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March 25, 2006

More Connections Between Iraq And Terrorism

Drip, drip, drip:

A new study from the Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia, paints quite a different picture [than John Murtha's claim of no connection between Iraq and terrorism]. According to captured documents cited in the study and first reported in THE WEEKLY STANDARD in January, the former Iraqi regime was training non-Iraqi Arabs in terrorist techniques.
Beginning in 1994, the Fedayeen Saddam opened its own paramilitary training camps for volunteers, graduating more than 7,200 "good men racing full with courage and enthusiasm" in the first year. Beginning in 1998, these camps began hosting "Arab volunteers from Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, 'the Gulf,' and Syria." It is not clear from available evidence where all of these non-Iraqi volunteers who were "sacrificing for the cause" went to ply their newfound skills. Before the summer of 2002, most volunteers went home upon the completion of training. But these camps were humming with frenzied activity in the months immediately prior to the war. As late as January 2003, the volunteers participated in a special training event called the "Heroes Attack." This training event was designed in part to prepare regional Fedayeen Saddam commands to "obstruct the enemy from achieving his goal and to support keeping peace and stability in the province."

Some of this training came under the auspices of the Iraqi Intelligence Service's "Division 27," which, according to the study, "supplied the Fedayeen Saddam with silencers, equipment for booby-trapping vehicles, [and] special training on the use of certain explosive timers. The only apparent use for all of this Division 27 equipment was to conduct commando or terrorist operations."

Perhaps those terrorists were only being trained for an insurgency operation against American-led troops? Nope:

Among the documents released last week was a translation of a three-page Iraqi Intelligence memo regarding a wave of attacks to be conducted by the Saddam Fedayeen.... The undated document was apparently prepared in response to orders given on May 5, 1999.

According to those orders, the Fedayeen Saddam was "to start planning from now on to perform special operations (assassinations/bombings) for the centers and the traitor symbols in the fields of (London/Iran/self-ruled areas) and for coordination with the Intelligence service to secure deliveries, accommodations, and target guidance." The execution of the plan would take place in several steps. After the IIS selected 50 "fedayeen martyrs," they were to receive training at an IIS school. Those who passed the tests would be assigned targets. "The first ten will work in the European field (London). The second ten will be working in the Iranian field. The third will be working in the self-ruled field."

I don't care much about Iran, and we've always known Saddam was terrorizing the Kurds (which is what I imagine the "self-ruled field" refers to), but he was planning terrorist operations in London. With terrorists trained by the IIS.

Contained? "In his box"? He seems to have had an awful lot of room in that box.

Thanks to Jack Straw.


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posted by Ace at 07:54 PM

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