3,749. 8/17/2002

“After the invasion of Iraq, the U.S. military did…discover a memo from the office of Saddam Hussein to his Mukhabarat intelligence organization, dated August 17, 2002. The letter asked the director of the Mukhabarat to be on the lookout for al-Qaeda associates who might have entered the country and to give the matter ‘extreme importance’ and search ‘hotels, residential apartments and rented houses.’ Attached to the letter was a photo of a man named ‘Ahmed Fadel al-Khalaylah,’ [future al-Qaeda in Iraq leader] Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s real name. This letter showed that rather than having any kind of relationship with Zarqawi, Saddam’s regime was trying to find him before the war and had instructed its intelligence agency to conduct a thorough search of all the accommodations that he might have been conceivably staying in.”

 – Peter Bergen, The Longest War, Page 151

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