Sunday, February 22, 2004

Right hand, meet left hand; I thought you two should get to know each other

Oh, me. From the New York Times, February 21.
The most active terrorist network inside Iraq appears to be operating mostly apart from Al Qaeda, senior American officials say.

Most significantly, the officials said, American intelligence had picked up signs that Qaeda members outside Iraq had refused a request from the group, Ansar al-Islam, for help in attacking Shiite Muslims in Iraq. ...

American intelligence officials continue to describe Ansar, which has many foreign members, as the most dangerous terrorist network operating in Iraq.

By contrast, the evidence since the war began of operations inside Iraq by Al Qaeda has been limited and generally inconclusive, American officials say.
From Reuters, February 22.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, flying to Kuwait on Sunday on a previously unannounced trip to the Gulf, blamed al Qaeda guerrillas for violence in Iraq.

"They clearly are involved and active," Rumsfeld told reporters during a refueling stop in Ireland....
Is there any remaining basis for suggesting these people have a single clue about what they're doing?

Footnote: Just a reminder: The prewar presence in Iraq of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Ansar al-Islam who Colin Powell called "an associate of and collaborator with" Osama bin Laden, was the White House's primary basis for suggesting a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda - a sort of Tinkers-to-Evers-to-Chance deal. Now they're reduced to saying that the request for help is, in the words of an unidentified official, a sign of "emerging links" between Ansar and al-Qaeda, effectively admitting to yet another lie.

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