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Blair: Iraq Has Links to al-Qaida

Iraq has links with the al-Qaida terrorist network, but the “exact extent” of their cooperation is unknown, Prime Minister Tony Blair said Wednesday. Blair’s comment came a day after President Bush said in his State of the Union speech that there was evidence that Saddam Hussein “aids and protects terrorists, including members of al-Qaida.” Blair responded to a question from opposition Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith, who recalled that British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon had said earlier in the week that ties between Iraq and al-Qaida were “not strong.” “We do not know of evidence linking Iraq to al-Qaida in circumstances concerning the Sept. 11 attack,” Blair told the House of Commons. “We do know of links between al-Qaida and Iraq. We cannot be sure of the exact extent of those links.” Full Story

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