Zubaydah’s testimony has since been further corroborated by a known al Qaeda ideologue, Dr. Muhammad al-Masari. Al-Masari operated the Committee for the Defense of Legitimate Rights, a Saudi oppositionist group and al Qaeda front, out of London for more than decade. He told the editor-in-chief of Al-Quds Al-Arabi that Saddam “established contact with the ‘Afghan Arabs’ as early as 2001, believing he would be targeted by the US once the Taliban was routed.”
Furthermore, “Saddam funded Al-Qaeda operatives to move into Iraq with the proviso that they would not undermine his regime.”
Al-Masari claimed that Saddam’s regime actively aided Zarqawi and his men prior to the war and fully included them in his plans for a terrorist insurgency. He said Saddam “saw that Islam would be key to a cohesive resistance in the event of invasion.” Iraqi officers bought “small plots of land from farmers in Sunni areas” and they buried “arms and money caches for later use by the resistance.”
Al-Masari also claimed that “Iraqi army commanders were ordered to become practicing Muslims and to adopt the language and spirit of the jihadis.”
Just as Saddam ordered, many of Iraq’s senior military and intelligence personnel joined or aided Zarqawi’s jihad. Many of the more prominent supporters and members of Zarqawi’s al Qaeda branch, in fact, came from the upper echelon of Saddam’s regime. Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri (aka the “King of Clubs”) and his sons allied with Zarqawi, as did members of Muhammad Hamza Zubaydi’s (aka the “Queen of Spades”) family. Zarqawi’s allies included Muhammed Hila Hammad Ubaydi, who was an aide to Saddam’s chief of staff of intelligence, and some of his more lethal operatives served as officers in Saddam’s military, including Abu Ali, “Al-Hajji” Thamer Mubarak (whose sister attempted a martyrdom operation in Jordan), Abu-Ubaidah, and Abdel Fatih Isa.
Mere på The Daily Standard