Another excellent report on Iraq/Qaeda ties from The Weekly Standard’s Tom Joscelyn. In the early 1990’s Saddam funneled money through bin Laden to the Qaeda-backed Armed Islamic Group (GIA) – the violent radical vanguard of an Islamist political alliance that was blocked from democratically winning control of Algeria by a declaration of martial law in 1992. How do we know about this aspect of the bin Laden relationship with Saddam? Why, from the CIA – the same folks who decided there was no relationship after all once President Bush identified Iraq a key part of the war on terror. Joscelyn writes:
In a USA Today article from December 2001, Stanley Bedlington, a senior analyst in the CIA’s counterterrorism center until he retired in 1994, explained, “We were convinced that money from Iraq was going to bin Laden, who was then sending it to places that Iraq wanted it to go.” He added, “There certainly is no doubt that Saddam Hussein had pretty strong ties to bin Laden while he was in Sudan, whether it was directly or through (Sudanese) intermediaries. We traced considerable sums of money going from bin Laden to the GIA in Algeria. We believed some of the money came from Iraq.” [emphasis added in Weekly Standard report]
Later, in an interview with THE WEEKLY STANDARD’s Stephen Hayes, Bedlington elaborated on the relationship. “Osama bin Laden had established contact with the GIA,” Bedlington explained, “Saddam was using bin Laden to ship funds to his own contacts through the GIA.”
Read the rest <a href="http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/005/919kltpp.asp.