By Louis Fairmont
In March 2008, the Pentagon released some of Saddam Hussein’s classified documents that were captured during Operation Iraqi Freedom. These documents called the Iraqi Perspectives Project Saddam and Terrorism: Emerging Insights from Captured Iraqi Documents Volumes 1-5 (Redacted) are a compilation of “more than 600,000 original captured documents and several thousand hours of audio and video footage archived in a US Department of Defense (DOD) database.” The American people have heard little about what is in these declassified Iraqi documents. Why? Because some people within the Pentagon are playing politics and do not want the truth to come out about how Saddam operated his regime and his relationship with al Qaida.
In my new book titled The Link: The Secret Relationship between Saddam and al Qaida, I have done an exhaustive review of these Iraqi documents and have found new evidence regarding Saddam Hussein’s regime and his relationship with al Qaida. Within these documents, memos, and transcripts, the truth behind Colin Powell’s address to the United Nations on February 5, 2003 is revealed. In my book, I have detailed with facts that Saddam was financing, training, supporting, and providing a safe haven for al Qaida.
Saddam was able to conceal his relationship with al Qaida through secrecy and intermediaries. Likewise Saddam was able to conceal his weapons of mass destruction. First let’s address the definition of weapons of mass destruction. Weapons of mass destruction (WMD) can be biological, chemical, or nuclear. These are weapons that will kill civilians as well as military personnel when used. When we discuss WMD we are not just talking about nuclear, but biological and chemical weapons as well. The Pentagon report on Saddam is clear that Saddam had biological and chemical weapons long after he was supposed to have dismantled these weapons. In addition the existence of a nuclear energy program as late as 2000 is illustrated in the Pentagon report which is long after he was supposed to have halted this program.
On February 5, 2003, the Secretary of State, Colin Powell addressed the United Nations Security Council. It turns out that everything he discussed in his address can be seen in the memos, documents, and transcripts within the Pentagon report on Saddam. Contrary to what the media has said, Colin Powell spoke the truth, and the intelligence he presented was good. First let’s review the major points from Colin Powell’s UN address:
· Iraq had a history of concealing its biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons programs.
· Iraq had a special committee that oversaw the UN inspections. Its job was to deceive and undermine the inspectors.
· Iraq had developed mobile units so that the WMD weapons and research could be moved easily to evade UN inspectors.
· Saddam had ties to terrorism, and was giving al Qaida safe haven in Iraq.
Colin Powell began his address by discussing the UN Resolution 1441. On November 8, 2002 the UN Security Council voted unanimously to disarm Iraq. “Iraq had already been found guilty of material breach of its obligations, stretching back over 16 previous resolutions and 12 years.” Resolution 1441 was Iraq’s last chance to unilaterally disarm. This meant that all of its biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons must be destroyed and programs halted. At that point Iraq had to comply or face serious consequences.
Concealment of Weapons of Mass Destruction
On the concealment of WMDs, Colin Powell said “This council placed the burden on Iraq to comply and disarm and not on the inspectors to find that which Iraq has gone out of its way to conceal for so long. Inspectors are inspectors; they are not detectives…. The facts on …Iraq’s behavior demonstrate that Saddam Hussein and his regime have made no effort–no effort–to disarm as required by the international community. Indeed, the facts and Iraq’s behavior show that Saddam Hussein and his regime are concealing their efforts to produce more weapons of mass destruction…. This effort to hide things from the inspectors is not one or two isolated events, quite the contrary. This is part and parcel of a policy of evasion and deception that goes back 12 years, a policy set at the highest levels of the Iraqi regime.”
This pattern of concealment is exposed in the Pentagon report on Saddam. In one Iraqi transcript that has been translated and is labeled ISGQ-2003-00003598 it says “some targets are mobile, and Iraq has proven that it moved throughout the country very expansive equipment and data to evade United Nations’ weapons inspection teams.”
