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Iraq War Watch: NO WMD’s But Saddam Trained Thousands of International Terrorists – REDUX

Michelle Malkin has SADDAM’S TERROR TRAINING CAMPS

“Iraq was not a breeding ground for terrorism. Our invasion has made it one.”
Sen. Ted Kennedy
“Iraq was not a terrorist haven before the invasion.”
Sen. John Kerry

According to a new report in the Weekly Standard by Stephen Hayes, new documents found in post-war Iraq confirm earlier reports that Saddam Hussein actively funded and trained Islamic terrorists.

In the past, some have claimed that these camps were used to train Iraqi counter-terrorism units in anti-hijacking techniques. But it’s hard to square that with Hayes’ report that most of the trainees belonged to Islamic terrorist organizations located in northern Africa.

My friends at Power Line are on the story here and here. Rick Moran weighs in.

This is important news. It ought to be on the front pages. It won’t be. So spread the word.

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AJ Strata weighs in on harnessing the power of the blogosphere to disseminate the news.

Ruins of a former Taliban and Al Qaeda headquarters/training camp near Kandahar, Afghanistan

Powerline: Iraq’s Training of Terrorists Documented

We spoke with Steve Hayes of the Weekly Standard earlier this week; he told us that he was about to publish a bombshell: documents and photographs discovered in Iraq show that in the years leading up to the war, Saddam’s regime trained thousands of international terrorists at several camps in Iraq.

Steve Hayes story: Saddam’s Terror Training Camps

THE FORMER IRAQI REGIME OF Saddam Hussein trained thousands of radical Islamic terrorists from the region at camps in Iraq over the four years immediately preceding the U.S. invasion, according to documents and photographs recovered by the U.S. military in postwar Iraq. The existence and character of these documents has been confirmed to THE WEEKLY STANDARD by eleven U.S. government officials.

The secret training took place primarily at three camps–in Samarra, Ramadi, and Salman Pak–and was directed by elite Iraqi military units. Interviews by U.S. government interrogators with Iraqi regime officials and military leaders corroborate the documentary evidence. Many of the fighters were drawn from terrorist groups in northern Africa with close ties to al Qaeda, chief among them Algeria’s GSPC and the Sudanese Islamic Army. Some 2,000 terrorists were trained at these Iraqi camps each year from 1999 to 2002, putting the total number at or above 8,000. Intelligence officials believe that some of these terrorists returned to Iraq and are responsible for attacks against Americans and Iraqis. According to three officials with knowledge of the intelligence on Iraqi training camps, White House and National Security Council officials were briefed on these findings in May 2005; senior Defense Department officials subsequently received the same briefing.

READ IT ALL

John Hinderaker continues:

Only a tiny fraction–between two and three percent–of the 2,000,000 “exploitable items” recovered in Iraq have been translated. Only in the last few weeks has the Bush administration finally made a commitment to devoting the necessary resources to reviewing and translating the Iraqi documents. Until now, the administration has been reluctant to allow access even to the handful of unclassified documents that have been translated. Thankfully, that posture is changing.

While we have barely scratched the surface of Iraq’s intelligence records, it is already obvious that Saddam was a major supporter and enabler of Islamic terrorism:

“As much as we overestimated WMD, it appears we underestimated [Saddam Hussein’s] support for transregional terrorists,” says one intelligence official.

Apparently there are boxes full of photographs of jihadists training in Saddam’s camps. I’m looking forward to seeing them.

Flap is too!

But, will the New York Times publish them?


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