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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Iraq prime minister ties Saddam regime to captured Al Qaida commander

BAGHDAD — The government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki said Al Qaida worked closely with former operatives in Saddam Hussein regime.   

Officials said leading members of the Al Qaida network have coordinated operations with Saddam aides since 2003. They said Al Qaida and Saddam forces attacked Shi'ites in an effort to spark a civil war in Iraq.

"They agreed that Al Qaida would carry out the suicide attacks, while the Baathists [Saddam's ruling party] would do the remote-control bombs," Al Maliki said.

The Al Qaida-Saddam link, asserted by then-U.S. President George Bush in 2002, came in wake of the reported capture of a leading Al Qaida commander in Iraq.

The government has determined that an Iraqi Sunni arrested in April 2009 was Abu Omar Al Baghdadi, identified as the head of the the Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella group that contained Al Qaida, Middle East Newsline reported.

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"This terrorist had deep ties with the former regime and created with its followers a devil's pact reflected in bloody scenes of carnage involving innocent children and women and the elderly," Al Maliki said.

"As someone who works at the Defense Ministry and in the security field, I affirm that this is Abu Omar Al Baghdadi," Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammed Al Askari said.

Nearly 200 people have been killed in wake of Al Baghdadi's arrest, announced by the Interior Ministry on April 23. Officials said the killings were the result of suicide bombings arranged by Al Qaida and Saddam loyalists.

[On late April 29, Baghdad was rocked by six bombings in which 52 people were killed. The last two attacks were comprised of car bombs detonated near a mosque in western Baghdad.]

The United States has refused to confirm the capture of Al Baghdadi, whose arrest was denied by Al Qaida elements. In 2007, Iraq twice announced the death of Al Baghdadi.

Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul Karim Khalaf, however, said the suicide car bombings were planned by an Al Qaida cell that had penetrated the Baghdad police. Khalaf cited a spate of attacks in the Iraqi capital on April 6, said to have been facilitated by an unidentified Shi'ite police officer.

The officer was said to have been arrested three days later.

Regardless, the government has maintained that Iraqi security forces captured Al Baghdadi alone. Iraqi military spokesman Maj. Gen. Qassim Atta said Al Baghdadi was tracked and lured to eastern Baghdad, where he was arrested.

"The arrest is a new victory for the Iraqi security agencies and a decisive response to the remnants of the terrorist organizations," Atta said.

The general said Al Baghdadi was the de facto successor of Abu Mussib Al Zarqawi, slain in a U.S. air strike in 2006. He said Al Baghdadi, currently under investigation to determine his sources of funding, was working with the formal head of the Al Qaida network in Iraq, Abu Ayoub Al Masri.

"The results of investigations with the terrorist leader and other members of the affiliate cells of Al Qaida Organization in Iraq will be made public soon," Atta told a news conference on April 28. "The terrorist acts involving mass killings, kidnappings and expulsion along sectarian lines. They targeted mosques, churches, Shi'ite sites, universities and public places, and left thousands of innocent victims."


So George was correct all along. But of course nothing on this on ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC or any of those stations.

Nancy      5:33 p.m. / Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hummmm, Bush was right???? I can't wait to hear what MSNBC thinks of this news and how they will cover this revelation. Hum, how ODD! All I get is the sound of silence. Now I understand: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki is a right wing Republican trying to shore up Bush'e legacy with hopes to garner future military support from ultra-conservative Hedge-fund capitalists. I feel so enlightened.

MDHusker      11:41 a.m. / Tuesday, May 5, 2009

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