4,496. 2/5/2003

“In his February 5, 2003, speech to the UN Security Council, [Secretary of State Colin] Powell said: ‘Iraq today harbors a deadly terrorist network, headed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, an associate and collaborator of Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda lieutenants. Zarqawi, a Palestinian born in Jordan, fought in the Afghan War more than a decade ago. Returning to Afghanistan in 2000, he oversaw a terrorist training camp. One of his specialties and one of the specialties of this camp is poisons. When our coalition ousted the Taliban, the Zarqawi network helped establish another poison and explosive training center camp, and this camp is located in Northeastern Iraq. Those helping to run this camp are Zarqawi lieutenants operating in northern Kurdish areas outside Saddam Hussein’s controlled Iraq, but Baghdad has an agent in the most senior levels of the radical organization Ansar al-Islam, that controls this corner of Iraq. In 2000, this agent offered Al Qaeda safe haven in the region. After we swept Al Qaeda from Afghanistan, some of its members accepted this safe haven. They remain there today. In May 2002, ‘nearly two dozen extremists converged on Baghdad and established a base of operations there. These Al Qaeda affiliates, based in Baghdad, now coordinate the movement of people, money and supplies into and throughout Iraq for this network, and they’ve now been operating freely in the capital for more than eight months. Iraqi officials deny accusations of ties with Al Qaeda. These denials are simply not credible. Last year, an Al Qaeda associate bragged that the situation in Iraq was *good,* that Baghdad could be transited quickly.’ ”

 – Douglas Feith, War and Decision, Pages 647-648

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