Study finds no Saddam-al-Qaeda link

Report compiled from Iraq documents said to indicate no "direct operational link".

    The US invaded Iraq saying it had ties to al-Qaeda and had weapons of mass destruction [GALLO/GETTY]
    But leaked excerpts from the report due for release on Wednesday indicate the first official acknowledgement from the US military that there was no "direct operational link" with al-Qaeda, according to the McClatchy Newspapers group.
     
    The original reason for going to war - that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction that posed an imminent threat - has also lost credibility, with no such weapons found five years after the invasion.
     
    Besides the hundreds of thousands of documents, the study's researchers also used thousands of hours of interrogations of former senior officials in Saddam's government now in US custody.
     
    The study does indicate that Saddam Hussein did much to support "terrorism" in the Middle East and used it "as a routine tool of state power".
     
    His government, the study says, had a programme for the "development, construction, certification and training for car bombs and suicide vests in 1999 and 2000".
     
    But "the predominant targets of Iraqi state terror operations were Iraqi citizens, both inside and outside of Iraq" who were seen as Saddam's enemies, the report says.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.