Wednesday, June 16, 2004

9/11 Commission: No credible evidence of link between Iraq and al-Qaida - contradicts Bush and Cheney

September 11 Panel: bin Laden Rebuffed by Saddam

(Washington, DC -WABC, June 16, 2004) The commission investigating the September 11 attacks found "no credible evidence" of a link between Iraq and al-Qaida in attacks against the United States. The findings contradict President Bush's assertion that such a
connection was among the reasons it was necessary to topple Saddam Hussein.

It says a senior Iraqi intelligence official met with bin Laden in 1994 in Sudan, and bin Laden "is said to have requested space to establish training camps, as well as assistance in procuring weapons, but Iraq apparently never responded."

"There have been reports that contacts between Iraq and al-Qaida also occurred after bin Laden had returned to Afghanistan, but they do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship," the report said. "Two senior Bin Laden associates have
adamantly denied that any ties existed between al-Qaida and Iraq."

As recently as Monday, Vice President Dick Cheney asserted that Saddam had "long-established ties" with the terrorist network.

There is one point upon which the 9/11 Commission and the Bush administration agree: The commission says al-Qaida remains poised to attack the United States in a devastating chemical, biological or "dirty bomb" attack.