The central focus of Iraq News is the tension between the considerable, proscribed WMD capabilities that Iraq is holding on to and its increasing stridency that it has complied with UNSCR 687 and it is time to lift sanctions. If you wish to receive Iraq News by email, a service which includes full-text of news reports not archived here, send your request to Laurie Mylroie .
I. THE JERUSALEM REPORT, IRAQ AND TERRORISM, DEC 6 The Jerusalem Post editors, today, chided Ehud Barak for his recent endorsement of Hillary Clinton's Senate bid, as well as for neglecting the US Congress. Also, today, Moshe Zak, a veteran Israeli journalist and JPost columnist, wrote similarly. Indeed, Americans are widely said to be tired of the slime and sleaze of the Clinton administration and are taking it out on Al Gore. Hence, Gore is running away from Clinton, as the Wash Post, Nov 22, reported. Most importantly, too enthusiastic and warm an embrace of the Clinton administration can have/probably does have nat'l security implications. It can/probably does inhibit the Israeli Gov't from recognizing the mendacity and irresponsibility with which the Clinton administration deals with nat'l security affairs, including matters that very much affect Israel's security. The Jerusalem Report, Dec 6, interviewed "Iraq News" on terrorism. That is certainly one area where the Clinton administration's mendacity and irresponsibility has had serious effect. As I told the Jerusalem Report, "New York law enforcement believed that Iraq was behind the [World Trade Center (WTC)] bombing. . . . Clinton struck Iraqi Intelligence HQ on June 27, 1993. He said publicly that the cruise missile attack was retaliation for Saddam's attempt to kill George Bush when he visited Kuwait in April. But Clinton meant it for the WTC bombing as well. The White House believed that the strike would take care of the problem." That was Clinton spin, way back then. By hitting Iraq, and by not really telling the American public why, it avoided having to do more, as the public might well have demanded, if it had understood that NY law enforcement suspected Saddam Hussein had tried to topple NYC's tallest tower on to its twin. Moreover, and predictably enough, more terrorism followed. But then "the administration was even more inhibited about acknowledging those suspicions, as Americans had died because of the sly way it had dealt with the first bomb." I. THE JERUSALEM REPORT, IRAQ AND TERRORISM The Jerusalem Report December 6, 1999 By Isabel Kershner Brief Encounter: Laurie Mylroie, expert on Iraq Is Baghdad behind a series of unexplained disasters? EgyptAir flight 990 was the third plane in four years to crash on departing JFK airport. Some put this down to bad luck and the precise reasons for the EgyptAir crash remained unclear at press time. But Iraqi affairs expert Laurie Mylroie, publisher of the electronic newsletter Iraq News and a strong critic of U.S. policy on Iraq, believes Iraq may have had a role in several such recent incidents. The Washington-based Mylroie, author of "Study of Revenge," which investigates Iraq's involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, suggests that the U.S. is deliberately downplaying compelling evidence that Iraqi intelligence is working in concert with Muslim fundamentalists, helping them carry out far more devastating acts of terror than they would be capable of themselves. Q: The Jerusalem Report: Where do you see Baghdad's fingerprints? A: The most compelling cases involve Ramzi Yousef, a twice-convicted terrorist serving a life sentence in a "supermax" prison in Florence, Colorado for his role in the bombing of New York's World Trade Center and the bombing of a Philippines Airlines plane two years later-a test run for a plot to blow up 11 U.S. planes. In fact, New York law enforcement officials believed Iraq was behind the WTC bombing. It occurred two years after the Gulf War, pretty much on the anniversary of the cease-fire. There is an indicted fugitive, Abdul Rahman Yasin, an Iraqi who came from Baghdad and returned to Baghdad; there are two other Iraqis on the fringe of the conspiracy, one of whom the FBI wanted to arrest; and the bomb was very large. Yousef entered the U.S. on an Iraqi passport in his own name, but he fled the night of the bombing on a Pakistani passport in the name of Abdul Basit Karim. There really was an Abdul Basit Karim. The son of a Pakistani laborer, he was born and raised in Kuwait, and seems to have died during the Iraqi occupation. The Kuwaiti Interior Ministry maintained a file on Karim that was tampered with in order to create an alternative identity for Yousef. The fingerprint card of the real Karim was removed, and a new card was inserted bearing Yousef's fingerprints. Q: This plot to blow up 11 planes-how far did it get? A: Yousef did a test run of his liquid bombs on the Philippines Airlines plane. He got a bomb onto the plane and it exploded, killing one and damaging the aircraft. The pilot managed to make an emergency landing. The plot was discovered when a fire broke out in Yousef's Manila apartment while he was mixing the explosives. He fled the apartment, leaving behind a computer. The FBI found an address book and through a contact in it, U.S. authorities captured Yousef in Islamabad. Q: Yousef hails from Baluchistan on the Iran-Pakistan border. What would his motive be? A: I think Yousef has no real ideology. His ambition was to be the biggest terrorist around. After his arrest, he boasted to U.S. authorities that he'd hoped to kill 250,000 in the World Trade Center bombing. Q: If there is an official Iraqi connection, why would the U.S. be keeping it quiet? A: Clinton struck Iraqi Intelligence HQ on June 27, 1993. He said publicly that the cruise missile attack was retaliation for Saddam's attempt to kill George Bush when he visited Kuwait in April. But Clinton meant it for the WTC bombing as well. The White House believed that the strike would take care of the problem. Indeed it did not; even as we [a White House official and I] spoke, Yousef's second plot was underway. My guess as to why the administration did not subsequently acknowledge the suspicions about Iraq was that it knew what it had done was wrong. It had an obligation to tell the U.S. public of the suspicions. And when other bombs later went off, the administration was even more inhibited about acknowledging those suspicions, as Americans had died because of the sly way it had dealt with the first bomb. For example, regarding the November 13, 1995 bombing of the U.S. training mission in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi ambassador to Washington told me in early 1996: "Of course that was Iraq. That was a professional bomb. It was not built by a bunch of Saudis sitting in a tent in the middle of the desert." Q: What other, as yet unexplained, incidents do you suspect might bear Iraqi fingerprints? A: Among other things, Iraq is working with Muslim fundamentalists to erode the Gulf War coalition. TWA 800 is suspicious. It went down on Iraq's National Day, July 17. The day before al-Hayat [the London based Arabic daily owned by Saudi Prince Khalid] received a faxed threat saying action would be taken shortly against the U.S. The next morning, Saddam gave his most violent and angry speech since the Gulf War ended. That night, TWA flight 800 exploded in a fireball. One has to wonder. U.S. authorities have determined that the central fuel tank exploded, but they haven't explained the source of the ignition. EgyptAir is also suspicious. Egypt is a country with enemies that might target it, including Iraq. However, it is early in the investigation.