Our understanding of the relationship between Iraq and al-Qa’ida is evolving and is based on sources of varying reliability. Some of the information we have received comes from detainees, including some of high rank. We have solid reporting of senior level contacts between Iraq and al-Qa’ida going back a decade.So President Bush is to be censured for ingoring the 6 Aug 2001 PDB while on vacation in Texas, and excoriated for heeding the Congressional testimony of the Director of the CIA.
Credible information indicates that Iraq and al-Qa’ida have discussed safe haven and reciprocal non-aggression. Since Operation Enduring Freedom, we have solid evidence of the presence in Iraq of al-Qa’ida members, including some that have been in Baghdad.
We have credible reporting that al-Qa’ida leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire WMD capabilities. The reporting also stated that Iraq has provided training to al-Qa’ida members in the areas of poisons and gases and making conventional bombs.
Iraq’s increasing support to extremist Palestinians, coupled with growing indications of a relationship with al-Qa’ida, suggest that Baghdad’s links to terrorists will increase, even absent US military action.
-- George Tenet, 9 October 2002
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