Bush Details Bin Laden Plot

Attempt to start Al-Qaeda cell in Iraq dates to 2005
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2007 4:23 PM CDT
President Bush, right, gets a hug from U.S. Coast Guard Ensign Daniel Tillman Holland, a member of the 2007 graduating class, left, during graduation ceremonies at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Osama bin Laden attempted to launch a terrorist cell in Iraq through which Al-Qaeda could attack the US, President Bush said today. The newly declassified information fleshed out a 2005 Homeland Security alert that Bin Laden directed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, then his top man in Iraq, to organize the unit as part of what he called a "war of destiny."

Speaking at the Coast Guard Academy commencement, Bush invoked Bin Laden in defending his war strategy and detailing previously reported American successes in foiling Al-Qaeda's attempts to expand the war on terror. "In the minds of Al-Qaeda leaders, 9/11 was just a down payment on violence yet to come," he said.