Monday, June 26, 2006

Saddam had ties to Taliban, al Qaeda, and other jihadists

Declassified documents...and they didn't come from CBS, so there's a decent chance they're authentic! From the scourge of the left, Fox News:
Newly declassified documents captured by U.S. forces indicate that Saddam Hussein's inner circle not only actively reached out to the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan and terror-based jihadists in the region, but also hosted discussions with a known Al Qaeda operative about creating jihad training "centers," possibly in Baghdad.

Ray Robison, a former member of the CIA-directed Iraq Survey Group (ISG), supervised a group of linguists to analyze, archive and exploit the hundreds of captured documents and materials of Saddam's regime.

This is the final installment in a three-part series concerning a notebook kept by an Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) agent called Khaled Abd El Majid, and covers events taking place in 1999. The translation is provided by Robison's associate, known here as “Sammi.”

The first two translations from this notebook detailed an agreement between members of the Saddam regime and the Taliban to establish diplomatic and intelligence based cooperation. This final translation further advances the link between the Saddam regime and world-wide Islamic Jihad terrorism.

The relationship between the Taliban and Saddam appears to have been mediated by a Pakistani named Maulana Fazlur Rahman. Another document captured in Afghanistan and written by an Al Qaeda operative confirms the relationship between the Maulana and Saddam. The translation provided here includes an early 1999 meeting between the director of the IIS and the Maulana.

Another notebook entry records a meeting with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an Afghani Islamic Jihadist and leader of the Islamic Party in Afghanistan. Hekmatyar made news recently with the BBC article Afghan Rebel’s pledge to al-Qaeda that reports on a video statement from Hekmatyar in which he states he will fight alongside Al Qaeda. In this translation, Hekmatyar makes specific requests for a “center” in Baghdad and/or Tajikistan.

A third meeting involves an Islamist representing Bangladesh that we believe to be Fazlur Rahman Khalil. Another page of the notebook indicates Khalil is coming or came to Iraq. Khalil is a Taliban/Al Qaeda associate who signed the 1998 fatwa from Usama bin Laden declaring war on the United States.
Big coinkidink, I'm sure. There's more in the link, so read at your convenience. Sucks to be part of the "Bush lied, people died" and "There's no connection between Iraq and terrorism" crew, doesn't it? However, I have a prediction, and I doubt I'm going out on a limb with it:

The left will dispute the validity of the documents, if not accuse them of being planted or "timed" to coincide with the election this year. They will point to Bush's poor PR handling of not linking Iraq with al Qaeda as "proof" there was no such link, despite the contents of these documents. Basically, the left has invested so much time and energy into the "Bush lied" and "No connection to terror" mantras that they almost have to go down with the Kennedy car, don't they?