Does Saddam Have Links to Al Qaeda?

A variety of experts and lawmakers have agreed to disagree on FOX News Channel about whether Saddam Hussein would give weapons of mass destruction to Usama bin Laden's Al Qaeda terrorist organization. You Decide.


"You know, some people say he couldn't deliver a nuclear missile to the United States. Maybe not now, but he could in the region. And, by the way, biological and chemical weapons can be delivered in an aerosol can or an envelope. This is a part of the war on terror. He has weapons of mass destruction that could be used anywhere by just about any group. And we know he has had at least some contacts with Al Qaeda." Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott October 6, 2002 on FOX News Sunday w/ Tony Snow.

"These people are saying that we will let the stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction continue to grow in Iraq until we have reached that mythical date of ending the al Qaeda operation - I believe we have to do both simultaneously. There is a second aspect to this.  Al Qaeda is supported by countries that are more afraid of what the terrorists can do to them than by what the United States response would be, and by some countries who are sympathetic to al Qaeda.  A determined American defense of vital international security interests in the Middle East will discourage both of these activities.  The issue with Iraq is a part of the war on terrorism, and not separable from it and cannot be conducted in sequence." Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger September 27, 2002 on On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren.

"What might happen, and even if there's a 10 percent or 15 percent chance, I think it's unnacceptable...He might allow the weapons to fall into the hands of these terrorists groups who are suicidal and would use them against us. And that is why we have to be very, very concerned. The existence of weapons of mass destruction on the one, and terrorist organizations perfectly willing to use them on the other," Sen. Evan Bayh September 11, 2002 on The Big Story w/ John Gibson.

"Yes, there are Al Qaeda terrorists on his soil," Rep Porter Goss, Intelligence Committee Chairman Sept 22, 2002 on FOX News Sunday w/ Tony Snow.

"There is some evidence that there have been various meetings concerning Iraqi personnel and Al Qaeda personnel." Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor September 15, 2002 on FOX News Sunday w/ Tony Snow.


"The case has not been made. In fact, there's evidence that Usama bin Laden who is a fundamentalist, does not like Saddam Hussein as a secularist. I think the guy that most wants a United States invasion of Iraq is Usama bin Laden. He wants the United States to appear to be at war with the entire Muslim world. And I don't think we should give him that." Rep. Bernie Sanders September 12, 2002 on Your World w/ Neil Cavuto.

"Principals like the Vice president and the National Security Adviser have been willing to believe that there are certain links between al Qaeda and the territory in Iraq that Saddam Hussein controls, which is an assessment that the CIA currently does not share." UPI State Department Correspondent Eli Lake September 30, 2002 on On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren.

"You've got a group of people in the office of the Secretary of Defense, to some extent the office of the Vice President, who are really fastening on particular reports, reports by certain defectors, by certain opposition groups, which the CIA looks at and says, 'We don't put a whole lot of credence in them.' And, nevertheless, the Department of Defense is using them to make real far-reaching policy decisions...But, of course, defectors, the moment they come out, their information is perishable." Kenneth Pollack, former CIA Analyst of the Iraqi Military September 30, 2002 on On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren.

"Saddam would be the person who'd have the tough decision because if he gives them very dangerous weapons, he has to know that they may use them against him, which has been a reason that Saddam has never done that before with religious fundamentalists. The other thing is these state sponsors have a pretty good record of knowing that the return address is going to be found. When I was at the NSC, the intelligence community told us, they're [Saddam and Al Qaeda] not working together. And my boss, Richard Clarke, who was then the czar for counter-terrorism said, 'Well, we need to question the received wisdom.' And so we checked all of the available intelligence to see if there was something there, and we didn't find anything. That was 1998. By 1999, the end of 1999, when I left, there had been no substantial relationship uncovered, and I have not heard of anything else." Daniel Benjamin, Former Director for Counter-Terrorism on the National Security Council October 9, 2002 on On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren.

Your Turn

We want to know what you think. Are Saddam and Al Qaeda linked? Email us at Please include your name and town, so we can post some of your responses. Be sure to check back!