'No proof of Powell claim on al-Qa'ida link'
Ansar Al-Islam, the militant Islamic group that America claims links the Iraqi regime and al-Qa’ida terrorists, is little more than “a minor irritant in local Kurdish politics”, an influential think-tank says. In a statement called “Radical Islam in Iraqi Kurdistan: the mouse that roared”, the independent, non-profit-making International Crisis Group (ICG) said there was no evidence to back the claim made last week by the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, that Ansar al-Islam was linked to Saddam Hussein and al-Qa’ida. “This has catapulted the small extremist group to a significance that does not appear warranted by the known facts,” the ICG said. Full Story