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Bush Details Iraq's Terrorist Ties

By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2003 – Weapons of mass destruction and terrorist ties coupled with deception and defiance make up the core of the Iraq threat, according to President Bush. In this week's radio address, Bush again pressed home his intention to take action.

"The Iraqi regime's violations of Security Council resolutions are evident. They are dangerous to America and the world, and they continue to this hour," Bush said.

The president recapped the case against Iraq that Secretary of State Colin Powell presented Feb. 5 to the U.N. Security Council. Bush noted the Iraqi regime has never accounted for a vast arsenal of biological and chemical weapons, and it continues to conceal its weapons materials and to hide or intimidate key experts and scientists.

The deception and denial, he said, is directed by Saddam Hussein, his son and the officials responsible for cooperating with U.N. inspectors.

"One of the greatest dangers we face is that weapons of mass destruction might be passed to terrorists who would not hesitate to use those weapons. Saddam Hussein has longstanding, direct and continuing ties to terrorist networks," the president said.

"Senior members of Iraqi intelligence and al Qaeda have met at least eight times since the early 1990s. Iraq has sent bomb-making and document forgery experts to work with al Qaeda," Bush said. "Iraq has also provided al Qaeda with chemical and biological weapons training. And an al Qaeda operative was sent to Iraq several times in the late 1990s for help in acquiring poisons and gases.

"We also know that Iraq is harboring a terrorist network headed by a senior al Qaeda terrorist planner. This network runs a poison and explosives training camp in northeast Iraq, and many of its leaders are known to be in Baghdad," he said.

The president said the United Nations must not back down when its demands are "defied and mocked by a dictator." The United States would welcome another U.N. resolution, Bush said, "yet, resolutions mean little without resolve."

"The United States, along with a growing coalition of nations," he concluded, "will take whatever action is necessary to defend ourselves and disarm the Iraqi regime."

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