Consider that Iraq has yet to provide convincing evidence that it has destroyed all of these weapons. Consider that Iraq admitted loading many of those agents into missile warheads before the war. Consider that Iraq retains more than 7,500 nuclear scientists and technicians, as well as technical documents related to the production of nuclear weapons. Consider that Iraq has been caught trying to smuggle in missile guidance instruments. And consider that according to Ambassador Ekeus, UNSCOM has not been able to account for all the missiles acquired over the years. In fact, Ekeus believes that it is highly likely that Iraq retains an operational Scud missile force, probably with chemical or biological weapons to go with it."    link

On November 16, 1997 the Sunday Times reported that Iraq was manufacturing poisonous gas at a secret location in Sudan. "Bypassing the ban on weapons of mass destruction which the United Nations imposed on Baghdad after its defeat in the Gulf war, Saddam Hussein and the Islamist government of General Omar al Bashir in Khartoum are making and stockpiling mustard gas for their mutual benefit." Since production started, the article reported, the Sudanese armed forces were known to have used mustard gas against the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) on at least two occasions.    link

On November 20, 1997 the New York Times reported that no arms inspections had taken place in Iraq since October 29 when Baghdad threatened to expel Americans on the monitoring teams. The Times also reported that the head of the United Nations inspection team recently went to the Security Council with photographs and documents demonstrating that Iraq continued to pose a threat in almost every area of weapons development. The photographs showed a convoy of trucks entering and leaving a factory after inspectors indicated it was a site they wished to visit. As an example of how Iraq changed its accounting, a chemical weapons expert said that in 1995 Iraq admitted to having made 160 kilograms of VX nerve agent. Then Iraq altered its figures to 240 kilograms, then to 1,250 kilograms. By June 1996, the Iraqis acknowledged they produced at least 3.9 tons of VX.    link

On November 23, 1997 CBS News "60 Minutes" ran an interview with Iraqi defector and former chief of military intelligence Wafiq al-Sammarrai. During this interview, Sammarrai said that Iraq had an active biological weapons program. He said the U.N. weapons inspectors were being deceived and that they would never be allowed inside the Presidential Palace because of documents kept there. Wafiq Sammarrai also said that Saddam Hussein had considered carrying out a biological weapons attack against the United States using anthrax.    video   link

On December 15, 1997 the Associated Press reported that Defense Secretary William Cohen had ordered all 1.5 million men and women in uniform to be inoculated against anthrax. The article mentioned, "The move comes amid the confrontation with Iraq's Saddam Hussein and the United Nations' efforts to uncover his weapons of mass destruction." The Chattanooga Free Press reported at the time that Saddam had 2,100 gallons of anthrax toxin.    video   link   link

On January 28, 1998 Senate Concurrent Resolution 71 was introduced "condemning Iraq's threat to international peace and security." Among the co-sponsors of this bill were Tom Daschle, John Kerry, Bob Graham, Patrick Moynihan, Robert Byrd, Patrick Leahy, and Christopher Dodd. This resolution "urges the President to take all necessary and appropriate actions to respond to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs." In defense of President Clinton's inclination to use military force in Iraq, Daschle said this resolution would "send as clear a message as possible that we are going to force, one way or another, diplomatically or militarily, Iraq to comply with international law."    link

On February 10, 1998, Yossef Bodansky, director of the U.S. House of Representatives Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, published a task force report compiled from information obtained from Arab opposition movements as well as from British, German and Israeli intelligence sources. The report said that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction at that time including anthrax, nerve gas, and mustard gas. It also claimed that some Iraqi nuclear materials were being held in Algeria. Yossef Bodansky said a chemical weapons factory was being built at that time, with the help of Iraqi experts, south-west of Sudan's capital Khartoum for Islamic terrorists associated with Osama bin Laden. This 1998 report concludes, "And so, the US is planning an instant-gratification bombing campaign that would neither destroy Iraq's WMD operational capabilities nor touch its main WMD production lines in Libya and Sudan."    link   link

On February 17, 1998 President Clinton said, "Now, let's imagine the future. What if he fails to comply, and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route which gives him yet more opportunities to develop this program of weapons of mass destruction and continue to press for the release of the sanctions and continue to ignore the solemn commitments that he made? Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And some day, some way, I guarantee you, he'll use the arsenal. And I think every one of you who's really worked on this for any length of time believes that, too."    video   link

