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Prewar intel predicted insurgency

From David Ensor
CNN National Security Correspondent

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Two classified reports prepared for President Bush two months before the Iraq invasion warned the war could prompt an insurgency in which rogue elements from Saddam Hussein's government would work with existing terrorist groups, sources said.

The January 2003 reports from the National Intelligence Council (NIC) said an invasion would increase support for hard-line politicized Islam and result in a divided Iraqi society prone to violent conflict, the sources said Tuesday.

Disclosure of the reports just weeks before the presidential election could create political problems for the White House. The reports were prepared by the same unit that prepared a gloomy national intelligence estimate in July about prospects for Iraq.

Details of their pessimistic analysis were first reported in The New York Times.

The NIC is a quasi-independent think tank headquartered at the CIA. It includes outside academics and U.S. intelligence professionals from throughout government. Its reports are coordinated with all 15 U.S. intelligence agencies, including the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Asked about the gloomy July national intelligence estimate about prospects for Iraq, Bush first said the authors were "guessing," but later corrected himself, calling it an "estimate."


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