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were not operating in Iraq?

Who says they weren't operating? You say that they were operating in the US. Does that mean the US government was aiding and abetting? That's the inference. I'm saying that Saddam was one of the least likely people to support them considering that he was everything they hated.

It has been proven they at least had contact and were feeling each other out but you aver they could never hook up?

I'm sure they had contact but I didn't see anything about feeling each other out. Al-Qaeda asked and Iraq's government refused. Could they never hook up? Hell anything is possible which is why I say the least likely, not absolutely not. After all people have been know to screw up their own long term interests in favor of doing something stupid in their own short term ones. After all the US supported the Taliban and bin Laden when they were fighting the Soviets and Saddam when he was fighting Iran. I am just thinking that Saddam was a lot more localized in his thinking of conquest so he didn't have to deal with all the geo-political ramifications the US does so there was no sense in supporting al-Qaeda at the time. Their danger to him if they ever gained a foothold in his country far outweighed any damage they could do to the US that would help him. After all he had a prime example of that scenario on his own doorstep in Jordan.

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