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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

February 01, 2003

Israel seeks to link Iraq to bin Laden

Though no specific link found as yet between Iraq and anti-Israeli terror groups, clearly, as this article makes clear, a great deal of funding comes from Iraq.
...Mohanna Shbatt, an Arab Liberation Front leader in Gaza, said Friday that Saddam gave the money because he believes the Palestinians are fighting for all Arabs, including the restoration of Muslim sovereignty over Jerusalem holy sites.

"Saddam felt the martyrs were giving their blood for every other Arab," said Shbatt, 28, who studied chemistry in Iraq.

Israel contends the Iraqi money is intended to encourage attacks on Israelis. After a Jan. 5 blast that killed 22 bystanders in Tel Aviv, Saddam praised suicide bombers as "champions of self-sacrifice who confront the Zionist aggression with their lives."

According to a dossier by Israel's Shin Bet security service, "over the past few months, Iraq has given substantial financial and military aid to terrorist organizations (in the West Bank and Gaza) operating under its purview."

Palestinians have also received weapons and explosives training at Iraqi bases, including the "Al Quds" camp near Baghdad, the Shin Bet said.

Most trainees are members of the Arab Liberation Front and a second pro-Iraqi faction, the Palestine Liberation Front headed by Mohammed Abbas, better known as Abul Abbas, who is wanted for instigating the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship. An elderly American was killed during the hijacking.[more]