RealNews

US shifting focus, agents from Kabul to Baghdad

As the hunt for Saddam Hussein grows more urgent and the guerrilla war in Iraq shows little sign of abating, the Bush administration is continuing to shift highly specialized intelligence officers from the hunt for Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan to the Iraq crisis, according to intelligence officials who have been involved in the redeployments. The recent moves — involving both analysts in Washington and specially trained field operatives — follow the transfer of hundreds of elite commandos from Afghanistan duty to service in Iraq, Pentagon officials said. The activity reflects the priority of capturing Hussein quickly, ending the guerrilla war, and locating possible weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, officials said. It also gives further ammunition, however, to critics who have long claimed that fighting the Iraq war would divert resources and attention from the hunt for bin Laden, the primary architect of the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and other Al Qaeda fugitives. Full Story

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