Iraq is the "tip of the bayonet" in the fight against terrorism, the country's premier said, stressing that the same group responsible for the September 11 attacks was behind the destruction of the minarets of a revered Shi'ite shrine last year in his country.
Those "who destroyed the towers of the [World] Trade Center are the same as those who blew up the [Golden Mosque] in Samarra and carried out the bombings of hotels in Jordan and Algeria," Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Monday night. The US and Iraq share the same enemy, he said.
The event was held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly a day before Maliki is to meet with US President George W. Bush.
Speaking before an audience of about 150 Shi'ite Muslims, Maliki derided the terror group headed by Osama bin Laden and those that have allied themselves with him, such as al-Qaida in Iraq. These groups, he said, "are against humanity."