TRAIL OF TERROR
'Iraq Linked to 9-11 and Oklahoma City Bombing'


Wes Vernon, NewsMax.com
Monday, Sept. 9, 2002

WASHINGTON-The Wall Street Journal has added its voice to those - in and out of government - who have concluded the circumstantial evidence linking Saddam Hussein’s Iraq to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the 1993 first World Trade Center bombing, as well as the 9-11 attacks, is overwhelming.

Former CIA Director James Woolsey also expresses skepticism that Timothy McVeigh, executed for the Oklahoma City bombing, and his accomplice Terry Nichols, sentenced to life in prison and awaiting further trial on murder charges, could have planned and executed this monstrous crime all by themselves.

Woolsey believes the work of persistent investigators, reporter Jayna Davis and Middle East expert Laurie Mylroie, are onto something, as many clues in their separate probes point ominously toward Baghdad.

"[W]hen the full stories of these two incidents [Oklahoma City and the first Trade Center bombing] are finally told,” he told the Journal, "those who permitted the investigations to stop short will owe big explanations to these two brave women. And the nation will owe them a debt of gratitude.”

In a lengthy carefully worded Sept. 5 op-ed piece, Wall Street Journal senior editorial page writer Micah Morrison says while the information to date stops short of "conclusive evidence” the Iraqi dictator was implicated in the attacks on the Trade Center or the federal building in Oklahoma City, "there is quite a bit of smoke curling up from the various routes to Baghdad…”

That the Wall Street Journal is taking a serious look at the "Iraq connection” is significant if for no other reason than the fact that this Dow Jones icon of business journalism is not noted for an addiction to wild conspiracy theories.

But the WSJ is by no means alone. Other mainstream publications have recently weighed in with similar observations.

"Our position is: Congress should hold hearings on evidence of previous Iraqi connections to terror,” editorialized the Indianapolis Star Sept. 7.

"In the Oklahoma City case,” the paper added, "[Jayna] Davis painstakingly reviewed telephone records that indicate Terry Nichols contacted Iraqi intelligence in the Philippines to acquire bomb-making expertise.”

Two weeks earlier, Star editorial writer James Patterson wrote that Indiana Rep. Dan Burton’s House Government Reform Committee had spent some of the August congressional recess "sniffing around” Oklahoma City looking for reasons to believe that Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols had help.

"They found plenty,” Patterson reported.

Committee staff interviewed at least six people who claimed they saw McVeigh keeping company with "foreign-looking men” in the days, "even minutes” prior to the blast at the Murrah federal building that killed 168 innocents on April 19, 1995.

Apparently, the committee’s interest was aroused in part by David Schippers, the Chicago lawyer hired in 1998 as chief investigative counsel for the House Judiciary Committee’s work in the impeachment of then-President Bill Clinton. According to Patterson, Schippers "has been traversing the country” citing Davis’s investigative work in the case.

Yet another credible voice has been added to the chorus of those who do not believe the execution of McVeigh and the sentencing of Nichols neatly added up to "case closed.” Larry Johnson, former deputy director of the State Department’s Office of Counter-Terrorism has told TV audiences that his suspicions in the case were confirmed by "his own deeply held law enforcement contacts” 9Patterson’s description). Further, Johnson is convinced the Middle East terrorist cell that carried out the bombing is still in business.

Suspicion that Iraq was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks was fueled mainly by reports over the past year of a meeting in Prague in April 2001 between apparent hijacker Mohammed Atta (believed to have piloted the first plane that crashed into the World Trade Center a year ago) and Iraqi diplomat Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir el-Ani.

The fact that Atta was located in Virginia and then in Florida shortly before and after the reported meeting has caused much of the media to dismiss the story. Two things about that:

  • A high Bush administration official was quoted in the August 2 Los Angles Times as saying evidence of the meeting "holds up.”

     

  • Czech officials have insisted the meeting took place. They subsequently expelled the Iraqi diplomat.

    Further, the Wall Street Journal cites several reported contacts between the Iraqis and the al-Qaeda terrorist network, something that CIA Director George Tenet has confirmed in congressional testimony.

    Espionage writer Edward Jay Epstein reports on his website that an Iraqi defector has stated that Iraqi intelligence has trained groups on how to hijack planes without weapons.

    Editorialist Micah Morrison, in his Wall Street Journal piece, credits Davis and Mylroie as having "looked very hard for fire” in the "Iraq connection.”

    That connection "remains a speculative possibility,” Morrison adds, "but a possibility that needs to be put on the table in a serious way.”

    Such as a hearing soon by Congressman Burton’s House committee?

    As the U.S. notes the anniversary of the biggest terror attack so far —Sept.11 - President Bush is contemplating going to war with Iraq. Some believe he has already decided. If any or all three of the murderous attacks can be traced to Saddam Hussein, the question of whether the U.S. is justified in pursuing that course then becomes academic. At that point, the smoking gun having been found, the argument is settled. The debate ends. It means war.


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