US Defense Secretary: Al-Qaeda members in Iraq
United States Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday that members of the al-Qaeda terrorist network are in Iraq, but would not say whether their presence was sanctioned by the government.
"If you're asking, are there al-Qaeda in Iraq, the answer is yes, there are. It's a fact, yes," Rumsfeld told reporters during a Pentagon news conference. However, he declined to say whether there was any evidence of Iraqi support for al-Qaeda operations or whether they were in Iraq with the government's blessings, AFP reported.
Rumsfeld noted that after the US military assault on their strongholds in Afghanistan, al-Qaeda dispersed throughout the region. "There's no doubt but they're in Yemen, they're in Saudi Arabia, they're in the United States, they're in Iraq, they're in Iran, they're in Afghanistan, they're in Pakistan, they're undoubtedly in some of the northern countries above Afghanistan where they've fled, they're undoubtedly in Southeast Asia," he said. "I mean, they're all over." (Albawaba.com)
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