FoxNews: Part 4 of the Saddam Papers July 7, 2006Posted by nukemhill in WoT.
This document supports a few strong conclusions. It clearly proves that an Arab country was providing professional military assistance to Arab operatives in Afghanistan. While the document does not identify the country of origin of these Arab men, it’s a logical omission since it wouldn’t make sense to name the country in a memo whose purpose is to instruct how to hide one’s nationality.
It is important to note, however, that in 1999, Iraq — along with Syria — was again identified by the U.S. Department of State as a government sponsor of terrorism, the only two Arab nations classified as state sponsors of terrorism at that time.
The document also appears to be a professional military intelligence letter of instruction. These men have military IDs. The instruction references an intelligence manual. The letter mentions “trusted” Afghans, so we know they are working in cooperation with forces in Afghanistan. It is highly unlikely that any military would send a semi-permanent contingent with families into Afghanistan for cooperation or training unless the Afghan organization was stable and in control. It therefore seems likely that these soldiers are working closely with the Taliban.
There are media reports of a group of Iraqi soldiers in Afghanistan. Jeffery Goldberg reported for The New Yorker in a February 2003 article entitled The CIA and Pentagon take another look at Al Qaeda and Iraq:
“In interviews with senior officials, the following picture emerged: American intelligence believes that Al Qaeda and Saddam reached a non-aggression agreement in 1993, and that the relationship deepened further in the mid-nineteen-nineties, when an Al Qaeda operative — a native-born Iraqi who goes by the name Abu Abdullah al-Iraqi — was dispatched by bin Laden to ask the Iraqis for help in poison-gas training. Al-Iraqi’s mission was successful, and an unknown number of trainers from an Iraqi secret-police organization called Unit 999 were dispatched to camps in Afghanistan to instruct Al Qaeda terrorists.”
Unit 999 might sound like it’s straight out of a James Bond movie, but there are many references to an actual Iraqi intelligence unit that appears to take on Special Forces missions. Global Security.org, which sources most of its information from declassified U.S. government documents, describes Unit 999:
This “deep penetration” unit, responsible for domestic and international clandestine operations, was headquartered at the army base at Salman Pak, southeast of Baghdad. Unit 999 activities included infiltration of opposition militias in the Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq, a planned effort by the unit to kidnap the U.S. commander General Schwarzkopf from Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm, and sabotage attacks on Iranian oil installations in the 1990s.
This manual provides further evidence that the Iraqi military was active in Afghanistan and working with the Taliban. The Taliban harbored and trained with Al Qaeda. The information in the document matches media reports that U.S. intelligence sources believed the IIS was training Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. It also matches information from other IIS documentation that shows requests from Islamic Jihad groups in Afghanistan for Iraqi military assistance.
I know a few people are claiming this (and other pieces) is proof that Saddam was at least assisting with 9/11, if not behind it. I won’t go that far–yet. But he certainly was waaaay more involved with the ‘operational’ aspects of al Qaeda’s terrorist activities than most people supposed. Do you think this will change any minds?