Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Saddam and Al-Qaeda: A Timeline

These are just the meetings that I know about... and I am not even an intelligence agency ;) Remember this cartoon?

1994 -- Sudan -- Farouk Hijazi, then head of Iraqi Secret Service, meets with bin Laden in Sudan (source)

1994 -- Baghdad -- Abdul Rahman Yasin, one of the bombers in the first WTC attack, flees to Iraq where he is provided with a residence and a monthly stipend by the regime (source)

1995, September -- Sudan -- Brigadier Salim al Ahmed, top explosives expert of the Iraqi Intelligence Service, meets with bin Laden in Sudan; a second meeting at which Mani-abd-al-Rashid-al-Tikriti, director of the IIS, is also present, takes place in July 1996 (source)

1995 -- Salman Pak, Iraq -- hundreds of foreign terrorists are trained in airplane hijacking techniques "without weapons" using a real airplane (variously reported as a Boeing 707 and a Tupolev 154) as a prop at the Salman Pak camp just south of Baghdad, between 1995 to 2000; the training is run by Saddam's Mukhabharat (source, source)

1995, circa -- Iraq -- Abu Abdullah al-Iraqi (an alias), an Al Qaeda operative, requests help in chemical weapons training from Saddam. The request is approved and trainers from Unit 999, an Iraqi secret-police organization organized by Uday Hussein, are dispatched to camps in Afghanistan. (source)

1997 -- Afghanistan -- Armad Jan, Taliban minister, tells Karl Inderfurth, Assistant US Secretary of State, that the Taliban "had frustrated Iranian and Iraqi efforts to contact" bin Laden (source)

1998 -- Baghdad -- Ayman al Zawahiri, Al-Qaeda second-in-command, meets Taha Yasin Ramadan, Iraqi vice-president (source)

1998, February -- Baghdad -- the Mukhabharat arranges for an envoy from bin Laden to travel from Sudan to Baghdad to meet with Iraqi officials; the meeting is extended by a full week (source)

1998, December 18 -- Afghanistan -- Farouk Hijazi, Iraq's ambassador to Turkey, meets with bin Laden in Afghanistan (source, source)

2000 -- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- Ahmad Hikmat Shakir al-Azzawi, an Iraqi national with connections to the Iraqi embassy and possibly a leutenant-colonel in Saddam's Fedayyeen, helps arrange top-level Al-Qaeda meeting attended by Khalid al Midhar and Nawar al Hazmi, two of the 9/11 hijackers, and Tawfiz al Atash, responsible for the USS Cole bombing (source)

2001, April 8 -- Prague, Czechoslovakia -- Mohammed Atta, 9/11 hijacker, meets with Ahmad Samir al-Ani, an Iraqi diplomat, in a cafe in Prague; Atta had visited Prague on two previous occasions, on May 30 and June 2, 2000 (source)

2001, summer -- United Arab Emirates -- Marwan al-Shehhi and Ziad Jarrah, two of the 9/11 hijackers, meet with unidentified Mukhabharat officer (source, source)

2001, summer -- Saadan Mahmoud Abdul Latif al-Aani, colonel in the Mukhabharat (alias "Abu Wael"), serving as the secret liaison to the Ansar al Islam Group, works with Al-Qaeda members from Afghanistan to set up a backup base in northern Iraq (source, source)

2001, July -- Rome, Italy -- Habib Faris Abdullah al-Mamouri, general in the Iraqi intelligence, meets with Mohammed Atta, 9/11 hijacker (source)

2001, Septempber 5 -- Spain -- Abu Zubayr, an officer in Saddam's secret police and al-Qaeda cell leader in Morocco, meets with Ramzi Bin-al-Shibh, 9/11 financier (source)

2001, September 11 -- World Trade Center and Pentagon attacked.

2002, October 3 -- Phillipines -- Hamsiraji Sali, leader of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Abu Sayyaf terrorist group, contacts Husham Hussain, deputy secretary of the Iraqi embassy immediately after a successful bombing; for years Abu Sayyaf has received steady financing from Iraq for bomb-making materials (source)

2002, November 14 -- Baghdad -- Abid Al-Karim Muhamed Aswod, officer at the Iraqi embassy in Pakistan, is identified as "responsible for the coordination of activities with the Osama bin Laden group" in a memo signed by Uday Hussein (source)

UPDATED 2004/10/05: added Salman Pak, UAE meeting, Abu Wael, brigadier Salim, corrected role of Al-Azzawi, and added more sources.