As in the case of contacts between Iraq and al-Qaida, the intelligence reporting on training also was of varying reliability and contradictory. Concern over the reliability of sources was also reflected in DCFs September 17, 2002, testimony to the Committee: There is evidence that Iraq provided al-Qaida with various kinds of training-combat, bomb-making, and [chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear] CBRN. Although Saddam did not endorse al-Qaida's overall agenda and was suspicious of Islamist movements in general, he was apparently not averse, under certain circumstances, to enhancing bin Ladin's operational capabilities. As with much of the information on the overall relationship, details on training are --DELETED-- from sources of varying reliability.
The DCI subsequently testified about Iraqi training of al-Qaida in an open hearing before the Committee on February 11, 2003: Iraq has in the past provided training in document forgery and bomb-making to al-Qaida. It has also provided training in poisons and gases to two al-Qaida associates. One of these associates characterized the relationship he forged with Iraqi officials as successful.
The DCI's unclassified, February 2003 testimony addressed "training in poisons and gases" which "comes to us from credible and reliable sources." The DCI's classified, September 2002 testimony addressed "evidence that Iraq provided al-Qaida with various kinds of training" of which "details on training are --DELETED-- from sources of varying reliability." The DCI's unclassified testimony did not include source descriptions, which could have led the recipients of that testimony to interpret that the CIA believed the training had definitely occurred.
Due to concern over al-Qaida's interest in WMD, the CIA assessments in Iraqi Support for Terrorism concentrated on the intelligence reports regarding possible Iraqi assistance to al-Qaida's chemical and biological weapons (CBW) programs. Reporting on Iraq's potential CBW training of al-Qaida came from three sources:
I know the left will shout me down on this but the fact remains al-Qaida received some level of support from Iraq, Iraq did not do 9-11 but the President never said that. That was a straw man argument that the left madeup to give their "Bush Lied" mantra wings, they hold to this lie with tooth and claw. We have a war on our hands and we have a 5th column working to undermine our efforts at every turn. And a press that side with the 5th column.