The fact that Iraq continued to conceal its weapons and programs is clearly seen in memo ISGQ-2005-00034061. This memo is dated October 22, 2000 and is addressed to the Deputy Director of Intelligence Service regarding scientific ideas and is from the General Security Section Director. The General Security Section Director asks that the biologist named Uday Salim Mahdi destroy all documents he has in regards to his biological weapons research. The memo states that Mahdi should “destroy all of the documents related to his research to avoid any inconvenience with the inspection groups or the possibility of it reaching the country’s enemies.” The response letter from the Deputy Director of Intelligence Service to the General Security Section Director explains that the biologist has been working on the “production of viruses and bacteria that could be used to contaminate enemy water supplies in American military bases in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.” Apparently the biologist, Mahdi, sent a suggestion in to his commander that was forwarded to the nuclear energy organization. This provides new evidence that Saddam was continuing his nuclear energy program long after he said it had been halted. The Deputy Director was concerned that this research would be found out by the inspectors, so he asked the biologist stop working on these viruses and bacteria and to destroy all documentation related to this research and development. At the end of the memo it says “if a decision was made to carry out an operation of this kind, the material required can be found in the local markets.” It is not as if they are destroying the documentation and biological agents to comply with the UN, but to conceal the research and agents from the UN inspectors. From these two letters we see clearly that as of October 22, 2000 Saddam was still researching and developing biological weapons and continuing his nuclear program. Concerned about the UN inspectors finding out about this research and development, they are asking the biologist to stop working on these biological agents and to destroy all related documentation.
Committee of Concealment
Colin Powell went on to talk about an Iraqi committee of concealment whose job is to mislead and evade the UN inspectors. Colin Powell says “Iraq has a high-level committee to monitor the inspectors who were sent in to monitor Iraq‘s disarmament. Not to cooperate with them, not to assist them, but to spy on them and keep them from doing their jobs. The committee reports directly to Saddam Hussein…. [Their] job is not to cooperate, it is to deceive; not to disarm, but to undermine the inspectors; not to support them, but to frustrate them and to make sure they learn nothing.
Saddam’s pattern of deceit is clearly seen in the transcript ISGQ-2003-M0006443. Saddam’s method of evading inspectors is described. In this transcript, Saddam is discussing with his command members the visit of Rolf Ekeus and the UN inspectors. Tarik Aziz tells the other command members that he is handling the UN inspectors as follows: When the inspectors ask, what amounts of biological weapons have been produced and what the goals of these weapons were, we “told the technical comrades that when they ask, tell them this is not our job.” The researchers and developers of the chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons were supposed to say to the inspectors simply that: “We have the duty of implementation. Ask us in the implementation matters.” The researchers and developers were further told if these types of political or security questions were asked, then they should defer the UN inspector to the appropriate Iraqi political official. Likewise questions regarding the quantities transformed into weapons, timing of production, and timing of destruction should be handled by the appropriate political official.
Mobile WMDs Units
Another concern raised during Colin Powell’s address to the UN was that Iraq had mobile WMD units. Colin Powell said that Iraq had “mobile production facilities used to make biological agents. The trucks and train cars are easily moved and are designed to evade detection by inspectors.” These mobile units allowed Saddam to quickly move the weapons when the UN inspectors arrived. Even more importantly is that these mobile units were highly sophisticated production units. They were capable of actually producing both chemical and biological weapons.
Memo ISGQ-2003-00003598 is dated January 4, 2001, so its just eight months before the September 11, 2001 attacks. Saddam was concerned that the U.S. might bomb Iraq. This transcript describes that the Iraqi leadership was concerned that Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons sites may be bombed. The Iraqi Intelligence Service had learned that the American weapons manufacturers were developing bombs that were able to “penetrate deeply into the ground or concrete.” If one of these sites was hit and not completely annihilated by the blast, then the chemical and biological weapons could “be detected from the air by some hazardous airborne substances.” The memo says that “some targets are mobile, and Iraq has proven that it moved throughout the country very expansive equipment and data to evade United Nations’ weapons inspection teams. Still, precision is essential and fundamental to the Americans if they want to strike vital targets while minimizing civilian losses simultaneously.” Clearly Saddam still had both chemical and biological weapons as of the writing of this memo, January 4, 2001. The memo proves that Saddam used mobile units to produce biological and chemical weapons and to evade UN weapons inspectors.
Rolf Ekeus, the leader of the first UN Inspections Team to go into Iraq, warned that these production facilities were the biggest threat. The reason is that chemical and biological weapons can lose their potency over time, but having production facilities that can quickly produce the agent and move them to where they are needed is the most serious threat. Rolf Ekeus warned in 2003 that “This combination of researchers, engineers, know-how, precursors, batch production techniques and testing is what constituted Iraq’s chemical threat — its chemical weapon. The rather bizarre political focus on the search for rusting drums and pieces of munitions containing low-quality chemicals has tended to distort the important question of WMD in Iraq and exposed the American and British administrations to unjustified criticism. The real chemical warfare threat from Iraq … is the chance that Iraqi chemical weapons specialists would sign up with terrorist networks such as al Qaida…. While biological weapons are not easily adapted for battlefield use, they are potentially … more devastating as a means for massive terrorist onslaught on civilian targets.”
