What is not debatable, based on the Iraqi Perspectives Project, is that Saddam Hussein’s regime funded, trained, and assisted terrorist groups (including al-Qaeda proxies), and sometimes actually ordered them to attack American citizens, American interests, and American allies. To compound the danger, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was simultaneously using its intelligence and security apparatus to plot and conduct terror attacks of its own.
The article lists the groups that Saddam’s regime funded, trained, and assisted:
- “Renewal and Jihad Organization”
- Egyptian Islamic Jihad (al-Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri’s group, which merged with Osama bin Laden’s terrorists to form al-Qaeda)
- The Islamic Scholars Group in Pakistan
- Pakistan Scholars Group
- “Army of Muhammad” that it knew to be loyal to Osama bin Laden
A September 2001 document mentions Saddam’s efforts “make common cause” with a number of Islamic radical groups in Kuwait, including a Shiite group. Another document mentions a Sri Lankan group that volunteered to carry out suicide bombings on Saddam’s orders during the first Gulf war. Additional internal memos show Iraqi officials reporting to one another that Hamas was willing through the 1990s to conduct suicide attacks against Americans on behalf of Saddam’s Iraq. These memos also listed Abu Abbas, the notorious Palestinian terrorist, as another man willing to lead his forces for Saddam in attacks against Americans.
The report details the regime’s production of suicide vests, IEDs, and car bombs for plots that included targets in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Saddam’s embassies in these countries were warehouses for missile launchers, plastic explosives, TNT, Kalashnikovs, booby-trapped suitcases, and grenades. These tools were all available to a regime that had internal orders to attack American civilians, military members, bases, embassies, and ships.
The report where Mark Eichenlaub found all this information is five volumes long. What journalist out there is taking the time to comb through this information, rather than continue to believe that Saddam’s Iraq was harmless country that presented no threat to anyone?
While we’re at it, Brian Faughnan at the Weekly Standard posts about Iraq’s Unheralded Political Progress.
Brian’s going to be on next Friday’s postcast. Don’t miss it!