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WikiLeaks: The Iraq-Al Qaeda Connection Confirmed, Again

6:31 AM, Apr 26, 2011 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
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An Uzbek named Oybek Jamoldinivich Jabbarov, told authorities that Sadkhan “admitted working as a liaison between [the] Taliban Intelligence Directorate and Iraqi President, Saddam Hussein.” Jabbarov explained that Sadkhan and another Iraqi once held at Guantanamo, Hassan Abdul Said, “traveled between Iraq and Afghanistan ferrying unidentified supplies from Iraq through Iran on multiple occasions.” Sadkhan “would receive money from the Taliban in exchange for these supplies.”

Both Said, who claimed to have worked for the Iraqi opposition, and Sadkhan are described as “conduits” between the Taliban and Saddam’s regime in declassified files.

Another Iraqi Gitmo detainee named Abbas Habid Rumi al Naely told military officials that Sadkhan “was a member of the Amin Emergency Response Group while living in Iraq.” According to Naely, the Amin Group was “an elite Iraqi intelligence squad responsible for locating and either torturing or killing people opposed to Iraqi President, [sic] Saddam Hussein.” In a memo prepared for Naely’s combatant status review tribunal, military authorities alleged that he, too, was a connection between Saddam’s regime and al Qaeda. Officials accused Naely of plotting attacks on behalf of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, along with a member of the Iraqi intelligence service, in August 1998. Naely, who was allegedly recruited by the Taliban in Baghdad in 1994, and the IIS man were supposedly targeting the American and British embassies in Pakistan. That same month, of course, al Qaeda launched devastating attacks on the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. That allegation was dropped from subsequent memos prepared for Naely’s case, but it is not clear why.     

Still another Iraqi once held at Guantanamo, Haydar Jabbar Hafez al Tamimi, identified Sadkhan “as a former member of the Iraqi Interior Ministry security forces” who fought in the Iraq-Iran war. Tamimi described Sadkhan as a relentless mercenary who used heavy-handed tactics to recruit fighters.

Money from Osama

Sadkhan’s fellow Iraqi, Hassan Abdul Said, told U.S. authorities that Sadkhan received two payments from Osama bin Laden. The first came around September, 2001 and totaled approximately $11,000. Bin Laden transferred another $100,000 to Sadkhan in October 2001.

Al Wafa, an NGO that was really a cover for al Qaeda’s operations, facilitated both transfers. Al Wafa has been designated a terrorist front by both the United Nations and U.S. Treasury Department.

The payments were especially suspicious. Sadkhan conceded that a meeting took place on September 1, 2001, but claimed that bin Laden gave the money as a gift for local construction projects.

U.S. intelligence analysts did not buy that story – pointing out that the total amount transferred far exceeded what was necessary for small-time construction projects like building a well. The analysts concluded that the second transfer of $100,000 may very well have been intended to buy Sadkhan’s freedom.

The Northern Alliance reportedly sent forces to capture Sadkhan in late 2001. A Gitmo analyst noted “the timing, amount of money, and the people involved in the October 2001 money transfer suggest that the money was possibly transferred to pay a bribe for [Sadkhan’s] release from Northern Alliance custody.” If that is the case, this same analyst astutely noted, then it indicates the “high value that both [Osama bin Laden] and the Northern Alliance placed on [Sadkhan].”

If Osama’s money was a bribe, it didn’t work. The Northern Alliance transferred Sadkhan to American custody.

A “High Risk” detainee

According to current and former military officials contacted by THE WEEKLY STANDARD, other detainees at Gitmo were afraid of Sadkhan.  His track record as a sadistic Taliban and al Qaeda interrogator was well-known. Sadkhan’s ties to the Iraqi regime and al Qaeda, however, never gained any publicity.

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