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Senior U.S. Officials Tell Lawmakers of Iraq-Qaeda Ties

Senior Bush administration officials intensified the effort to make the case for military action against Saddam Hussein today, with testimony by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and the director of central intelligence, George J. Tenet, linking Iraq and Al Qaeda. Mr. Powell seized on a new audiotape believed to be of Osama bin Laden, urging Muslims to help Baghdad defend itself against an American attack, as evidence that the Qaeda leader was “in partnership with Iraq.” In testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee today, the F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, focused on the threat posed by Al Qaeda in the United States. He said several hundred Islamic militants linked to Al Qaeda were in the country, with some organized in cells that could be ordered to carry out terrorist attacks here. Full Story

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