WASHINGTON - Contacts between Iraqi intelligence agents and Osama bin Laden when he was in Sudan in the mid 1990s were part of a broad effort by Baghdad to work with organizations opposing the Saudi ruling family, according to a newly disclosed document obtained by the Americans in Iraq.
American officials described the document as an internal report by the Iraqi intelligence service detailing attempts to seek cooperation with several Saudi opposition groups, including bin Laden's organization, before al-Qaida had become a full-fledged terrorist organization. He was based in Sudan from 1992 to 1996, when that country forced him to leave and he took refuge in Afghanistan.
The document states that Iraq agreed to rebroadcast anti-Saudi propaganda and that a request from bin Laden to begin joint operations against foreign forces in Saudi Arabia went unanswered. There is no further indication of collaboration.Iraq gets last ministries
BAGHDAD - Western advisers completed their handover of Iraq's remaining government ministries to Iraqis on Thursday, six days before the end of the U.S.-led occupation.
The final 11 of 25 coalition-run ministries relinquished include some of the most sensitive, including the defense, interior and justice ministries.
Iraqi ministers now oversee more than 1-million government workers. About 200 mainly American and British advisers will stay on as consultants.Clinton offers his view
NEW YORK - Former President Bill Clinton said he could have envisioned himself ordering an attack on Iraq if United Nations weapons inspectors had ended their search with the conclusion that Iraq had not cooperated.
"If Hans Blix had completed his inspections and said, "They're not cooperating, and I cannot find out the truth, and they have refused to cooperate, and I'm done,' then I would have done so," Clinton said on NBC Thursday.