4,554. 2/12/2003

On February 12, 2003, CIA Director George Tenet testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Regarding al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Tenet said: ” ‘He is a senior al Qaeda associate who has met with bin Laden, who has received money from al Qaeda leadership, and on my list of top 30 individuals that are required to decapitate and denigrate this organization, Mr. Zarqawi’s on that list. The fact [is] that he is a contract [terrorist] where he does things on his own–but he has an intimate relationship with him [Saddam Hussein] and we classify him as a senior al Qaeda associate well known to all of them.’ ”

 – Stephen F. Hayes, The Connection, Page 170

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