WASHINGTON – A forthcoming Pentagon study has found no operational link between Saddam Hussein and Usama bin Laden's Al Qaeda terrorist network.
McClatchy Newspapers reports that the study, expected to be released later this week, is based on an extensive review of more than 600,000 Iraqi documents that were seized after the U.S.-led war in Iraq in 2003.
While there was no link to Al Qaeda, the investigation revealed that Saddam's regime gave some support to other terror groups in the Middle East, U.S. officials told McClatchy on condition of anonymity. But he targeted those he considered his own enemies, including Shiite Muslims, Kurds, exiles and others, the news service reported.
Sponsored by the Pentagon, the report found no "direct operational link" between Saddam's government in Iraq and bin Laden's Al Qaeda terror ring before the U.S. invasion, an official told McClatchy.
The Bush administration put forth the argument that there was a connection between Saddam and bin Laden when it made the case to go to war with Iraq after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.
The Pentagon study won't be released before Wednesday.