Wednesday Feb. 5, 2003; 1:47 p.m. EST
Lawsuit Alleges Saddam Trained 9/11 Hijackers
A lawsuit set to be filed in Washington, D.C. will allege that Saddam Hussein helped train several of the hijackers involved in the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. at an Iraqi terrorist training camp known as Salman Pak, London’s Sunday Express reported over the weekend.
“Saddam Hussein helped to plan and pay for the September 11 terror attacks on New York and Washington, according to U.S. court documents obtained by the Sunday Express,” the paper claimed.
Five key witnesses – three Iraqi defectors and two former U.N. weapons inspectors – have “provided chilling details,” the Express said, about the hijacking school where al Qaeda terrorists practiced aboard a parked Boeing 707 to overcome U.S. flight crews using small knives.
Former State Department officer Charles Duelfer, a senior UN weapons inspector, has also confirmed the existence of the 707 hijacking classroom in several published reports.
The eyewitness accounts of what went on at Salman Pak are expected to form the cornerstone of a $123 billion civil damage claim brought against Iraq by the families of the 9/11 victims, the British report said, adding that the lawsuit would supply President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair with the “smoking gun” evidence necessary to justify an attack on Iraq.
“Eyewitnesses will tell a district court in Washington, D.C. how Iraqi citizens acted as jet crew and passengers so the terror gang could hone their hijacking skills,” claimed the Express. “They carried out repeated dry runs of the kamikaze attack on New York’s Twin Towers and the Pentagon in Washington.”
Lending credence to the report, the Sunday Express described three days ahead of time some of the evidence that Secretary of State Colin Powell would use to tie Iraq to al Qaeda in his speech to the United Nations today, which was also covered in the same court documents.
Details from Powell’s speech reported beforehand by the Express included the following claims:
* That Osama bin Laden held secret meetings with members of the Iraqi intelligence service.
* That CIA agents have tracked a flow of money from Baghdad to the coffers of al Qaeda.
* That Saddam’s intelligence agents traveled to Afghanistan in January 1999 to assist in advanced training and preparation of the terrorists.