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Posted: 11/22/2001 10:22:12 PM EDT
[url]http://www.dallasnews.com/attack_on_america/investigation/stories/STORY.ea50751b7c.93.88.fa.80.5adc07.html[/url] The Dallas Morning News: Attack on America Iraqi defector tells of terrorist training camp 11/21/2001 By VALERI WILLIAMS / WFAA-TV News Saddam Hussein's possible link to the Sept. 11 terrorists remains a mystery, but a News 8 investigation has uncovered evidence that Iraq has been training Muslim extremists for years-- unchecked by U.S. authorities. Related content Watch Valeri Williams' report In May, Sabah Khodada and his family fled Iraq with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. They gained their freedom disguised as Kurdish refugees. With Khodada came one of the darkest secrets of Saddam Hussein's regime. WFAA-TV Sabah Khodada shows the map he made of the terrorist training camp. From memory, Khodada sketched for U.S. authorities a map of one of the best, most elite terrorist training camps in the Arab world. He said he was ordered to work there as an army captain, but never engaged in any terroristic activities. Located southwest of Baghdad, the camp is called Salman Pak. Khodada said trainees were drilled in sabotage, assassination techniques and hijacking maneuvers using a 707 jet, a bus or a train. They were told their main targets would ultimately be American. Khodada's most chilling stories tell of the psychological preparation troops undergo for suicide missions, something the Iraqis call "self-confidence training." In one exercise, he said, trainees pull the pin from a grenade, then toss it around in a circle. WFAA-TV Sabah Khodada "Then, he throws it in the air and it explodes in the air on top of their heads," Khodada said through a translator. "Another type of training they will have hole in the ground, and the trainer will pull the hand grenade pin and throw it in the hole (in the ground) and ask the trainee to stand with the military salute ... and not move until it explodes." Captain Khodada said Iraqis and the Arab recruits from other countries were under strict orders not to mingle. They were even kept in different barracks separated by a barbed wire fence, but the training was the same for everyone. Khodada described the procedure for hijacking a jet. "They were trained to jump... literally to jump immediately, at the same time, at the same second, to start screaming and terrorizing the plane." The known facts about the Sept. 11 attacks have convinced Khodada that some of the terrorists received training at Salman Pak. Just last month, however, Iraq's ambassador to the United Nations denied the existence of the terrorism camp on PBS's "Frontline". "I am lucky that I know this area, this Salman Pak," said Amb. Mohammed Aldouri. "This is a very beautiful area with gardens, with trees ... very, very nice place. It is not possible to do such a program there, because there's no place for planes, for airplanes there."
Link Posted: 11/22/2001 10:23:38 PM EDT
WFAA-TV Satellite image shows a large jet near Salman Pak. However, News 8 has discovered through detailed research of satellite photos over Salman Pak that nestled between the small farms is a large plane located close to the place drawn on Khodada's map. Khodada pointed out railways and a tent where, he said, Iraq's top assassin -- known only as "The Ghost" -- taught training techniques to other terrorists. "This is a long road along the edge of the camp where, each day, a Mercedes is wrecked while during evasion drills," Khodada explained. Today, Khodada works as a waiter at a Fort Worth country club. He said he is speaking out to warn Americans that as long as Saddam Hussein remains in power, terrorism will not end. Khodada recalled the words of a song he said is taught at Salman Pak: "Why do you have to care about your life? Death is the beginning and the end." News 8 received translation assistance from the Iraqi National Congress, a group of dissidents opposed to Saddam Hussein. © 2001 DallasNews.com Satellite image shows a large jet near Salman Pak. [img]http://a1416.g.akamai.net/f/1416/744/1d/www.dallasnews.com/attack_on_america/investigation/stories/M_IMAGE.ea50751b7c.93.88.fa.80.846bc2.jpg[/img]
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