The British paper also published a second Coughlin article titled: "Does this link Saddam to 9/11?" In this article Coughlin offers more details about the document revealed by Iraq's interim government detailing a 2001 Baghdad meeting between 9-11 ringleader Mohammed Atta and the Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal.
According to Coughlin, the handwritten communique was:
Written in the neat, precise hand of Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, the former head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) and one of the few named in the US government's pack of cards of most-wanted Iraqis not to have been apprehended, the personal memo to Saddam is signed by Habbush in distinctive green ink.Cautioning that it is almost impossible to ascertain whether or not the document is legitimate, Coughlin reports that Iraqi officials working for the interim government are convinced of its authenticity.
Headed simply "Intelligence Items", and dated July 1, 2001, it is addressed: "To the President of the Ba'ath Revolution Party and President of the Republic, may God protect you."
The first paragraph states that "Mohammed Atta, an Egyptian national, came with Abu Ammer (an Arabic nom-de-guerre - his real identity is unknown) and we hosted him in Abu Nidal's house at al-Dora under our direct supervision.
"We arranged a work programme for him for three days with a team dedicated to working with him . . . He displayed extraordinary effort and showed a firm commitment to lead the team which will be responsible for attacking the targets that we have agreed to destroy."
There are people who are working with us who used to work with Habbush who are convinced that it is his handwriting and signature. We are uncovering evidence all the time of Saddam's dealings with al-Qaeda, and this document shows the extent of the old regime's involvement with the international terrorist network.
Coughlin reminds readers that this is the second document highlighted by the Telegraph that highlight possible links between Saddam and al-Qaeda. In April of this year the Telegraph published this article about another Iraqi intelligence document that indicated Saddam's regime was attempting to set up a meeting with Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader, then based in Sudan.
So far the mainstream media have ignored these two articles. Power line’s John H. Hinderaker,"Hindrocket," in a post entitled “News Blackout Continues,” shares this explanation offered by the Robert Kaiser, Associate Editor of the Washington Post, in an online chat session, as to why the Post has blacked out news of the memo:
Annapolis, Md.: Will the Post be looking into the story reported by the Telegraph about connections between Abu Nidal, Mohammad Atta and Saddam Hussein? Very likely to be untrue, but would be immensely significant if true. And there's no mention on the Post's Web site about it yet.Thankfully, the blogosphere will not allow these stories to be buried. Like the Feith memo revealed ny Stephen Case in his Case Closed article, this document needs to be scrutinized by the mainstream media’s best investigative reporters so we can ascertain wether there is any substance to the allegations of collaboration between al-Qaeda and Saddam.
Robert G. Kaiser: If we put every rumor and story in the British press (not to mention many others around the world) on the Web site, you'd be dizzy--and no wiser. The Post does not print other papers' uncheckable 'exclusive' stories. And I can tell you that there have been dozens of bad--that is, wrong--ones over recent months. The Telegraph, Daily and Sunday, has not earned our respect for accuracy or careful reporting.
In this article published by the National Review Online, Deroy Murdock, observes:
Also, Indiana-born, Iraqi-reared terrorist Abdul Rahman Yasin was indicted for mixing the chemicals in the bomb that exploded beneath One World Trade Center, killing six and injuring some 1,000 New Yorkers. Indicted by U.S. prosecutors in August 1993 as a conspirator in that plot, Yasin is on the FBI's Most-Wanted Terrorists list. ABC News confirmed on July 27, 1994, that Yasin had returned to Baghdad, where he traveled freely and visited his father's home almost daily. Richard Miniter reported September 25 on TechCentralStation: "U.S. forces recently discovered a cache of documents in Tikrit, Saddam's hometown, which shows Iraq gave Mr. Yasin both a house and a monthly salary."
Abu Nidal's appearance in this memo is intriguing. The perpetrator of attacks that killed at least 275 people and injured some 625 others moved to Baghdad in 1999 where he lived under Hussein's protection. But on August 16, 2002, Nidal committed suicide, Baathist officials claimed. What they could not explain, however, is how Nidal killed himself with four bullets to the head.
Did Saddam Hussein, fearing an impending U.S. invasion, eliminate Nidal as Mohammed Atta's former tutor?