Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Are Terrorists Weapons of Mass Destruction?

In addition to the Saddam tapes that are set to be released next week and the many chemical weapons that have been recovered in Iraq, we now have word that terrorists were being trained in three camps there...

...So much for the "there were no terrorists in Iraq until America got there" theory.

"THE FORMER IRAQI REGIME OF Saddam Hussein trained thousands of radical Islamic terrorists from the region at camps in Iraq over the four years immediately preceding the U.S. invasion, according to documents and photographs recovered by the U.S. military in postwar Iraq. The existence and character of these documents has been confirmed to THE WEEKLY STANDARD by eleven U.S. government officials.

The secret training took place primarily at three camps--in Samarra, Ramadi, and Salman Pak--and was directed by elite Iraqi military units. Interviews by U.S. government interrogators with Iraqi regime officials and military leaders corroborate the documentary evidence. Many of the fighters were drawn from terrorist groups in northern Africa with close ties to al Qaeda, chief among them Algeria's GSPC and the Sudanese Islamic Army. Some 2,000 terrorists were trained at these Iraqi camps each year from 1999 to 2002, putting the total number at or above 8,000. Intelligence officials believe that some of these terrorists returned to Iraq and are responsible for attacks against Americans and Iraqis. According to three officials with knowledge of the intelligence on Iraqi training camps, White House and National Security Council officials were briefed on these findings in May 2005; senior Defense Department officials subsequently received the same briefing." (source)

I always figured that if WMDs were found the naysayers would have accused Cheney, Rummy and Rove of planting them there themselves...but what will be said if definitive connections between Al Qaeda and Saddam's regime is shown through documents? If indeed there was financial, training and planning cooperation...what will be said then?

Read the rest of Stephen Hayes' Weekly Standard article: Saddam's Terror Training Camps

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