Saddam allegedly targeted Israel

March 23, 2008 at 4:08 PM

JERUSALEM, March 23 (UPI) -- Executed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein reportedly had his intelligence service collect information on dozens of potential attack sites in Israel.

The late Iraqi dictator's efforts were aided by Force 17, the security force of then-Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Haaretz reported Sunday. He reportedly collected data on airports and religious institutions, the newspaper reported.

The documents, which were captured during the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, also show Hussein planned in 2001 to release Iraqis jailed for three- to 20-year sentences on the condition they carry out attacks on Israel, the newspaper said.

Among the other evidence seized was a video recording of a meeting between Hussein and Arafat, who was president of the Palestinian National Authority, on April 19, 1990. The video showed Saddam threatening to assassinate then-President George H. W. Bush.

"We may not be able to reach Washington, but we could send someone with an explosives belt to Washington," Saddam told Arafat about three months before Iraq invaded Kuwait.

"We can send people to Washington. A man with an explosives belt could throw himself on Bush's car."

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