by John Hawkins | September 15, 2003 4:41 pm
Dick Cheney confirmed yesterday, for the first time, that there was an IRAQI connection to the first WTC bombing that Al-Qaeda conducted…
MR. RUSSERT: The Washington Post asked the American people about Saddam Hussein, and this is what they said: 69 percent said he was involved in the September 11 attacks. Are you surprised by that?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: No. I think it’s not surprising that people make that connection.
MR. RUSSERT: But is there a connection?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: We don’t know. You and I talked about this two years ago. I can remember you asking me this question just a few days after the original attack. At the time I said no, we didn’t have any evidence of that. Subsequent to that, we’ve learned a couple of things. We learned more and more that there was a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda that stretched back through most of the decade of the ’90s, that it involved training, for example, on BW and CW, that al-Qaeda sent personnel to Baghdad to get trained on the systems that are involved. The Iraqis providing bomb-making expertise and advice to the al-Qaeda organization.
We know, for example, in connection with the original World Trade Center bombing in ’93 that one of the bombers was Iraqi, returned to Iraq after the attack of ’93. And we’ve learned subsequent to that, since we went into Baghdad and got into the intelligence files, that this individual probably also received financing from the Iraqi government as well as safe haven.
Now, is there a connection between the Iraqi government and the original World Trade Center bombing in ’93? We know, as I say, that one of the perpetrators of that act did, in fact, receive support from the Iraqi government after the fact. With respect to 9/11, of course, we’ve had the story that’s been public out there. The Czechs alleged that Mohamed Atta, the lead attacker, met in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence official five months before the attack, but we’ve never been able to develop anymore of that yet either in terms of confirming it or discrediting it. We just don’t know.”
Folks, when we have an Iraqi who is being paid and protected by Saddam Hussein participating in an attack on the World Trade Center, that not only suggests that Iraq and Al-Qaeda have had a long-term relationship, it means that it was highly likely that Saddam and Al-Qaeda were cooperating — at least at some level — in their attacks on the US. I bet Jayna Davis who has been saying for years that Saddam was involved in that attack feels vindicated today. It’ll be interesting to see how much more information we get about this Al-Qaeda agent in the future and make no mistake about it, this WILL come up again.
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