By late February 1998, U.S. forces in the gulf region had reached more than 40,000 and were reinforced with British and other allied contingents. The U.S. military build-up was due to Iraq's obstruction of U.N. (UNSCOM) weapons inspections. On February 18, 1998 President Bill Clinton said, "If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow." Five days later, however, Kofi Annan struck a deal with the Iraqi dictator that once again allowed U.N. inspectors permission to inspect. As the crisis receded, U.S. forces were drawn back down to their pre-1997 levels. Ten months after Saddam accepted Annan's offer, Saddam kicked U.N. weapons inspectors out of Iraq for good.    link   link

On February 26, 1998 CNN reported that Iraq is attempting to develop an unmanned aircraft capable of delivering nerve gas or the biological agent anthrax.    link

On March 2, 1998 Senate Concurrent Resolution 78 was introduced relating to the indictment and prosecution of Saddam Hussein for war crimes and other crimes against humanity. The bill co-sponsored by Tom Daschle and John Kerry resolved that President Clinton should "call for the United Nations to form an international criminal tribunal for the purpose of indicting, prosecuting, and imprisoning Saddam Hussein and any other Iraqi officials who may be found responsible for crimes against humanity, genocide, and other violations of international humanitarian law."    link

On March 24, 1998 the Daily Mail reported that Saddam Hussein was planning a deadly anthrax attack inside Britain. A top secret alert was sent out to security officials manning ports and airports demanding vigilance after intelligence sources alerted the British Government to the plot. It was reported that Saddam had plans to smuggle large amounts of anthrax inside "hostile countries" with bottles normally containing spirits or cosmetics as well as in cigarette lighters and perfume sprays.    link

On May 1, 1998, President Clinton signed Public Law 105-174, which made $5,000,000 available for assistance to the Iraqi democratic opposition for such activities as organization, training, communication and dissemination of information, developing and implementing agreements among opposition groups, compiling information to support the indictment of Iraqi officials for war crimes, and for related purposes.    link

On August 3, 1998 the House of Representatives voted 407-6 to condemn Iraq for its "material breach" of U.N. resolutions and international agreements. Signed on August 14, 1998 by President Bill Clinton this resolution (Public Law 105-235) urged the President to take appropriate action to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations. It listed dozens of violations dating from 1991 and culminating with recent evidence that Iraq had produced chemical warheads for missiles.    link   link

On August 20, 1998, President Bill Clinton ordered a cruise missile attack against a chemical weapons factory in Sudan. The chemical weapons factory the U.S. hit was funded, in part, by Osama bin Laden who the U.S. believed responsible for the U.S. embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya. Thomas Pickering, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, told reporters, "We see evidence that we think is quite clear on contacts between Sudan and Iraq. In fact, El Shifa officials, early in the company's history, we believe were in touch with Iraqi individuals associated with Iraq's VX program."    link   link

On August 27, 1998 NPR's Mike Shuster reported that US justification for destroying a pharmaceutical factory in the Sudan had shifted from focusing on links to Saudi dissent Osama bin Laden, to alleged Iraqi chemical weapons experts believed to have been working in the Sudan to avoid UN weapons inspections in their homeland. US officials said Iraqi technicians came to the Sudan soon after Iraq's defeat in the Gulf War to continue their work on chemical weapons in Sudanese pharmaceutical plants.    link   link

On October 23, 1998 the BBC reported a Chief Petty officer in the Royal Navy was sentenced to 12 months in jail for leaking information to the media about a plot by Saddam Hussein to launch anthrax attacks inside the UK. The deadly toxin was to be smuggled into the UK disguised as harmless liquids. The story appeared in The Sun on March 24, 1998 under the headline 'Saddam's Anthrax in Our Duty Frees.'    link

The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338) passed by the House and Senate and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 31, 1998 stated, "It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime." This legislation also allocated $97,000,000 to aid Iraqi democratic opposition organizations.    link   link

