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The Connection: How al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America Hardcover – June 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Weekly Standard reporter Hayes marshals a wealth of evidence that, in contrast with the tenuous connections that have so far made news, point to ties between Saddam Hussein's regime and al-Qaeda. Most intriguingly, Hayes finds links between Iraq and the 1993 World Trade Center bombers, one of whom apparently received shelter and financial support from Iraq after the attack. Hayes also gets confirmation by Czech officials of the alleged Prague meeting between September 11 hijacker Mohammed Atta and an Iraqi intelligence agent. Elsewhere, Hayes points to Iraqi intelligence documents that mention a "good relationship" with bin Laden. Other sources note an alleged agreement for Iraq to assist al-Qaeda in making chemical and biological weapons. Relying both on "open sources" like news articles, transcripts from the 1998 embassy bombing trials, as well as anonymous intelligence reports and informants, Hayes allows that some of these stories may prove unreliable. But he contends that the number, consistency and varied provenance of reports of high-level contacts between al-Qaeda and Iraq throughout the past decade allows one to "connect the dots" into a clear pattern of collaboration. Despite the frustrating absence of source notes and no knowledge of what cooperative efforts ever came of these contacts, most readers will conclude from this volume that the Saddam–al-Queda thread has some play left in it.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Stephen Hayes is a staff writer for the Weekly Standard. He has been a commentator on CNN, the Fox News Channel, and The McLaughlin Group. He lives outside Washington, D.C.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (June 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060746734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060746735
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,866,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

117 of 175 people found the following review helpful By J. Adams on June 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very short book and smaller than half the size of a typical magazine page, so it didn't take long to read it over lunch hour today. But the contents more than make up for its size. If you have read any of Hayes' articles in the Weekly Standard over the last year or so, you won't find a lot of new material here, but he does connect a few more dots, but also exposes the sad truth about journalists today- they are lazy and have a political agenda to discredit any evidence which does not fit the mantra of the liberals that there was no connection between Hussein and bin Laden. Hayes cites numerous examples of Saddam's funding of terrorists all over the Middle East, and complements Laurie Mylroie's books which links Iraq to the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993. Abdul Rahman Yasin, an Iraqi native who mixed the chemicals for the 1993 World Trade Center, moved back to Iraq after the bombing and actually was paid by Saddam, as newly discovered records show. The supposedly "discredited" link of Iraqi intelligence meeting in Prague with Mohammed Atta, one of the 9/11 hijackers is examined in full, with the CIA "sources" who dismiss the claim looking more like the incompetents that they are. Hayes does a good job of dissecting stories published by the NY Times and the Washington Post which confirm their political agenda rather than objective reporting. One small example is their citing of al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaida alias Abu Zubayadah, alias Abd al-Hadi Al-Wahab, alias Zain Al-Abidin, alias Muhahhad Hussain, alias Zayn Al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn, alias Tariq, alias Abu-al Hasanat, alias Noorud Din, alias Dawood, alias Kamil, alias Badar alias Al Mujahid,a Palestinian born at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.Read more ›
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42 of 64 people found the following review helpful By E. Lee Zimmerman TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Despite your political leanings, one can read THE CONNECTION and find that there are a wealth of connections between the international terrorism community. It's very clear that the al Qaeda had a massive network of support -- be it financial, material, or providing training space -- and that the organization was intent upon inflicting harm wherever and whenever it say a truly calculated means. I think that Stephen Hayes has done an exceptional job at gathering together what proven and speculative bits have been exposed, and I think he does an exceptional job at putting it together in a fashion that makes the most sense to the average reader.

While the book tries very hard to show a definitive connection between al Qaeda and Iraq, I'm not completely convinced it hits the nail on the head. Yes, it is very clear that members within the Iraqi intelligence community were aware of al Qaeda, offered them support and training facilites, etc., but what the book falls short of convincing me is whether or not Saddam Hussein was aware and/or endorsed these activities.

More than anything, I think Hayes underscores that, when you're dealing with intelligence, there very rarely is a "smoking gun" ... rather, there's a lot of smoke one has to peer through in order to get to the bottom in order to reach any conclusions.

Kudos to the book for being accessible to the general public: there are an awful lot of difficult names and places (for a non-political thinker and reader like myself). Instead of spending time exploring the background of these folks and places, Hayes concentrates of current events mostly -- 1990s to the present -- in order to make his case.
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48 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Aquinas James on June 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book goes into dark details with an evenhandedness and sober reporting that is never boring, it is like a airplane trip through hell. It goes much deeper than a newspaper or magazine piece would go in covering terrorist connections to Saddam. But it covers Al Qaida and Iraq's relationship and puts things in perspective until, as each chapter unfolds, you see the truth--which is that Saddam and Al Qaida were constant bedfellows.
How else can Al Zaquori get injured in Afghanistan in 2002 and then get the best hospital care in Baghdad at the same time? The author shows the pipeline.
There are hundreds of little connections like this that led to the inexorable conclusion that Osama-bred terrorists and Saddam are one in the same. I was always a bit doubtful, but now feel cleansed and sure and I applaud the author for his focus and truthfinding. This book will be a huge historical reference book, and oft quoted in the future.
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49 of 75 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Looking at the previous reviews of this book, the ones with few stars are obviously politically motivated. It's doubtful that they've read the book, and some indulge in outrageous and even dystopian tangents that have no connection to the subject at hand. However, after the outcry for "connecting the dots" after 9-11 it doesn't make sense to sweep other connected dots under the rug. Did Saddam Hussein have connections to terrorists? Indisputably. To argue otherwise is to hide one's head (to speak diplomatically) in the sand. Was he connected to 9-11? Possibly. The important thing to understand is that author Stephen F. Hayes can only put forth "dots". Like any good prosecuting attorney, he presents his case clearly, giving exhibits that build a case on circumstantial evidence. But to be fair, the "dots" that should have been connected to stop 9-11 (if it could be humanly stopped) are also tenuous, unless one sees them with the benefit of hindsight. I will not say whether Hayes (in the interest of full disclosure, it must be said he works for the _Weekly Standard_, which raises as much hackles as a worker for _The New York Times_ to a so-called Neo-Con) proves his case. READ THE BOOK FOR YOURSELF, especially before you have the temerity to write a negative review. In fact, the reviews (all reviews) of this book, including positive ones, should be ignored because they are meaningless.Read more ›
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