Perceptions of Alleged Hussein-9/11 Link Changing in U.S.


(Angus Reid Global Scan) - Fewer adults in the United States believe former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was actively involved in international terrorism, according to a poll by Harris Interactive. 41 per cent of respondents think Hussein had strong links with the al-Qaeda network, down 23 points since February.

Al-Qaeda operatives hijacked and crashed four airplanes on Sept. 11, 2001, killing nearly 3,000 people. In June 2004, the federal commission that investigated the events of 9/11 stated that there had been "no collaborative relationship" between the deposed Iraqi regime and the terrorist network in the planning and carrying out of the attacks.

On Jun. 17, 2004, U.S. president George W. Bush dismissed the findings of the federal commission, declaring, "This administration never said that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated between Saddam and al-Qaeda. We did say there were numerous contacts between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. For example, Iraqi intelligence officers met with (Osama) bin Laden, the head of al-Qaeda, in the Sudan. There's numerous contacts between the two." 22 per cent of respondents believe Hussein helped plan and support the 9/11 hijackers, down 25 per cent since February.

The 19 hijackers who carried out the 9/11 attacks were born in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Egypt. 24 per cent of respondents say several of the hijackers who attacked the U.S. on 9/11 were Iraqis.

The coalition effort against Hussein's regime was launched in March 2003. Hussein was captured by coalition soldiers in Adwa near his hometown of Tikrit in December 2003.