RealNews

U.S. Focuses on Iraqi Links to Group Allied to Al Qaeda

After months of scouring for hard evidence of a connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda, the Bush administration is focusing on possible links between Saddam Hussein and Islamic extremists who may have produced poisons in northern Iraq and a Qaeda terrorist leader who spent time in Baghdad last year. Those suspected ties are at the heart of the administration’s latest attempt to demonstrate an Iraqi-Qaeda connection as it tries to persuade the American public and the world that Mr. Hussein’s government must be ousted. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell is expected to present the evidence of the connection to the United Nations Security Council next Wednesday. Administration officials, relying on largely dated and previously disclosed information, have said they believe there may be a link between Ansar al-Islam, an Islamic extremist group operating in a remote section of northern Iraq, and the Baghdad government. The organization has been fighting Kurdish groups that oppose the Iraqi regime. Full Story

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