En oberstløytnant i Saddams Fedayeen kan være den samme mannen som deltok på et toppmøte for Al Qaida der 911 ble planlagt. Det ville i tilfelle tvinge mange til ny erkjennelse som har avskrevet en slik kontakt som oppspinn.

Det er Wall Street Journal som i en leder skriver om de oppsiktsvekkende opplysningene. Det dreier seg om dokumenter amerikanerne beslagla da de tok Bagdad.

One striking bit of new evidence is that the name Ahmed Hikmat Shakir appears on three captured rosters of officers in Saddam Fedayeen, the elite paramilitary group run by Saddam’s son Uday and entrusted with doing much of the regime’s dirty work. Our government sources, who have seen translations of the documents, say Shakir is listed with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

This matters because if Shakir was an officer in the Fedayeen, it would establish a direct link between Iraq and the al Qaeda operatives who planned 9/11. Shakir was present at the January 2000 al Qaeda «summit» in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at which the 9/11 attacks were planned. The U.S. has never been sure whether he was there on behalf of the Iraqi regime or whether he was an Iraqi Islamicist who hooked up with al Qaeda on his own.

Wall Street Journal sier det kan være to personer med samme navn, som begge er irakere. Det kan trolig kontrollsjekkes. Mannen i Kuala Lumpur hadde fått seg jobb på flyplassen!

As others have reported, at the time of the summit Shakir was working at the Kuala Lumpur airport, having obtained the job through an Iraqi intelligence agent at the Iraqi embassy. The four-day al Qaeda meeting was attended by Khalid al Midhar and Nawaz al Hamzi, who were at the controls of American Airlines Flight 77 when it crashed into the Pentagon. Also on hand were Ramzi bin al Shibh, the operational planner of the 9/11 attacks, and Tawfiz al Atash, a high-ranking Osama bin Laden lieutenant and mastermind of the USS Cole bombing. Shakir left Malaysia on January 13, four days after the summit concluded.

That’s not the only connection between Shakir and al Qaeda. The Iraqi next turned up in Qatar, where he was arrested on September 17, 2001, four days after the attacks in the U.S. A search of his pockets and apartment uncovered such information as the phone numbers of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers’ safe houses and contacts. Also found was information pertaining to a 1995 al Qaeda plot to blow up a dozen commercial airliners over the Pacific.

After a brief detention, our friends the Qataris inexplicably released Shakir, and on October 21 he flew to Amman, Jordan. The Jordanians promptly arrested him, but under pressure from the Iraqis (and Amnesty International, which questioned his detention) and with the acquiescence of the CIA, they let him go after three months. He was last seen heading home to Baghdad.

Bush sine argumenter er nå diskreditert av en samlet presse. Det skal bli interessant å se reaksjonen hvis en connection kan bevises. At Zarqawi fikk legebehandling i Bagdad under Saddam gjentas i artikkelen.

In his new book, «The Connection,» Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard puts together all of the many strands of intriguing evidence that the two did do business together. There’s no single «smoking gun,» but there sure is a lot of smoke.

Saddam’s Files
New evidence of a link between Iraq and al Qaeda.

Thursday, May 27, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT