This item comes from the list of Bruce Tefft, a retired CIA officer, prefaced with the following remark:

Funny, I thought Saddam Hussein had no contact with terrorists - nor were any terrorists in Iraq prior to the US "invasion"....

Jordan king:Iraq refused to deport Zarqawi

BEIRUT, Lebanon, May 19 (UPI) -- Jordan's King Abdullah revealed Thursday that Iraq's former Baath regime had refused to deport Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, blamed for ongoing terrorism in Iraq.

Speaking in an interview with Saudi daily al-Hayat, Abdullah said Zarqawi, a Jordanian, is well entrenched in Iraq and that "he and terrorists like him thrive in such places where security and stability are non-existent."

Abdullah said Jordan was the first target for Zarqawi before he found safe haven in Iraq.

"Since Zarqawi entered Iraq before the fall of the former regime we have been trying to have him deported back to Jordan for trial, but our efforts were in vain," Abdullah added.

Zarqawi, the purported leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, is accused of terrorist bombings targeting U.S.-led multinational troops and Iraqi forces as well as civilians.

Abdullah also pointed out that "real reforms are forthcoming in all countries of the Middle East," stressing, however, that "true change should come from within and not be imposed from outside."

Copyright 2005 by United Press International.
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