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Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Aricle by Bill Gertz of the Washington Times.

As a sort of primer in the event you choose not to read the article, Bill Gertz writes that US intelligence and security agencies are investigating reports of the Sudanese government renewing its covert support of the al Qaeda terror network along with other Islamic terrorists. Apparently in the last few weeks, there was an agreement made between the Islamist government in Khartoum and al Qaeda-linked terrorists and some other Muslim extremists.

Also according to the article, there are at least four al Qaeda training camps in Sudan. A fifth, located in Khartoum, is limited to Sudanese Islamists. Mr. Eric Reeves, a Sudanese specialist at Smith College (Northampton, Mass) said that if Khartoum is backing terrorists, it is probably because the government wants to warn the US and other western supporters of aid efforts in Darfur that Sudan is willing to turn the region into "another Iraq".

In an apparent attempt at a rebuttal, Ambassador Khidir Haroun Ahmed (Chief of Mission, Sudan Embassy, Washington) wrote in to the Times with the following:

"Your article "U.S. Probes reported Sudan link to terror" (Page 1, Friday) was a complete misrepresentation of reality. While I understand that some in the United States will go to any lengths to block Sudanese-U.S. cooperation in any area, including the war on terrorism, your report appeared to be looking for a problem where there is none.

For the record, al Qaeda does not have a base in Sudan, and my government is not cooperating with al Qaeda or any other terrorist organization regarding training, financing or other forms of material support. Our liaison in the area of intelligence has been complete and unqualified. We will continue to consult and cooperate fully with the United States and the international community to combat terrorism.

Your story was a rather transparent attempt to use rumors, biased and ill-informed sources and the emotionally charged issue of Darfur to undercut Sudanese-U.S. consulations and cooperation in an area of critical importance to both governments--the war against terrorism. Regardless, no amount of misreporting or misinformation will undercut the excellent lines of communication and cooperation that have been established over recent years."

The only problems that I have with this letter is the fact that if it is possible to have 2 million people displaced from a region due to the civil war and whatnot, is it really that inconceivable to think that there may be terrorists training in the country as well? What about the financing that is reaching the Darfur rebels from Israel via Eritrea? It is a tumultuous region due to lengthy wars, and also mentioned in the letter is the concern that the report was "looking for a problem where there is none" (but they have discovered no less than 5 training camps thus far), is the reporting really that far off base? I guess this guy is a Times reader.

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