AMMAN, Jordan – Saddam Hussein urged Arab leaders to support Iraqi insurgents, warning that an "American-Israeli conspiracy" aims to split Iraq into pieces, according to a Sunday posting on the Internet of a letter purportedly written by the former Iraqi leader.
The message warned Arab leaders holding a summit in Sudan beginning Tuesday that their countries could be next in what it called a grand U.S. scheme to divide Arab nations and control the Middle East's oil wealth.
The authenticity of the letter, which did not bear any handwritten signature, could not be verified. It was posted on a Web site that supports Saddam's former Baathist Party and has previously carried messages in his name.
A former member of Saddam's defense team said the item was written in the deposed leader's style. "The tone of the letter, the language used and the substance ... all point to the letter being Saddam's," Ziad Khasawneh told The Associated Press.
Saddam has spoken out in support of the insurgency during court appearances at his six-month-old trial for the killings of 148 Iraqi Shiite Muslims in the 1980s. In a March 15 appearance, he urged Iraqis to unite to fight American troops and praised the "resistance."
The Internet letter advises Arab leaders to support the insurgency, calling it "the bulwark to stave off waves of U.S., Zionist and Iranian conspiracies."
It said the resistance had "impeded the establishment of a global dictatorship led by the United States."
The letter did not refer to the Al Qaeda network in Iraq, which is said to be behind some of the worst terror bombings in the country. Most insurgents in Iraq are believed to be native Iraqis — whether Saddam loyalists, Islamic militants or Sunni Arab nationalists.
"The historic solution to save the Arab nation is to support the armed Iraqi resistance materially and politically," the letter said.
Arab states do not need to make public their support for the insurgency but can back it secretly, the letter added, perhaps taking into account that several of the Arab League's 22 members are close allies of the United States.
The letter said the turmoil in Iraq "is not an accident or the result of mistakes made by the U.S. administration ... These are interconnected steps whose final goal is to split Iraq into three states" — Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish.
After dividing Iraq, the United States will carve up Saudi Arabia, Syria and Sudan, then establish a Palestinian homeland in Jordan and western Iraq, the letter said. That would let the U.S. control oil in the Arab world and Israel take over the West Bank, emptied of Palestinians, it said.