- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 8, 2006

With conservative congressional majorities at risk in next November’s elections, President Bush repeatedly should remind everyone that a key reason coalition troops invaded Iraq was to padlock Saddam Hussein’s Wal-Mart for terrorists. The administration finally is releasing intelligence documents captured in Baghdad. Mr. Bush should use them to detail how Saddam indeed was entwined with terrorists in general and al Qaeda in particular.

These papers appear on the Army Foreign Military Studies Office’s Web site (fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/products-docex.htm). The administration should promote a simple URL (e.g. iraqdocuments.gov) so readers easily can examine Saddam’s terror ties.

According to a March 23 ABC News analysis of several records, “an official representative of Saddam Hussein’s government met with Osama bin Laden in Sudan on February 19, 1995, after receiving approval from Saddam Hussein.” Bin Laden requested that Baghdad broadcast into Saudi Arabia sermons by radical Saudi mullah Suleiman al Ouda. He also proposed, as one file says, “carrying out joint operations against foreign forces” in Saudi Arabia.

The memo states that Saddam was briefed on the March 4, 1995, meeting and notes that after bin Laden decamped Sudan for Afghanistan, “The relationship with him is still through the Sudanese. We’re currently working on activating this relationship through a new channel in light of his current location.”

Saddam approved bin Laden’s requested broadcasts. As for “joint operations against foreign forces,” ABC adds that “eight months after the meeting — on November 13, 1995 — terrorists attacked Saudi National Guard Headquarters in Riyadh, killing five U.S. military advisers. The militants later confessed on Saudi TV to having been trained by Osama bin Laden.”

In the April 3 Weekly Standard, Stephen Hayes cites a U.S. government “Summary of Evidence” on an Iraqi at Guantanamo. “From 1987 to 1989, the detainee served as an infantryman in the Iraqi Army,” the document states. “The detainee was a member of al Qaeda,” it adds. “In August 1998, the detainee traveled to Pakistan with a member of Iraqi Intelligence for the purpose of blowing up the Pakistan, United States and British embassies with chemical mortars.”

In a March 27 cover story, Mr. Hayes dissects an eight-page fax from Iraq’s then-ambassador to Manila, Salah Samarmad, to Baghdad’s Foreign Ministry. The June 6, 2001, communique reveals Ba’athist financing of Abu Sayyaf, al Qaeda’s Philippine branch. That May 27, these terrorists abducted 20 tourists, including three Americans, on the resort island of Palawan. They soon beheaded Californian Guillermo Sobrero.

“The kidnappers were formerly (from the previous year) receiving money and purchasing combat weapons,” Mr. Samarmad wrote headquarters. “From now on we (IIS) are not giving them this opportunity and are not on speaking terms with them,” he added, mentioning the Iraqi Intelligence Service.

As former Clinton foreign policy adviser Laurie Mylroie wrote April 2 on OpinionJournal.com, an order from Saddam Hussein dated Jan. 18, 1993, reads: “Hunt Americans on Arab territory, particularly in Somalia.” That Oct. 3, terrorists staged the “Blackhawk Down” attack in Mogadishu, Somalia, killing 18 U.S. soldiers and wounding 73.

The Iraqi Perspective Project, led by retired Army Lt. Col. Kevin Woods, reviewed an Oct. 7, 2000, document. It indicates that the Fedayeen Saddam operated paramilitary training camps that hosted “Arab volunteers from Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, ‘the Gulf,’ and Syria” who were “sacrificing for the cause.”

Lebanese-born Joseph Shahda translated for FreeRepublic.com a March 11, 2001, top-secret letter addressed “To all the Units” from Air Brigadier General Abdel Magid Hammot Ali and Air Colonel Mohamad Majed Mohamadi. The subject is “Volunteer for Suicide Mission.” It reads, “We ask to provide … (Command of Ali Military) Division with the names of those who desire to volunteer for Suicide Mission to liberate Palestine and to strike American Interests.”

The May-June 2006 Foreign Affairs cites a May 25, 1999, text titled “Fedayeen Saddam Instructions” in which Uday Hussein, the tyrant’s older son, orders “special operations, assassinations and bombings, for the centers and traitor symbols in London, Iran and the self-ruled areas” (Kurdistan). As the authors observe, “Preparations for ‘Blessed July,’ a regime-directed wave of ‘martyrdom’ operations against targets in the West, were well under way at the time of the coalition invasion.”

President Bush repeatedly should remind everyone that coalition forces liberated Iraq on April 9, 2003, less than three months before “Blessed July.”

Deroy Murdock is a columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a senior fellow with the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in Arlington, Va.

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