British intelligence: no Iraq/al-Qaeda relationship

loupaulsen at attbi.com loupaulsen at attbi.com
Wed Feb 5 14:33:32 MST 2003


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2729469.stm

[..]
However, some doubt has been cast on these assertions by a British defence
intelligence document leaked to the BBC.

The document said: "While there has been contact between al-Qaeda and the
Iraqi regime in the past, we believe that any fledgling relationship foundered
due to mistrust and incompatible ideology."

The document noted what many observers have drawn attention to: that the two
are unlikely bedfellows.

Osama Bin Laden is - or was - a religious extremist who believes in the
restoration of an Islamic caliphate to rule the Muslim world.

In his eyes, according to the document, the Baathist government in Baghdad is
an apostate regime.

Others have described President Saddam Hussein as a secular fascist; however
it may suit him sometimes to emphasise his Muslim credentials.

Unusually, the UK Government has in effect acknowledged the authenticity of
the intelligence document.

Mr Blair said it was an internal paper from the Ministry of Defence; he had
not been on the circulation list to see it.
[..]

Lou Paulsen

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