Alert by Saddam points to Iraq
by Jessica Berry in Jerusalem, Philip Sherwell and David Wastell in Washington
Last Updated: 11:58pm BST 22/09/2001
SADDAM HUSSEIN put his troops on their highest military alert since the Gulf war two weeks before the suicide attacks on America in the strongest indication yet that the Iraqi dictator knew an atrocity was planned.
Since the attacks, The Telegraph has learnt that the Iraqi leader had been providing al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden's terrorist network, with funding, logistical back-up and advanced weapons training. His operations reached a "frantic pace" in the past few months, according to Western intelligence officials.
Saddam has remained out of the public eye in his network of bunkers since the military alert at the end of August and moved his two wives, Sajida and Samira, away from the presidential palaces in Baghdad to Tikrit, his home town 100 miles to the north.
The CIA also claims to have proof that bin Laden aides were in contact with Iraqi intelligence in the days before the New York outrage. One intelligence official said that there had been nothing obvious to warrant Saddam's declaration of "Alert G", Iraq's highest state of readiness. "He was clearly expecting a massive attack and it leads you to wonder why," he said.
PartTimePongo said:I can see it all happening all over again. The same people giving us the same stories of impending doom and verified reports from "Western Intelligence Agencies" like we don't know which hysterical finger-pointing entity that is.
The same smoke and mirrors wheeled out again, with the same damn people behind it.
I am not going to be surprised if Blair was to announce 'British Troops going North to Baghdad for a limited period only'.