PRE-COG AWARD GOES TO.....CAERDROIA !
Very impressive analysis for those caught in a strange loop - the first in a series of awards for prescient commentary.
Al-Qaeda fighting with Iraqis, British claim
March 28 2003, 9:41 AM
Near Basra, Iraq: British military interrogators claim captured Iraqi soldiers have told them that al-Qaeda terrorists are fighting on the side of Saddam Hussein's forces against allied troops near Basra.
At least a dozen members of Osama bin Laden's network are in the town of Az Zubayr where they are coordinating grenade and gun attacks on coalition positions, according to the Iraqi prisoners of war.
It was believed that last night (Thursday) British forces were preparing a military strike on the base where the al-Qaeda unit was understood to be holed up.
A senior British military source inside Iraq said: "The information we have received from PoWs today is that an al-Qaeda cell may be operating in Az Zubayr. There are possibly around a dozen of them and that is obviously a matter of concern to us."
If terrorists are found, it would be the first proof of a direct link between Saddam's regime and Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the 11 September attacks on New York and Washington.
The connection would give credibility to the argument that Tony Blair used to justify war against Saddam - a "nightmare scenario" in which he might eventually pass weapons of mass destruction to terrorists.
On Wednesday Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, said the coalition had solid evidence that senior al-Qaeda operatives have visited Baghdad in the past.
Rumsfeld said Saddam had an "evolving" relationship with the terror network.
The presence of fanatical al-Qaeda terrorists would go some way to explaining the continued resistance to US and British forces in southern Iraq, an area dominated by Shi'ite Muslims traditionally hostile to