Al-Qaeda & Iraq?

In today’s NYT, William Safire has an unusual column, which reads more like a news brief at first:

He claims there are Laden-trained assassins in northern Iraq, going after Kurdish leaders. There is a reference to the New Yorker breaking the story before him, but I don’t subscribe to it. Anyone know anything else about this?

My first impression was that he’s getting his leg pulled by Kurds overeager for U.S. assistance. Why would Hussein use al-Queda operatives for dirty work instead of his own security forces, when the U.S. is looking for any middling excuse to invade?

I have no info confirming or denying Safire’s column, but here’s a column alleging that Saddam and Arafat are teaming up to plot attacks.