Monday, January 09, 2006

Saddam's terrorist training camps revealed

Turns out Saddam allowed 3 terrorist training camps that trained over the four year period that led up to the war, 8,000 terrorists. Stephen Hayes at the Weekly Standard got the scoop.

Speaking of Ansar al Islam, the al Qaeda-linked terrorist group that operated in northern Iraq, the former high-ranking military intelligence officer says: "There is no question about the fact that AI had reach into Baghdad. There was an intelligence connection between that group and the regime, a financial connection between that group and the regime, and there was an equipment connection. It may have been the case that the IIS [Iraqi Intelligence Service] support for AI was meant to operate against the [anti-Saddam] Kurds. But there is no question IIS was supporting AI."

The official continued: "[Saddam] used these groups because he was interested in extending his influence and extending the influence of Iraq. There are definite and absolute ties to terrorism. The evidence is there, especially at the network level. How high up in the government was it sanctioned? I can't tell you. I don't know whether it was run by Qusay [Hussein] or [Izzat Ibrahim] al-Duri or someone else. I'm just not sure. But to say Iraq wasn't involved in terrorism is flat wrong."

It's sort of a long article, but well worth the read. Hayes points out that OEF has yielded some 2 million pieces of intel which covers anything from handwritten notes to computer hard drives. And that to this point our Defense Intelligence Agency have gone through only 50,000 pieces.

Maybe I should start learning Farsi.