ROME – Italian secret services warned the United States months before it invaded Iraq that a dossier about a purported Saddam Hussein effort to buy uranium (search) in Africa was fake, a lawmaker said Thursday after a briefing by the nation's intelligence chief.
"At about the same time as the State of the Union address, they [Italy's SISMI (search) secret services] said that the dossier doesn't correspond to the truth," Sen. Massimo Brutti (search) told journalists after the parliamentary commission was briefed.
Brutti said the warning was given in January 2003, but he did not know whether it was made before or after President Bush's speech.
The United States and Britain used the claim that Saddam was seeking to buy uranium in Niger (search) to bolster their case for the war. The intelligence supporting the claim later was deemed unreliable.
The news comes on the heels of Italy's announcement that it would soon withdraw its troops from Iraq.