On November 15, 1998 the New York Times reported a massive air strike involving hundreds of cruise missiles was called off after a last-minute flurry of diplomatic activity. The New York Times reported, "Administration officials said Mr. Clinton had been urged by senior advisers to begin the air strikes earlier this week, if only to avoid the situation that is now unfolding, with the United States left once again in the awkward position of rushing a huge force to the Persian Gulf to confront Iraq, only to have the Iraqis back down at the last minute. But Mr. Clinton, they said, had decided to delay the attack until today so that more American warplanes and ships could be in place near Iraq. Officials said they feared that the Administration, which had largely abandoned hope that the United Nations weapons inspections would be allowed to resume in any meaningful way, was left with the worst of all scenarios: an ineffective inspection program, President Hussein still fully in charge, and a large American military force in the Persian Gulf without a clear mission."    link   video

On December 16, 1998 President Bill Clinton ordered an attack on Iraq's nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors. Clinton said, "Heavy as they are, the costs of action must be weighed against the price of inaction. If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond, we will face a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors. He will make war on his own people. And mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them. Because we're acting today, it is less likely that we will face these dangers in the future."    video  link

On December 17, 1998 The Washington Post reported, "The opening U.S. attack against Iraq yesterday involved more than 200 cruise missiles launched from ships in the Persian Gulf and scores of bombs dropped from aircraft flying from the carrier USS Enterprise against targets across the country, defense officials said. With the strikes planned to last at least three days and possibly longer, officials said U.S. and British warplanes stationed in Persian Gulf states and B-52 bombers operating out of the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia would join the effort, which aims to pummel a broad range of targets critical to Iraq's weapons manufacturing and President Saddam Hussein's hold on power."    link

In an August 3, 1999 interview, Richard Butler, former chief weapons inspector for UNSCOM, said that Saddam Hussein had an "addiction" for weapons of mass destruction.    video

On September 8, 2001 the Washington Times wrote about a recently declassified semiannual CIA report covering the period from July to December of 2000. The CIA reported to congress that, "In the absence of UNSCOM or other inspections and monitoring since late 1998, we remain concerned that Iraq may again be producing biological warfare agents. Iraq has continued working on its L-29 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program, which involves converting L-29 jet trainer aircraft originally acquired from Eastern Europe. It is believed that Iraq has conducted flights of the L-29, possibly to test system improvements or to train new pilots. These refurbished trainer aircraft are believed to have been modified for delivery of chemical or, more likely, biological warfare agents." The CIA reported that, "Although we were already concerned about a reconstituted nuclear weapons program, our concerns were increased last September when Saddam publicly exhorted his 'Nuclear Mujahidin' to 'defeat the enemy'."    link   link

On November 25, 2001 The Washington Post wrote an article with details regarding Iraq's germ warfare program. According to the article, U.N. weapons inspectors got their first glimpse of Iraq's biological weapons program during an August 1991 inspection of Salman Pak, one of Iraq's premier biological weapons facilities. Iraqi documents later obtained by the United Nations indicated that Baghdad subsequently filled more than 50 bombs and missile warheads with a liquid form of anthrax. The Washington Post also reported that Iraq acknowledged producing at least 19,000 liters of botulinum toxin, using more than half to fill at least 116 bombs and missile warheads.    link

On September 12, 2002 George W. Bush gave a speech before the United Nations. Armed with a point-by-point list of Saddam Hussein's transgressions included in a White House paper entitled "A Decade of Deception and Defiance" of the United Nations, the President detailed how Saddam continued to develop weapons of mass destruction, engage in egregious human-rights violations, participated in international terrorism, and sought to evade economic sanctions and kept Kuwaiti property that should have been returned after the 1991 Gulf War.    video   link  link

On September 24, 2002, the British government released a report titled "Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government." It was the judgement of the British government that Iraq had: continued to produce chemical and biological agents; tried covertly to acquire technology and materials which could be used in the production of nuclear weapons; sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa; and had learnt lessons from previous UN weapons inspections and had already begun to conceal sensitive equipment and documentation in advance of the return of inspectors. In his January 28, 2003 State of the Union address, George Bush said, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." This quote would later be referred to as his "famous 16 words."    link   link

United Nations weapons inspectors returned to Iraq on November 27, 2002 for the first time since December 1998. In February 2003, one month prior to the outbreak of war, 14 shells containing mustard gas were destroyed in Iraq under UN supervision. According to the official United Nations report (page 30), samples taken from these shells showed the mustard gas produced over 15 years earlier was not degraded and "still of high quality."    link

