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May 19, 2005
Saddam Protected Zarqawi: Jordan

The UPI reports today that King Abdullah of Jordan told a Saudi newspaper that Jordan wanted Abu Musab al-Zarqawi extradited to Amman prior to Saddam Hussein's removal by US forces. Saddam refused to extradite the terrorist mastermind, providing him sanctuary instead (courtesy of Laurie Mylroie):

Jordan's King Abdullah revealed Thursday that Iraq's former Baath regime had refused to deport Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, blamed for ongoing terrorism in Iraq.

Speaking in an interview with Saudi daily al-Hayat, Abdullah said Zarqawi, a Jordanian, is well entrenched in Iraq and that "he and terrorists like him thrive in such places where security and stability are non-existent." ...

"Since Zarqawi entered Iraq before the fall of the former regime we have been trying to have him deported back to Jordan for trial, but our efforts were in vain," Abdullah added.

One of the arguments that anti-war protestors have made against George Bush was that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with terrorism before we declared war on him in 2003. King Abdullah's information should finally put that canard to rest, although in truth anyone who bothered to read The Connection by Stephen Hayes already knew better. Now we have confirmation from the Jordanian government that Zarqawi had been sheltered by the Ba'athists of Baghdad well before American troops invaded in March 2003, and that Saddam knew Zarqawi was a terrorist.

Now the inevitable question: how much play do you think this will get in the Exempt Media?

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 19, 2005 4:00 PM

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