What biological weapons were being produced? Well Colin Powell said that anthrax and botulinum toxins had been produced. We know from the attacks on the Kurds that Saddam also had typhoid spores and cholera. Colin Powell goes on to warn, “In fact, they can produce enough dry biological agent in a single month to kill thousands upon thousands of people. And [a] dry agent of this type is the most lethal form for human beings.” Another more chilling fact is that Iraq was producing weaponized anthrax. When Iraq finally admitted to having biological weapons in 1995 the quantities were large. Colin Powell continued by explaining that less than a teaspoon of dry anthrax could cause catastrophic results. He gave the example of when the United States Senate was shutdown in the fall of 2001 because of an envelope with less than a teaspoon of anthrax. Several hundred people had to receive emergency medical care, and the two postal workers who handled the envelope were killed.
Ties to al Qaida
Colin Powell warned that Saddam had direct operational ties to terrorism and explained that al Qaida had a camp in the Northern part of Iraq. In the Pentagon Report on Saddam there are numerous memos, transcripts, and documents that prove Saddam’s alliance with terrorists. Here in 2003, Colin Powell said that “Our concern is not just about these elicit weapons. It’s the way that these elicit weapons can be connected to terrorists and terrorist organizations that have no compunction about using such devices against innocent people around the world. Iraq and terrorism go back decades. Baghdad trains Palestine Liberation Front members in small arms and explosives. Saddam uses the Arab Liberation Front to funnel money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers in order to prolong the Intifada. And it’s no secret that Saddam’s own intelligence service was involved in dozens of attacks or attempted assassinations in the 1990s.”
In the Pentagon report on Saddam, all of Saddam’s terrorist ties are illustrated. These connections have been illustrated throughout my book. In addition, Saddam’s Fedayeen recruited martyrs to carry out suicide attacks. In Volume 3, p.184 of the Pentagon Report on Saddam there is a letter from an individual who is volunteering to carry out a suicide mission. The letter says “I ask your Excellency to allow me to participate in carrying out the martyrs missions to prove to the full world that we are with our brothers in the occupied territory by soul too.” The letter is dated June 8, 2001. This is just three months prior to the September 11th attacks.
Saddam was also financing terrorists in large sums. In Volume 2, p.507 there is a memo that illustrates this financing. This memo states that 40 million dinars were paid to the families of Palestinian martyrs. In Volume 3, p.265 a memo describes that one of Saddam’s commandos is being paid 1.5 million dinars in order to execute a hostile agent who resides in London, England.
In addition to all of the above, Saddam was creating jihadist propaganda for the Islamic terrorists. In Volume 3, pdf page 344, there is a memo that describes this jihadist propaganda created by Iraq titled “Lessons in ‘Secret Organization and Jihad Work’. These lessons were authorized, directed, reviewed, updated and margin-notated as well as signed by Saddam Hussein himself. The Minister of Culture, the Press Secretary and members of a select committee were directed to write and re-write all of these lessons. These activities were from 1992 through 2000.” These lessons in jihad were distributed in multiple formats including cassette tapes, internet, radio, newspapers, television, videos, booklets, and e-mails.
Colin Powell stressed the danger of Iraq having a connection to al Qaida. Powell continued by saying “But what I want to bring to your attention today is the potentially much more sinister nexus between Iraq and the Al Qaida terrorist network, a nexus that combines classic terrorist organizations and modern methods of murder. Iraq today harbors a deadly terrorist network headed by Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, an [associate and] collaborator of Usama Bin Laden and his Al Qaida lieutenants. Zarqawi, a Palestinian born in Jordan, fought in the Afghan war more than a decade ago. Returning to Afghanistan in 2000, he oversaw a terrorist training camp. One of his specialties and one of the specialties of this camp is poisons. When our coalition [forces] ousted the Taliban, the Zarqawi network helped establish another poison and explosive training center camp. And this camp is located in northeastern Iraq.” Colin Powell continues, “The network is teaching its operatives how to produce ricin and other poisons. Let me remind you how ricin works. Less than a pinch—[imagine] a pinch of salt–less than a pinch of ricin, eating just this amount in your food, would cause shock followed by circulatory failure. Death comes within 72 hours and there is no antidote, there is no cure. It is fatal. Those helping to run this camp are Zarqawi lieutenants operating in northern Kurdish areas outside Saddam Hussein’s controlled Iraq. But Baghdad has an agent in the most senior levels of the radical organization, Ansar al-Islam, that controls this corner of Iraq. In 2000 this agent offered Al Qaida safe haven in the region. After we swept Al Qaida from Afghanistan, some of its members accepted this safe haven. They remain their today.”
