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The Butler Report states that Abu Zarqawi began establishing terrorist cells in February 2003 in advance of the Iraq war, to fight a rearguard action in Baghdad against the invading Coalitions forces, according to the Washington Post:
In February 2003, a month before the United States and coalition forces invaded Iraq, British intelligence received reports that Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi was establishing sleeper cells in Baghdad that would attack U.S. forces after they occupied the city, according a report on British prewar intelligence released yesterday in London.
In a prediction that has proved deadly accurate, the British Joint Intelligence Committee in March 2003 wrote, "These cells apparently intend to attack U.S. targets using car bombs and other weapons," according to yesterday's report by the Butler Commission. In the past year, Zarqawi has publicly claimed to have put together an Iraqi network that has committed dozens of bombings and killings, including the beheading of a Bulgarian truck driver that was revealed yesterday.
The March 12, 2003, JIC report also warned that "al Qaeda-associated terrorists continued to arrive in Baghdad in early March." Summarizing this information, the Butler panel noted that the JIC "did warn of the possibility of terrorist attacks on coalition forces in Baghdad."
A senior U.S. intelligence official said yesterday that the CIA was made aware of the reporting "simultaneously." The CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency passed on warnings to Bush administration policymakers that U.S. forces would probably be attacked by "stay behind" Iraqi forces and Islamic terrorists who would be drawn to Iraq by the invasion, officials said.
Perhaps I'm not the world's foremost expert on intelligence, but if al-Qaeda operatives were flooding into Baghdad and conducting joint operations with Iraqi security forces prior to the invasion, doesn't that demonstrate ... collaboration? It cannot possibly be argued that in the runup to the war, all of a sudden Saddam and AQ made all the necessary connections from a complete cold start to complete coordination of forces in preparation for a rearguard guerilla action. Besides, in February when this infiltration occurred, the final action was still in debate in the UNSC.
This information should silence all of the nonsense being tossed around about no connections between Saddam and al-Qaeda. If people think a bunch of armed lunatics could just show up in the capitol city of a state preparing for war without government cooperation, then it only demonstrates ignorance of both sieges and totalitarian states that disqualifies them as analysts.Sphere It View blog reactions
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From the Washington Post: In February 2003, a month before the United States and coalition forces invaded Iraq, British intelligence received reports that Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi was establishing sleeper cells in Baghdad that would att... [Read More]
Tracked on July 15, 2004 1:14 AM
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