Hussein: War may spread, set 'world on fire'
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi President Saddam Hussein warned Tuesday that the U.S.-led war on terrorism could spread beyond Afghanistan, calling on other countries to help defeat the United States.
In a letter addressed to the "people and governments of the West, including the United States," Hussein called the military action in Afghanistan a spark that could set "the world on fire."
"The world now needs to abort the U.S. aggressive schemes, including its aggression on the Afghan people, which must stop," the Iraqi leader said.
Hussein's letter also alluded to recent anthrax attacks in the United States. The New York Times and The Washington Post reported last week that only the United States, the former Soviet Union and Iraq possessed the necessary technology to make the high-grade, advanced anthrax powder mailed to, among others, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota.
Other reports suggest the bacteria could have been homegrown, and federal officials have stated publicly that they don't know where the anthrax originated.
Reports that the bacteria was created and altered in the United States, Hussein said, could be designed to reassure Americans by allowing them to believe domestic attacks can be more easily contained than those hatched by an outside source such as Osama bin Laden.
Iraq would give up any weapons of mass destruction if the United States and Israel do the same, the Iraqi leader added. Baghdad has said that its deadliest weapons have been destroyed, but it has not allowed U.N. weapons inspectors to return to Iraq and certify this assertion.
Inspections will not resume unless U.N. sanctions against the Mideast country are lifted, according to Iraqi officials.
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