There is a memo not included in the Pentagon report but is included in the Harmony database at West Point. This letter dated July 9, 2005 is titled “Zawahiri’s Letter to Zarqawi.” The letter was written by Ayman al-Zawahiri who was in Afghanistan at the time. The letter was addressed to Abu Musam al-Zarqawi who was the leader of al Qaida in Iraq. Zawahiri explains that al Qaida had four main goals:
1. “Expel the Americans from Iraq.
2. Establish an Islamic authority and develop it into a caliphate, extending influence over as much Iraqi territory as possible.
3. Extend the jihad to Iraq’s secular neighbors.
4. Extend the jihad to Israel.”
From the Pentagon report on Saddam, we know al Qaida was in Iraq as early as 1995. In transcript ISGQ-2003-M0006443 includes a conversation that was made in 1995 as part of a discussion about the United Nations (UN) weapons inspection after the Gulf War. Keep in mind, that this transcript is dated six years prior to the 2001 WTC bombing. Saddam’s command member wants al Qaida to be recognized for their efforts.
Apparently some of the Arab mujahideen from Afghanistan were relocated to Iraq to aid Saddam after the Gulf War. In another related memo 110/2/43 dated January 25, 1993, describes Iraq renewing its relationship with the Islamic Group Organization (IG) led by Umar Abed al Rahman, also known as the blind cleric behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. This memo says “To make use of the Arab Islamic elements that were fighting in Afghanistan and do not have current operating bases. They are dispersed in Sudan, Somalia and Egypt.” Part of the agreement that was made between Iraq and the IG was that Iraq would make use of the Arab mujahideen forces that originated in Afghanistan.
In transcript ISGQ-2003-M0006443 these same Arab mujahideen forces are discussed again. By 1995, some of al Qaida and the Arab mujahideen have relocated to Iraq and are helping Saddam rebuild broken airplanes, equipment, and weapons. The conversation begins with a discussion of al Qaida described as the “believers” and how they operate. Saddam says “I mean the determination of believers and how they work. The idea of military manufacturing began with the idea of utilizing all the other militarization capabilities to repair the equipment that was repairable. I mean whether in service or not. The idea of using air power was born and [the] air force and the engineering of electrical equipment along [with] the military manufacturing capacities. They created a campaign [and] they called it the call of the leader for two months.” Saddam continues describing this campaign led by al Qaida in Iraq to fix massive amounts of military equipment for Saddam. A large number of al Qaida members must have been in Iraq working on this project because the list of fixed equipment is long. “In the two months [al Qaida] repaired tools that were beyond usage.” Saddam continues by saying that they were working at an airport. He says the following items were repaired by al Qaida and the Arab mujahideen.
