The US Senate has published a damning report ruling out any link between former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda leaders. The finding is contained in a 2005 CIA report on the build up to the Iraqi war. The report is the second part of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s analysis of pre-war intelligence.
It says that Iraq and al-Qaeda were ideologically poles apart. The report also says that “Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al-Qaeda and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime”, and therefore refused all requests from al-Qaeda to provide material or operational support.”
President George Bush has said that the presence of late al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq before the war was evidence of a link. The White House has dismissed the report as “nothing new” but it will none the less make embarrassing reading. It comes as the President prepares to make a series of speeches on the “war on terror” to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the September the 11th attacks.