The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes reports that a document captured in postwar Iraq links Saddam to Abu Sayyaf, the Philippines-based, Al Qaeda-linked jihadist group, while two others documents note in general terms a relationship between the Iraqi Intelligence Service and Osama bin Laden.
Abu Sayyaf has been giving Philippine authorities fits for years. The group has carried out bombings, assassinations and kidnappings in its fight for an independent Islamic state. U.S. troops (see photo) have helped their Philippine counterparts hunt for the bandit-terrorists on the island of Basilan, but the forays haven't amounted to much.
The Philippines connection is outlined in an eight-page fax, one of the captured documents released last week by the Pentagon. It was sent by the Iraqi ambassador in Manila to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Baghdad on June 6, 2001 and includes an update on Abu Sayyaf kidnappings, as well as indicating that the Iraqi regime was providing the group with money to purchase weapons.
That support was suspended after high-profile kidnappings, including of Americans, focused international attention on the group.
The Weekly Standard, which is primarily responsible for forcing the release of the documents, has put up a link to a new story on one of them.