· 250 Armored Personnel Carriers
· 40 Tanks
· 40 Transporters
· 15 Mobile Canons 155 millimeters
· 30 Transporters of a different kind
· 9 “Chifton” tanks
· 35 T-55 Tanks
· 5 T-72 Tanks
· 9 Rescue Tanks
· 10 improvised rocket launchers/tubes
· 90 Various vehicles/trucks
· 9 guns (155 mm)
· 20 guns (155 mm)
· 17 Canons (152 mm)
· 1 gun (150 mm)
· 9 Tanks (55 mm) attached with a 160 mm mortar
· 4 guns (120 mm) B-30
· 57 guns (105 mm)
· 2 guns (240mm)
· 8 guns (120mm)
· 151 mortars (83mm)
· 305 mortars (60mm)
· 30,000 Kalashnikov Rifles
· 1,212 RPK machine guns
· 852 PKC machine guns
· 1,912 RPG-7 bombers
· 63 SPG-9
· 80 Sniper Rifles
· 1 Single machine gun
· 1 gun (106mm)
· 50 various guns
· 10,000 Simanov Rifles
· Surface to surface missile equipment
· 7 Ar-Ra’d Missile Launchers
· 22 Ar-Ra’d Missile Transporters
· 13 At-Tareq Missile Launchers
· 10 At-Tareq Missile Transporters
· 6 Missile Command Sites
· 4 Ababil Missile launchers
· 7 Surveying wheels
· 452 Various Radio Tools
· 659 Field Phone Equipment
· 125 generator engines
· 1,050 Anti-air bases
· 50 coaxial machine guns
· 2 bilateral machine guns
· 7 grenade Launchers (30mm)
· 123 helicopters Aircraft:s
· 18 Fixed Wing Fighter Plane
· 11 Training Planes”
Saddam continues by saying that all of these items have been repaired in “two months”. Obviously a large number of al Qaida members and Arab mujahideen have been relocated to Iraq to aid Saddam after the Gulf War. An unidentified person replies to Saddam, “Can I make a suggestion, sir? …These big efforts regarding the Mujahideen, I suggest that the Council of ministers takes a look at these big and good efforts conducted by these Mujahideen … [and we should] present them with thanks and high appreciation for these good efforts in the service of Iraq.” Saddam continues by saying “These are young men. …They are all professionals and
effective in their duties.” The unidentified person replies, “In this time it is difficult sir and they present Iraq with this big present I see they deserve all appreciation and respect from our part and the thing is left to al Qaida God preserves it.” Saddam replies, “They [al Qaida] suggested an exterior I doubled the proposal that’s why they are happy that I am aware of their efforts to the details and every time they present a finding we tell them to do to this person this thing etc I mean and they take the initiative.” Here we clearly see that Saddam was directly working with al Qaida in Iraq in 1995. Al Qaida forces had relocated to Iraq and were actively working to help Iraq in any way they could. In this case they were repairing equipment and aircraft for Iraq.
Saddam was not only financing and supporting terrorism, but he was giving al Qaida a safe haven in Iraq. From creating and distributing Islamic terrorist propaganda to ordering the execution of dissidents, Saddam was in alliance with terrorists. Colin Powell was correct in saying that there existed a sinister nexus with Saddam, al Qaida, and weapons of mass destruction. Everything that Colin Powell said in his 2003 address to the United Nations was true. The Pentagon report on Saddam bears out all of Powell’s assertions. As a result, the U.S. invasion of Iraq was fully justified according to UN Resolution 1441.
The War on Terror began under the Clinton Administration. Because al Qaida was not properly dealt with, it formed more alliances and increased its stronghold until 9/11. Finally America woke up and realized we were in a War on Terror. Once Saddam Hussein who was a partner with terror formed an alliance with al Qaida, he had to be dealt with in the War on Terror.
The United States was completely justified in invading Iraq due to Saddam’s state support of al Qaida and worldwide terrorism in general. As Rolf Ekeus, the lead UN inspector, said the U.S. and Britain were fully justified in the “international military intervention” to overthrow Saddam Hussein. “To accept the alternative — letting Hussein remain in power with his chemical and biological weapons capability — would have been to tolerate a continuing destabilizing arms race in the gulf, including future nuclearization of the region, threats to the world’s energy supplies, leakage of WMD technology and expertise to terrorist networks, systematic sabotage of efforts to create and sustain a process of peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians and the continued terrorizing of the Iraqi people.” The U.S. and its allies had to take Saddam Hussein out before the unimaginable occurred with al Qaida getting access to nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons.
Watch the video on WMDs in Iraq in 2001
Watch the video about al Qaida being in Iraq in 1995
Woods, Kevin M., and James Lacey, Iraqi Perspectives Project: Saddam and Terrorism: Emerging Insights From Captured Iraqi Documents (Institute for Defense Analysis, 2008), Foreword.
 Powell, Colin. “U.S. Secretary of State Addresses the U.N. Security Council.” 5 Feb. 2003.
 Kevin M. Woods, and James Lacey, Iraqi Perspectives Project: Saddam and Terrorism: Emerging Insights From Captured Iraqi Documents, Volume 5, 79.
 Rolf Ekeus, “The Washington Post,” The Washington Post 29 June 2003.
 Rolf Ekeus, “The Washington Post,” The Washington Post 29 June 2003.
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