Reasons for War with Iraq

Saddam and Terrorism: Emerging Insights from Captured Iraqi Documents

Report Declassified
March 13, 2008

Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had extensive ties to terrorist organizations, including a "de facto" link to Al Qaeda, according to an official report published by the Pentagon’s Institute for Defense Analyses and released through the Joint Forces Command.

The report, which was based on captured Iraqi documents, came up with some startling revelations:

Saddam’s Iraq trained terrorists for use inside and outside Iraq and in 1999 sent 10 terrorist-training graduates to London to carry out attacks throughout Europe. (Pages 1-2)

Saddam’s Iraq stockpiled munitions (including explosives, missile launchers and silencer-equipped small arms) at its embassies in the Middle East, Asia and parts of Europe. (Pages 3-4)

The Iraqi Intelligence Service conducted research into developing car bombs, suicide vests, bombs camouflaged in books and diplomatic bags, and improvised explosives using "materials in the current market." (Pages 5-7)

In September of 2001, Saddam’s Iraq sought out and compiled a list of 43 suicide-bomb volunteers in a “Martyrdom Project.” (Pages 7-11)

The report contains language from a captured Iraqi document which references an attempted assassination of Danielle Mitterand, wife of French President Francois Mitterand, by car bomb. (Page 11)

The report’s authors describe Saddam’s Iraq as a “long-standing supporter of international terrorism” including several organizations designated as international terrorist organizations by the US State Department. Among the organizations that captured Iraqi documents indicate were supported are: Fatah-Revolutionary Council (Abu Nidal Organization), Palestine Liberation Front (led by Abu Abbas), Renewal and Jihad Organization, Islamic Ulama Group, Afghani Islamic Party, and Egyptian Islamic Jihad (founded and led by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri this organization later merged with al-Qaeda). (Pages 13-15)

Captured documents show that Saddam’s Iraq was training non-Iraqis in Iraqi training camps a decade before Operation Desert Storm, including fighters from the following nations: Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Eritrea, and Morroco. (Pages 15-16)

A captured memorandum shows that Saddam’s Iraq had an agreement with an Islamist terrorist group to conduct operations against Egypt during the first Gulf War. (Page 16)

A detailed, captured document from 1993 “illuminated how the outwardly secular Saddam regime found common cause with terrorist groups who drew their inspiration from radical Islam.” (Page 17)

In January 1993, as the American military’s humanitarian mission was begun in Somalia, Saddam directed that Iraq “form a group to start hunting Americans present on Arab soil, especially Somalia.” (Page 18) Interestingly, Osama Bin Laden was setting up identical operations at the same time.

Saddam’s secret intelligence service (IIS) hosted 13 conferences in 2002 for various terrorist groups. (Page 19)

Captured Iraqi documents say that the IIS issued passports to known members of terrorist groups. (Page 19)

Saddam’s Iraq had close ties and provided funding to Hamas, the Palestinian jihadist organization. Captured documents indicate that Hamas offered to carry out attacks for Saddam’s Iraq in return for his support. In fact, Hamas representatives informed the Iraqis that the organization had 35 armed cells around the world hidden among refugees, including in France, Sweden and Denmark. (Pages 24-25).

The Iraqi Intelligence Service manufactured bombs during the early 1990s for the terrorist Abu Abbas to conduct attacks against American and other interests. Many of the attacks were failures. According to the report, a bomb intended to destroy the American ambassador’s residence in Jakarta, Indonesia failed. In another instance, bombs designed to destroy the American Airlines office and Japanese embassy in the Philippines exploded prematurely and damaged only the front of the office, while killing one and wounding another of the terrorists transporting the explosives. (Page 30)

Saddam’s Iraq carried out terrorist attacks on members of humanitarian organizations operating in the Kurdish areas of Northern Iraq, including Doctors Without Borders, Handicap International and UN-affiliated organizations. (Pages 31-33)

The IIS was willing to reach out to jihadist terrorist groups, including those known to be affiliated with Al Qaeda. This includes the “Army of Muhammad” in Bahrain, which had threatened Kuwaiti authorities and had plans to attack American and Western interests. (Pages 35-36)

The report concludes with the following question: “Is there anything in the captured archives to indicate that Saddam had the will to use his terrorist capabilities directly against the United States?” The Institute for Defense Analyses then provides the answer: Yes. (Page 45)


document picture
The document above was found by reporter Mitch Potter and not included in this Pentagon report.

Saddam and Terrorism: Emerging Insights from Captured Iraqi Documents
    Volume 1 - The Declassified Report
    Volume 2 - Supporting Documents
    Volume 3 - Supporting Documents
    Volume 4 - Supporting Documents
    Volume 5 - Supporting Documents

Related News Articles
The Truth About Saddam and Terrorism (Human Events, 3/21/2008)

Saddam's Dangerous Friends (The Weekly Standard, 3/24/2008)

Report Details Saddam's Terrorist Ties (New York Sun, 3/14/2008)

Saddam supported at least two al-Qaeda groups: Pentagon (Hot Air, 3/14/2008)

Reasons for War: Things you might have forgotten about Iraq.