A Defense Department-sponsored report that examined captured Iraqi documents for indications of links between Saddam Hussein and terrorist organizations is now available online.
The five-volume report affirmed that there was “no ‘smoking gun’ (i.e., direct connection) between Saddam’s Iraq and al Qaeda.” But it also said there was “strong evidence that links the regime of Saddam Hussein to regional and global terrorism.”
Although the report was publicly released on March 13, the Department of Defense declined to publish it online, offering instead to provide copies on disk. The full five-volume study has now been posted on the Federation of American Scientists web site. See “Iraqi Perspectives Project: Saddam and Terrorism: Emerging Insights from Captured Iraqi Documents,” Institute for Defense Analyses, November 2007, redacted and released March 2008.
The study was first reported prior to release by Warren P. Strobel of McClatchy Newspapers. The first of the five volumes was previously posted on the ABC News web site. The latter volumes include hundreds of pages of captured Iraqi documents, declassified and translated into English.
The Defense Intelligence Agency “made every effort to balance national security concerns, requirements of law, and the needs of an informed democracy and focused the redactions to the necessary minimum,” the report states.
The Iraqi documents themselves are an eclectic, uneven bunch.
One of them, a fifty-page Iraqi “intelligence” analysis, disparages the austerely conservative Wahhabi school of Islam by claiming that its eighteenth century founder, Ibn ‘Abd al Wahhab, had ancestors who were Jews.
In what must be the only laugh-out-loud line in the generally dismal five-volume report, the Iraqi analysis states that Ibn ‘Abd al Wahhab’s grandfather’s true name was not “Sulayman” but “Shulman.”
“Tawran confirms that Sulayman, the grandfather of the sheikh, is (Shulman); he is Jew from the merchants of the city of Burstah in Turkey, he had left it and settled in Damascus, grew his beard, and wore the Muslim turban, but was thrown out for being voodoo” (at page 20 of 56).
The analysis, produced by the Air Defense Security System of Iraq’s General Military Intelligence Directorate, is not a very reliable guide to Islamic or Jewish history, though it may explain something about Iraq’s air defenses.
“The Birth of Al-Wahabi Movement and Its Historic Roots” appears in volume 5 of the Defense Department report and is also directly available in this extract (large PDF).