Saddam’s Philippine terror connection

The long cover story in the new Weekly Standard is by our friend Steve Hayes and is derived from the captured Iraq documents that have just begun to be released: “Saddam’s Philippines terror connection.” Steve writes:

SADDAM HUSSEIN’S REGIME PROVIDED FINANCIAL support to Abu Sayyaf, the al Qaeda-linked jihadist group founded by Osama bin Laden’s brother-in-law in the Philippines in the late 1990s, according to documents captured in postwar Iraq. An eight-page fax dated June 6, 2001, and sent from the Iraqi ambassador in Manila to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Baghdad, provides an update on Abu Sayyaf kidnappings and indicates that the Iraqi regime was providing the group with money to purchase weapons. The Iraqi regime suspended its support–temporarily, it seems–after high-profile kidnappings, including of Americans, focused international attention on the terrorist group.

The fax comes from the vast collection of documents recovered in postwar Afghanistan and Iraq. Up to this point, those materials have been kept from the American public. Now the proverbial dam has broken….

Steve omits to mention that he’s the guy who broke the proverbial dam.

JOHN adds: This is a can’t-miss piece by America’s most important journalist. Steve concludes with a quote from a just-published Foreign Affairs article that is based on hundreds of captured Iraqi documents dealing with the run-up to the 2003 war:

The Saddam Fedayeen also took part in the regime’s domestic terrorism operations and planned for attacks throughout Europe and the Middle East. In a document dated May 1999, Saddam’s older son, Uday, ordered preparations for “special operations, assassinations, and bombings, for the centers and traitor symbols in London, Iran and the self-ruled areas [Kurdistan].” Preparations for “Blessed July,” a regime-directed wave of “martyrdom” operations against targets in the West, were well under way at the time of the coalition invasion.

UPDATE: Steve’s quote above comes from the “special, double-length article [by Kevin Woods, James Lacey and Williamson Murray] from the upcoming May/June issue of Foreign Affairs, presenting key excerpts from the recently declassified book-length report of the USJFCOM Iraqi Perspectives Project.” The Foreign Affairs article is “Saddam’s delusions: The view from the inside.”

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