Iraq, Arafat, bin Laden coalition formed?

By WND Staff

Iraq’s Saddam Hussein’s defense against an imminent attack by the U.S. will be a strong offense – including terrorist operations coordinated with Yasser Arafat and Osama bin Laden, writes a top terrorism expert in a new book.

Yossef Bodansky, author of “The High Cost of Peace,” says joint preparations by Hussein, Arafat and al-Qaida for a new wave of anti-U.S. terror began last spring. The model for the terrorism campaign is Arafat’s Black September Organization of the 1970s.

The initiative for the alliance came from Palestinian Islamists based in
Lebanon and Syria, according to Bodansky, the U.S. Congress’ top
terrorism adviser. The response from al-Qaida came April 2, says
Bodansky.

“A group calling itself the bin Laden Brigades-Palestine issued a statement formally integrating the Islamist and Fatah wave of anti-Israel terrorism into bin Laden’s global jihad,” he writes in his new book. “The bin Laden Brigades announced that their forces were now at the disposal of ‘Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and fighter commander Marwan al-Barghouti’ to fight ‘alongside the Brigades’ fighters and the Islamic factions.’ The statement emphasized that numerous Palestinian factions, specifically including al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, ‘[had] become part of the International Front for Fighting Jews and Christians, led by Osama bin Laden.’ They now ‘[had] found the path of Islam and adopted the line of genuine resistance of the jihad movement and Islamic resistance, that is the path of jihad and martyrdom for the sake of God, and discarded forever the lies of the alleged peace and the myths of negotiations.'”

The anti-U.S. coalition also includes Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

A communique issued on April 2 from the Unified Leadership of the Intifadah – an umbrella organization representing Arafat’s Fatah groups, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other members of the Palestine Liberation Organization – called for attacks on U.S. interests.

“The United States is backing the Israeli assault on the Palestinians,” it said. “Therefore, U.S. facilities, targets and interests throughout the world should be harmed.”

Unit 999 of Iraqi intelligence has helped train both Arafat’s shock troops and bin Laden’s Islamists for suicide operations utilizing weapons of mass destruction. According to Bodansky’s book, some of these terrorists have already “succeeded in infiltrating several Arab countries. They are provided with instructions, secret codes and advanced weapons.”

According to Israeli sources, the Iraqis permitted the terrorist trainees to test chemical weapons in southern Kurdistan.

Meanwhile, Christian Weber, a contributing editor of DefenseWatch, warns of gaps in U.S. war planning with regard to a pre-emptive and offensive strike by Hussein’s forces. He predicts Hussein will order a two-pronged invasion of Jordan and Kuwait, rather than focus his forces on defending his country.

“Over 65 percent of the Jordanian population is Palestinian,” he writes. “Hussein would be counting on their rising up to support him during an invasion.”

Could such a plan account for the underlying significance of the Black September-style plans of Arafat, bin Laden and Hussein? Black September was the final phase of a war between Arafat’s forces and those of Jordan in 1970.

“Iraq would be seeking an opportunity to turn the war into a regional conflict,” writes Weber. “Hussein would attempt to draw Syria into the conflict against Israel, as well as fomenting destabilizing fundamentalist uprisings in West-leaning Egypt, Yemen and Turkey if they side against Iraq.”

Weber predicts such an attack on Jordan would involve a chemical component. He even suggests there is a likely time period for such an attack – between Nov. 5 and Dec. 4, the lunar month of Ramadan.

“The Iraqi army is built for offense,” he says. “When war is imminent, they push out on the southern and western fronts. The Iraqi military maneuvers cyclically have trained for assaults into Jordan and Kuwait.”

Asked why Iraq would betray its traditional ally in Jordan, Weber responded: “Hussein will sacrifice the goodwill of the Hashemite kingdom for a strategic gamble.”

Purchase Yossef Bodansky’s “The High Cost of Peace.”