Americans believe Saddam terror link

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The Independent US

A majority of Americans still believes Saddam Hussein was in cahoots with al-Qa'ida and that Iraq either had weapons of mass destruction or a programme for developing them, according to a new opinion poll.

A majority of Americans still believes Saddam Hussein was in cahoots with al-Qa'ida and that Iraq either had weapons of mass destruction or a programme for developing them, according to a new opinion poll.

The poll, conducted by the University of Maryland, showedmost respondents were unaware of the testimony of David Kay, the administration's chief weapons inspector, that he had found no weapons, or that of Richard Clarke, the former counter-terrorism tsar whose book Against All Enemies has been the talk of Washington.

A staggering 82 per cent of respondents believed most experts supported the notion that Iraq was providing "substantial support" to al-Qa'ida - a contention that President Bush has been forced to disavow. Almost 60 per cent were unaware that world opinion was against the war in Iraq, with 21 per cent saying the world was behind the US-led invasion and 38 per cent saying views were "evenly divided".

The poll also showed a correlation between people's ignorance and their political affiliation. Among those who believed WMD had been found in Iraq, 72 per cent said they would vote to re-elect Mr Bush in November and 23 per cent said they supported his Democratic challenger, John Kerry. Among those who knew that no WMD had been found,74 per cent supported Mr Kerry and 23 per cent backed the President.

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