posted on Feb, 6 2003 @ 07:02 AM
An intelligence breakthrough in the last several weeks made it possible for Secretary of State Colin L. Powell to set forth the first evidence of what
he said was a well developed cell of Al Qaeda operating out of Baghdad that was responsible for the assassination of the American diplomat Laurence
Foley last October.
The breakthrough was the work of a coalition of intelligence services from the United States, Britain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, according to
a senior official from one of the coalition countries.
The Qaeda network based in Iraq has operated for the last eight months under the supervision of Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian of Palestinian
origin who is also a veteran of the Afghan war against the former Soviet Union, Mr. Powell said.
Critical information about the network emerged from interrogations of captured cell members conducted under unspecified circumstances of psychological
pressure, the coalition official said. But a lucky break also figured prominently ó a satellite phone conversation gave away the location of a Qaeda
operative, Mr. Zarqawi's deputy, driving out of Iraq.