4,141. 10/15/2002

According to a CIA senior executive memorandum on February 21, 2003: ” ‘Close al Qaeda associate [Abu Musab] al Zarqawi has had an operational alliance with Iraqi officials. As of October 2002, al Zarqawi maintained contacts with the IIS [Iraqi Intelligence Service] to procure weapons and explosives, including surface-to-air missiles from an IIS officer in Baghdad.’ The memo continues: ‘Zarqawi was setting up sleeper cells in Baghdad to be activated in case of a U.S. occupation of the city, suggesting his operational cooperation with the Iraqis may have deepened in recent months. Such cooperation could include IIS provision of secure operating bases and steady access to arms and explosives in preparation for a possible U.S. invasion.’ ” [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – Stephen F. Hayes, The Connection, Page 171

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