Today President Bush delivers the commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT. I took part in a bloggers’s conference call with the White House this morning regarding the points Pres. Bush made during his speech, as follows,
Osama bin Laden sent Iraqi-born terrorist Abd Al-Hadi Al-Iraqi to Iraq:
– According to our intelligence community, Abd al-Hadi had been a senior advisor to bin Laden and served as his top commander in Afghanistan. Abd Al-Hadi never made it to Iraq. He was captured late last year, and he was recently transferred to the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay.
In January 2005, Osama Bin Laden tasked terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi with forming a cell to conduct terrorist attacks outside Iraq:
– Bin Laden emphasized that America should be Zarqawi’s number one priority in terms of foreign attacks, and Zarqawi welcomed this direction and claimed that he had already come up with some good proposals.
– Bin Laden then tasked one of his top terrorist operatives, Hamza Rabia to send Zarqawi a briefing on al Qaeda’s external operations, including information about operations against the American homeland.
– Our intelligence community reports that a senior al Qaeda leader, Abu Faraj al-Libi went further and suggested that bin Laden actually send Rabia to Iraq to help plan external operations. Abu Faraj later speculated that if this effort proved successful, al Qaeda might one day prepare the majority of its external operations from Iraq.
– In May 2005, Abu Faraj was captured and taken into CIA custody. Several months later, in December 2005, Rabia was killed in Pakistan. And several months after that, in June of 2006, the terrorist Zarqawi was killed by American forces in Iraq. Successes like these are blows to al Qaeda and a testament to steps we have taken to strengthen our intelligence, work closely with partners overseas, and keep the pressure on the enemy by staying on the offense.
As Lawrence Wright said, al-Qaeda’s happy if the US stays in Iraq because the civil war’s serves their purposes; al-Qaeda’s happy if the US withdraws and leaves a likely genocide, spreading to other countries.
Death is what al-Qaeda is selling; and defeat them we must.
The speech is being broadcast live right now on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.
Update: And Now, Al-Qaida In Lebanon