The Bin Laden-Iraq Connection

(Newsweek) Sami Yousafzai and Ron Moreau - Hardly anyone was more surprised by Iraq's insurgency than Osama bin Laden. The terrorist chief had never foreseen its sudden, ferocious spread, and he was likewise unprepared for the abrupt rise of its most homicidal commander, Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi. Bin Laden and his aides knew the Jordanian-born Palestinian from Zarqawi's Afghan days, but mostly as a short-tempered bully and a troublemaker. In late summer 2003, unwilling to sit on the sidelines, bin Laden sent two of his most trusted men to assess the Iraqi resistance and carve out a leading role for al-Qaeda. Donations to al-Qaeda's coffers had dried up as bin Laden's top men were killed or captured. Now private money is once again flooding in. Bin Laden himself is looking more confident and relaxed. At present, the Qaeda leader seems to be doing just fine where he is in the mountains along Pakistan's border.

2005-04-04 00:00:00

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