Saddam Hussein Trained Al Qaeda Fighters

September 14, 2002 05:28 PM ET

British Prime Minister Tony Blair's promised dossier on Iraq is to reveal that Saddam Hussein trained some of Osama bin Laden's key lieutenants, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

The dossier is also expected to disclose that the Iraqi leader has reconstructed three plants to manufacture biological and chemical weapons, it said.

Blair, facing opposition from within his own Labour Party over going to war with Iraq without U.N. backing, has recalled parliament to discuss the issue later this month and promised to publish a dossier detailing evidence against Saddam Hussein.

The Sunday Telegraph said a draft version of the dossier contains detailed information on how two alleged leading al Qaeda members, Abu Zubair and Rafid Fatah, underwent training in Iraq and are still linked to the Baghdad government.

It said Abu Zubair was an Iraqi intelligence officer trained in using terror against the Kurds in Northern Iraq. Rafid Fatah also worked with him against the Kurds, the paper added.

They were then said to have joined ranks with Osama bin Laden, accused by Washington of being the mastermind behind last year's September 11 hijack attacks.

On reports that Saddam Hussein has reconstructed three weapons plants, the paper said evidence was based on "worrying activity" captured by American satellite photographs.

One security official, quoted by the Sunday Telegraph, said the photos "clearly show very worrying activity of rebuilding work at these plants which we already knew were being used for developing chemical and biological weapons. That is what Saddam is doing again."