On March 19, 2003 President George Bush announced, "My fellow citizens, at this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger." Bush said, "We will meet that threat now, with our Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines, so that we do not have to meet it later with armies of fire fighters and police and doctors on the streets of our cities."    video   link

During the 9/11 hearings, former Clinton Defense Secretary William Cohen testified that the manager of a chemical weapons plant in Sudan (which was funded by Osama bin Laden and later destroyed by U.S. cruise missiles on Aug. 20, 1998) met in Baghdad with an Iraqi nerve gas expert.    link   video   link

On May 17, 2004, the U.S. military said a roadside bomb containing sarin nerve agent had recently exploded near a U.S. military convoy. The discovery of nerve gas was followed by a second revelation from the military that another shell, equipped with mustard gas, had been found two weeks earlier.    video   link

On January 25, 2006, Former Iraqi General Georges Sada gave an interview to FOXNews regarding Iraq's missing WMDs. Sada, a top military advisor and the number two man in the air force, claims that Iraq's chemical weapons were moved to Syria prior to the war. Georges Sada is the author of the book called, "Saddam's Secrets: How an Iraqi General Defied and Survived Saddam Hussein."    video   link   link

On April 12, 2006 the White House issued a press release in response to an article in the Washington Post that criticized the administration’s claims about weapons of mass destruction and the justifications for war. It stated, "The Washington Post cites Iraqi WMD evidence as the only reason offered by President Bush for unseating Saddam Hussein..... But the President provided many other reasons for liberating Iraq." The press release from the White House listed six other reasons for the war: 1) Saddam Hussein Violated United Nations Security Council Resolutions; 2) Patrolling The UN-Mandated No-Fly Zone, U.S. And Coalition Forces Were Regularly Attacked; 3) Saddam Hussein Brutalized Iraq's Civilian Population; 4) Saddam Hussein Supported And Harbored Terrorist Organizations; 5) Saddam Hussein Had A History Of Pursuing And Using WMD; and 6) Removing Saddam Hussein Brought Freedom To The Heart Of The Middle East.    link   link

WMD found in Iraq. On June 21, 2006, Senator Rick Santorum (R, PA) called press conference and stated, "We have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, chemical weapons." Reading from a declassified report Santorum said, "Since 2003, coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent. Despite many efforts to locate and destroy Iraq's pre-Gulf War chemical munitions, filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist."    video   video   link

On January 28, 2011 United States Central Command (CENTCOM) declassified information regarding weapons of mass destruction (WMD) found in Iraq after the war. This information was obtained under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and the report received stated that 4,251 various types of CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear) weapons were found by multinational forces after the war. This count included filled as well as empty munitions. The report stated this number was not an official count as CENTCOM does not receive information from other government agencies. It is also possible additional weapons were found after the requested report as the information was dated December 2008 and (from the report) it appears chemical weapons were still being found in Iraq as late as October of that year.   link   link   link   link

On February 25, 2014 the Department of Defence declassified some information regarding Iraq's biological weapons program. A site exploitation team discovered 300 bags of castor beans at the Al Aziziyah Warehouse. A declassified report noted that castor beans could be used to make ricin poisen and it determined these were probably an element of lraq's CBW program. Another declassifed report stated that more than 80 vials of material were found in a baby milk container under the sink at a scientist's home. The vials contained clostridium botulinum, clostridium perfringens, bacillus thuringensis israelis, and other unidentified cultures. The report stated that Dr. Rihab Taha kept "good material" and worked on an anthrax program. The report concluded, "Materials could be used as seed-stock for restarting a BW program. Storage of cultures at homes indicates an intent to maintain a BW capability despite UN restrictions."    link


Life in Iraq under Saddam

On July 8, 1982 Saddam Hussein drove into the city of Dujail, Iraq. After six men attempted to ambush the dictator, thousands of Dujail residents were thrown in jail and tortured. At least 148 men and boys were executed on orders signed by Saddam Hussein.    link   video

Saddam pursued a long-term program of persecuting the Iraqi Kurds, including the use of chemical weapons. During the Iran/Iraq war, Saddam appointed his cousin, Ali Hassan al-Majid, as his deputy in the north. In 1987-88, al-Majid led the "Anfal" campaign of attacks on Kurdish villages. Amnesty International estimates that more than 100,000 Kurds were killed or disappeared during this period.    link   link

