Rice speaks about ''clear'' information linking Iraq to al Qaeda
U.S. President Bush's national security adviser on Wednesday accused Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's regime of sheltering members of al-Qaeda network in Baghdad and helping Osama bin Laden's operatives in developing chemical weapons.
In a TV interview, Condoleezza Rice said "We clearly know that there were in the past and have been contacts between senior Iraqi officials and members of al-Qaeda going back for actually quite a long time," Rice said. "We know too that several of the (al-Qaeda) detainees, in particular some high-ranking detainees, have said that Iraq provided some training to al-Qaeda in chemical weapons development."
Rice added "There clearly are contacts between al-Qaeda and Iraq that can be documented; there clearly is testimony that some of the contacts have been important contacts and that there's a relationship here."
She suggested that details of the contacts will be released later.
Rice aired that much of the information is coming from al-Qaeda operatives captured since Sept. 11.
"No one is trying to make an argument at this point that Saddam Hussein somehow had operational control of what happened on Sept. 11, so we don't want to push this too far, but this is a story that is unfolding, and it is getting clearer, and we're learning more," Rice said.
"And there are some al-Qaeda personnel who found refuge in Baghdad," Rice conveyed. (Albawaba.com)
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