As Operation Iraqi Freedom is now five years old, a new study confirms that ousting Saddam Hussein was justified and vital to U.S. national security. Though war critics hate to admit it, the Baathist dictator was up to his mustache in aid for Islamofascist terrorism.
As a report from the Institute for Defense Analyses explains, “captured Iraqi documents uncovered strong evidence that links the regime of Saddam Hussein to regional and global terrorism.” IDA’s review of some 600,000 documents discovered in Iraq since Coalition forces liberated Baghdad indicates that “from 1991through 2003, the Saddam regime regarded inspiring, sponsoring, directing, and executing acts of terrorism as an element of state power.”
IDA presents chilling details:
‐ A May 1999 memorandum to Fedayeen Saddam leader Uday Hussein — the despot’s elder son — outlined a bombing and assassination campaign called BLESSED JULY. Among “50 Fedayeen martyrs,” selected from an elite terrorist-training camp, “The top ten will work in the European field — London.” The memo continues: “After passing the final test the Fedayeen will be sent as undercover passengers, each one according to his work site.”
‐ A July 2002 weapons inventory of 12 Iraqi embassies, written just eight months before the American-led invasion of Iraq, found them far better armed than diplomatic security requires: “Vienna — Explosive charges, rifles with silencers, hand grenades, and Kalashnikov rifles. Pakistan — Explosive materials of TNT. . . . Thailand — Plastic explosive charges and booby-trapped suitcases. . . . Turkey — Missile launcher, missile, and pistols with silencers.” This document adds: “Between the year [sic] 2000 and 2002 . . . explosive materials were transported to the embassies outside Iraq for special work, upon the approval of the Director of the Iraqi Intelligence Service [IIS].”
‐ Building car bombs became a bureaucratized task, as a summarized September 4, 1999, document illustrates.
“An approval memorandum from IIS Directorate 4 to Section 27 to load a vehicle with 50 to 75 kilograms [110 to 165 pounds] of explosive material and provide to the At Ta’mim Intelligence Branch [M52] for a ‘special duty.’” Further, an “Inspection Certificate Form” should verify the car bomb’s compliance with chemical, electrical, and mechanical standards. It also recommends using a Duracell battery given “the importance of the duty.”
‐ A September 2001 Iraqi military-intelligence letter says “the Division Commands should launch a campaign among their members, supporters, and backers of the Party encouraging them to volunteer in suicide operations, and have them write volunteer statements, preferably in their blood.” It lists 43 such “suicide volunteers.”
‐ The Fedayeen Saddam forwarded Uday Hussein a letter from Nazah, a widow requesting assistance with her husband’s pension. She recalls that “he carried out a suicide mission on 19 July 2000, and exploded himself at the [apparently Kurdistani] Ibn Sina Hotel during the presence of US and UK citizens. . . . ” She also mentions that he “Detonated a car [bomb] during the convoy of [former French first lady] Danielle Mitterrand in Halsabajah City, which killed forty enemies.”
‐ A March 18, 1993 IIS memo to Saddam Hussein reads, “We list herein the organizations that our agency cooperates with. . . . ” Among nine terrorist groups, it cites Egyptian Islamic Jihad (“It carried out numerous successful operations, including the assassination of Sadat”), Abu Nidal’s Fatah — which killed at least 407 innocents, including 10 Americans — (“We have been in contact with the organization since 1973 and have provided financial and logistical support, such as vehicles” ), and the Palestine Liberation Front, whose terrorists murdered wheelchair-bound American retiree Leon Klinghoffer aboard the hijacked Achille Lauro ocean liner in October 1985. “Currently has an office in Baghdad,” the memo states. “They were assigned and carried out commando operations for us against American interests in the  war.”
A July 28, 1998 letter specified three such missions:
-“Burning the American Airlines office in the Philippines.”
-“Placing an explosive device near an American base in Izmir [Turkey].”
-“Placing an explosive device on the pipe lines that carry oil to an American base in southern Spain.”
‐ A January 1993 memo recorded Saddam Hussein’s decision to “form a group to start hunting Americans present on Arab soil; especially Somalia.”
‐ Especially revolting were Baathist attacks on Westerners providing humanitarian assistance to Iraqi Kurds. A May 16, 1993, IIS letter to Iraq’s defense ministry notes that, “Since the beginning of the current year until now there have been four workers from non-governmental organizations killed, (two Kurds, one Belgian, one Australian), a hospital bombed, and dynamite exploded in trailers bringing aid to the Kurds. The deteriorating conditions forced the [Nobel Peace Prize-winning] Doctors Without Borders organization to leave the area at the end of April. . . . The operations referred to in the news above were executed by our Directorate in fulfillment of your excellent direction through some of the cooperatives and the National Defense battalions. . . . ” The aforementioned Belgian appears to have led Handicap International’s assistance to Chamchamal’s Prosthesis Hospital.
Uday Hussein writes his father in 2001 about “attacking the new Land Cruiser vehicle with the UN symbol. . . . There were four American citizens including one female in the vehicle.” After that February 19 Baathist bombing, Uday continues, “The results of the mission were the destruction of the above mentioned vehicle, the death of the head of the organization and the serious injury of the other three, including the woman.”
A December 8, 2001, Fedayeen Saddam letter reveals Uday’s Yuletide spirit towards relief workers in Kurdistan:
Your Excellency [Uday Hussein] ordered striking the dens and concentrating on the foreigners who work in the Northern Zone to frustrate their planning and their disgraced action. Two targets that are over populated with foreigners were specified; one of them will be done on Christmas night, and the other one will be done several days after the first.
Iraq-war critics dismiss all this and focus on one sentence in this 94-page paper: “This study found no ‘smoking gun’ (i.e., direct connection) between Saddam’s Iraq and al Qaeda.”
They also overlook this contradictory passage: “In pursuit of their own separate but surprisingly ‘parallel’ visions, Saddam and [Osama] bin Laden often found a common enemy in the United States. . . . Saddam supported groups that either associated directly with al-Qaeda (such as the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, led at one time by bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri) or that generally shared al Qaeda’s stated goals and objectives.”
While Saddam Hussein may not have been Islamic terrorism’s Meyer Lansky, he was its Al Capone — a resourceful, cunning, and deadly gangster who America had every right, and indeed a vital obligation, to topple.
— Deroy Murdock is a columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution.
© 2008 Scripps Howard News Service