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SADDAM'S TERROR TRAINING CAMPS

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By Michelle Malkin  •  January 7, 2006 09:25 AM

“Iraq was not a breeding ground for terrorism. Our invasion has made it one.”
Sen. Ted Kennedy

“Iraq was not a terrorist haven before the invasion.”
Sen. John Kerry

According to a new report in the Weekly Standard by Stephen Hayes, new documents found in post-war Iraq confirm earlier reports that Saddam Hussein actively funded and trained Islamic terrorists:

THE FORMER IRAQI REGIME OF Saddam Hussein trained thousands of radical Islamic terrorists from the region at camps in Iraq over the four years immediately preceding the U.S. invasion, according to documents and photographs recovered by the U.S. military in postwar Iraq. The existence and character of these documents has been confirmed to THE WEEKLY STANDARD by eleven U.S. government officials.

The secret training took place primarily at three camps–in Samarra, Ramadi, and Salman Pak–and was directed by elite Iraqi military units. Interviews by U.S. government interrogators with Iraqi regime officials and military leaders corroborate the documentary evidence. Many of the fighters were drawn from terrorist groups in northern Africa with close ties to al Qaeda, chief among them Algeria’s GSPC and the Sudanese Islamic Army. Some 2,000 terrorists were trained at these Iraqi camps each year from 1999 to 2002, putting the total number at or above 8,000. Intelligence officials believe that some of these terrorists returned to Iraq and are responsible for attacks against Americans and Iraqis. According to three officials with knowledge of the intelligence on Iraqi training camps, White House and National Security Council officials were briefed on these findings in May 2005; senior Defense Department officials subsequently received the same briefing.

In the past, some have claimed that these camps were used to train Iraqi counter-terrorism units in anti-hijacking techniques. But it’s hard to square that with Hayes’ report that most of the trainees belonged to Islamic terrorist organizations located in northern Africa.

My friends at Power Line are on the story here and here. Rick Moran weighs in.

This is important news. It ought to be on the front pages. It won’t be. So spread the word.

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AJ Strata weighs in on harnessing the power of the blogosphere to disseminate the news.

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