Question: Saddam's Rules?
Fourteen weeks before he blew up the World Trade Center,
Mohammed Atta met with Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani,
an Iraqi intelligence officer stationed at the Iraqi
Embassy in Prague. Although this meeting was the only
observed liaison between a 9-11 hijacker and an official
of a foreign intelligence service, the New York Times
reported on February 6th that although the CIA established
the meeting in fact took place, it does not consider
it evidence of Iraqi involvement in Atta's actions ("Terror
acts By Baghdad Have Waned, U.S. Aides Say.")
The Times gathered from its CIA source that "experts"
had concluded the meeting for which Atta had flown 7000
miles was not relevant to the terrorist attack because
" [Saddam] Hussein would never have entrusted such
a secretive matter to a mid level officer like Mr. Ani."
(The Times had reported a similar CIA assessment in
a story on December 15th.) If this logic is valid, the
clandestine meeting between Atta and al-Ani is unimportant.
Question: Does Saddam Hussein entrust his intelligence
officers with bombings and assassinations?
Yes. Saddam Hussein has entrusted mid-level case officers
in its intelligence service with missions that supported
highly-sensitive bombings and assassinations. Consider,
the following three examples.
1) In l998, Iraq plotted the bombing of Radio Free
Europe, a highly-sensitive American target in Prague.
If the bombing had succeeded, Americans could have been
killed and the station, which broadcasts to Iraq and
other nations in the Middle East, destroyed. The Iraq
intelligence officer entrusted with the bombing mission
was Jabir Salim, the consul and second secretary at
the Iraq embassy in Prague, which was the precise position
Al-Ani held at the time of his meetings with Atta.
This plot was revealed in late 1998 when Salim defected
from the Czech Republic with his family and was debriefed
by the British MI-6. He said that Baghdad had allocated
$150,000 to finance the terrorist operation. Salim's
replacement in 1999 was Al-Ani. The information, which
became a huge scandal in Prague leading to the firing
of Czech counter-intelligence, was made available to
the CIA. So, the CIA knew that Iraq entrusted its intelligence
officers in Prague with covert missions and, specifically
one, involving the bombing of an American target.
2. On April 14, 1993, Iraq plotted to assassinate former
President George Bush while he was visiting Kuwait.
The assassins were Ra'ad al-Asadi and Wali al-Ghazali,
two Iraqi nationals, who had been supplied with a sophisticated
car bomb. They were captured in Kuwait City and, when
interrogated by the FBI, they admitted that they had
been recruited by individuals associated with the Iraqi
intelligence Service in Basra, Iraq, who provided them
with the explosive device four days before Bush arrived
The CIA concluded with "confidence" from
its secret sources that the Iraqi government, at the
highest levels, had directed the case officers in Basra
to recruit and supply the assassins. So, again, the
CIA found that Saddam Hussein entrusted officers of
his intelligence service with sensitive assassination
missions in this case, the assassination of President
3. On February 26, 1993, Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, a Baluchi
bomb-maker, helped organize the bombing of the World
Trade Center in New York City a bombing that aimed
at collapsing the north tower onto the south tower and
releasing a lethal cloud of cyanide gas onto the trapped
people inside them. Yousef subsequently attempted the
bombing of 12 US airliners over the Pacific in 1995.
Yousef's escape from New York, and subsequent mission,
was greatly facilitated by false documentation, including
a passport in the name of Abdul Basit Mahmood Abdul
Karim, which could only have been created and supplied
to him by officers of the Iraqi intelligence service,
as Laurie Mylroie exhaustively documents in her book,
"Study of Revenge."
For this false documentation, or "legend,"
the Iraq intelligence officers needed Kuwait's Interior
Ministry files, which were in Iraqi custody during the
six month occupation of Kuwait. These records contained
the biographical data about the real (and probably dead)
Abdul Basit Mahmood Abdul Karim. The Iraqis then inserted
into these records the real fingerprints of Yousef,
so Yousef's identity would trace back to Kuwait. The
Iraq government would have to authorize the preparation
of such a legend, since it controlled Kuwait's Interior
Ministry files. Then, an Iraqi officer provided Yousef
with a copy of Abdul Basit's passport, probably seized
from the dead Abdul Basit.
Presumably, the purpose of this Iraqi-created legend
was to provide a mask for Yousef for his covert actions.
So again, Iraq entrusted a case officer with a covert
action one which, as it turned out, supported
attempts to destroy the World Trade Center and create
mass murder in the air.
Consequently, the proposition Saddam Hussein does not
entrust mid-level official with murderous missions is
contradicted by these three prior incidents. The first
one shows that Iraq had entrusted Ani's direct predecessor
with $150,000 for terror bombing. The second shows Iraq
had entrusted intelligence officers with the task of
assassinating ex-President Bush. The third one shows
Iraq was deeply involved in the 1993 attempt to mass
murder the inhabitants of the World Trade Center. Why
wouldn't it repeat itself?