As well as ensuring his absolute control inside Iraq, Saddam tried to make Iraq the dominant power of the region. In pursuit of these objectives he led Iraq into two wars of aggression against neighbors, the Iran-Iraq war and the invasion of Kuwait.    link   link

On June 27, 1993 Vice President Al Gore said, "But there's no question about the fact that he and his Baathist regime in Iraq rule by terror and atrocity, and they have intimidated the people of Iraq by imposing such suffering upon them to let him remain in power. He tortures people, kills people and so he has remained in power and that's unfortunate."    link

The Oil-for-Food Program was established by the United Nations in 1995 and it terminated in late 2003. Its intent was to allow Iraq to sell oil on the world market in exchange for food, medicine, and other humanitarian needs. The program was introduced as a response to arguments that ordinary Iraqi citizens were inordinately affected by the economic sanctions aimed at demilitarizing Saddam Hussein's Iraq, imposed in the wake of the first Gulf War. Under UN supervision, the Oil-for-Food program became a major financial scandal allowing Saddam to pocket billions of dollars through kickbacks and other illicit deals. In addition to the billions of dollars Saddam received illegally under Oil-for-Food, many more billions were gained by smuggling oil to neighboring countries outside of the program. During this period, the United States Navy searched thousands of ships bound for or departing Iraq as part of its Maritime Intercept Operations and the enforcement of U.N. economic sanctions.    link    link

The Baath Party was the only legal political party in Iraq. It pervaded all aspects of Iraqi life. Membership, was necessary for self advancement and conferred benefits from the regime.    link   link

Army officers were an important part of the government's network of informers. Suspicion that officers had ambitions other than the service of the President led to immediate execution. It was routine for Saddam to take pre-emptive action against those who he believed might conspire against him.    link   link

Human rights abuses under Saddam:

4000 prisoners were executed at Abu Ghraib Prison in 1984.
3000 prisoners were executed at the Mahjar Prison between 1993 and 1998.
About 2500 prisoners were executed between 1997 and 1999 in a "prison cleansing" campaign.
122 male prisoners were executed at Abu Ghraib prison in February/ March 2000. A further 23 political prisoners were executed there in October 2001.
In October 2000, dozens of women accused of prostitution were beheaded without any judicial process. Some were accused for political reasons.
Women prisoners at Mahjar were routinely raped by their guards.
Methods of torture used in Iraqi jails include using electric drills to mutilate hands, pulling out fingernails, knife cuts, sexual attacks and 'official rape'.
Prisoners at the Qurtiyya Prison in Baghdad and elsewhere were kept in metal boxes the size of tea chests. If they did not confess they were left to die.    link   link   link

Saddam issued a series of decrees establishing severe penalties for criminal offences. These include amputation, branding, cutting off ears, and other forms of mutilation. Those found guilty of slandering the President could have their tongue removed.    video   link

Much of the recent controversy surrounding Abu Ghraib has made only vague reference to the prison's nightmarish past. Under Saddam Hussein, some thirty thousand people were executed there, and countless more were tortured and mutilated, returning to Iraqi society as visible evidence of the brutality of Baathist rule instead of being lost to the anonymity of mass graves.   
video   video   link   link

Saddam's son Udayy maintained a private torture chamber known as the Red Room in a building on the banks of the Tigris disguised as an electricity installation. He ordered the Iraq football team to be caned on the soles of the feet for losing a World Cup match. He created a militia in 1994 which used swords to execute victims outside their own homes. He has personally executed dissidents, for instance in the Shia uprising at Basra which followed the Gulf War.    video   video   link

Members of Saddam's family were also subject to persecution. Some 40 of Saddam's relatives, including women and children, were killed.    link   link

The Fedayeen (Uday Hussein's militia) assassinated opposition figures, broke the backs of those accused of lying to the government and chopped off tongues, fingers, hands and heads. Sometimes victims were decapitated and the heads were delivered to their families.    link   link

On September 17, 2002 President George W. Bush wrote, "The great struggles of the twentieth century between liberty and totalitarianism ended with a decisive victory for the forces of freedom—and a single sustainable model for national success: freedom, democracy, and free enterprise. In the twenty-first century, only nations that share a commitment to protecting basic human rights and guaranteeing political and economic freedom will be able to unleash the potential of their people and assure their future prosperity. People everywhere want to be able to speak freely; choose who will govern them; worship as they please; educate their children—male and female; own property; and enjoy the benefits of their labor. These values of freedom are right and true for every person, in every society—and the duty of protecting these values against their enemies is the common calling of freedom-loving people across the globe and across the ages." While the President was not specifically referring to Iraq this September 2002 National Security Strategy report defined the foreign policy goals of the Bush Administration (sometimes called the Bush Doctrine). The National Security Strategy was updated in March 2006.    link   link

