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Letter linking Iraq and al-Qa’eda was forged by US spies says new book

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Peter Foster and Richard Spencer
London Telegraph
Wednesday, Aug 6, 2008

Ron Suskind claimed in “The Way of the World” that the letter was designed to portray a fictitious link between the dictator’s regime and al’Qa’eda as a justification for the Iraq war.

Branding Mr Suskind’s book “gutter journalism”, the White House flatly denied as “absurd” any notion that it had ordered any forgery.

Suskind writes that the letter’s author, Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, the former head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service, had been in contact with the Bush administration and MI6 before the March 2003 invasion.

(Article continues below)

“The White House had concocted a fake letter from Habbush to Saddam, backdated to July 1, 2001,” Suskind writes.

“It said that 9/11 ringleader Mohammad Atta had actually trained for his mission in Iraq – thus showing, finally, that there was an operational link between Saddam and al Qa’eda, something the Vice President’s Office had been pressing CIA to prove since 9/11 as a justification to invade Iraq. There is no link.”

The author also claims that the Bush administration had information from a senior Iraqi intelligence official stating “there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – intelligence they received in plenty of time to stop an invasion”.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, August 6, 2008 at 4:41 am

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