On March 11, 2003 ABC's Nightline reported that thousands of Marsh Arabs were murdered by Saddam Hussein. Marsh Arabs live in an area along the southern border of Iran and Iraq believed by many to be biblical site of the Garden of Eden. During the 1990's the wetlands were drained for two primary reasons. Draining of the wetlands allowed Saddam to seize political control over the region and it also gave improved access for oil exploration. ABC reported that since 1991 an estimated 100,000 Iraqi Marsh Arabs had become refugees in Iran.    video

On April 9, 2003 U.S. forces entered the city of Bagdad. CBS News reported, "With the regime's feared security forces nowhere to be seen, Iraqis dared to cheer U.S. troops and attack the symbols of Saddam's rule. They danced in the streets, waving rifles, palm fronds and flags, and defaced posters of the longtime Iraqi president..."    link   video

In October of 2003, an Iraqi torture tape was obtained by the media. On the tape, what appear to be Fedayeen Saddam members and Republican Guard troops are shown administering cruel punishments, including chopping off fingers, cutting off tongues, breaking a wrist with a heavy stick, and throwing people off a multi-story building. Also depicted is a beheading by sword, which takes several attempts to complete.    video   link   link

In July of 2004, the Iraqi National Olympic Committee put on display torture devices which were used by Uday Hussein to punish soccer players who failed to perform to expectations. Journalists were shown medieval-style torture equipment, including an "iron maiden-like" casket with metal spikes fixed to the inside. Talip Mutan, an Olympic Committee official said, "There were torture camps of Uday Hussein where sportsmen and women had been murdered or tortured, beaten and left to rot. Your worst nightmares came true in those camps. Using an iron maiden, Uday used to punish not only athletes but also everyone who made him angry. Tortured people were kept in it for hours. When he was nearly dead, he would be brought out..." Also on display was a chain whip with steel barbs the size of a tennis ball attached to the end. Uday would also beat them with iron bars, tan the soles of their feet, and drag them on pavements until their backs became bloodied, then dunk them in sewage to ensure the wounds became infected.    video   link   link

On March 24, 2006 U.S. Joint Forces Command published the "Iraqi Perspectives Project: A View of Operation Iraqi Freedom from Saddam's Senior Leadership." This unclassified report defined the nature of Saddam's regime by stating, "His atrocities differ from those of Hitler and Stalin only in scale, not intent." Inside Iraq societal relations broke down as neighbor no longer trusted neighbor and citizens feared denunciation even by their own family. "In a meeting of Baath Party officials one of Saddam's thugs singled out for special praise to Saddam a man who had executed his own brother for blaspheming the regime."    link


Recommended Reading

Why Iraq Was Inevitable (article by Arthur Herman)
The Clinton Administration's Public Case Against Saddam Hussein
The Saddam-al Qaeda link
12 Iraqi War Myths from
Saddam Hussein's Philanthropy of Terror - by Deroy Murdock
Debunking 8 anti-war myths lied about the conflict in Iraq
WMD Stockpiles Or No Stockpiles: 11 Reasons Why We Were Right To Hit Iraq
The Mother of All Connections (between Iraq and al-Qaeda)
Life Under Saddam Hussein (White House press release)
See men shredded, then say you don't back war
IRAQ- some links to terror by 'backhoe'
Links to articles connecting Saddam, Al Qaeda, and terrorism by 'peach'
The Connection : How al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America (book by Stephen Hayes)
Saddam: King of Terror (book by Con Coughlin)
WMD: The Murderous Reign of Saddam Hussein (movie/documentary)
Translating the Iraq Documents (blog by jveritas)
Regime of Terror: Documenting Saddam Hussein's Support of Terrorism (blog by Mark Eichenlaub)
Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Download FlowPlayer (free video player for the web)
Download videos from
The New York Times - search news articles going back to 1851
Google News Archive Search - historical archives going back decades - news research made easy

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