US President George W. Bush has insisted that Saddam Hussein had "connections" with al-Qaeda, despite an official report that found no credible evidence of operational ties between the two.

The link, frequently cited by President Bush and top aides as a reason for going to war to oust the former Iraqi dictator, has been called into question by the commission probing the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Mr Bush says Saddam was a threat because he was a sworn enemy of the US, with al-Qaeda connections and links to other terrorist organisations.

However, the national inquiry commission said there was no "credible evidence" that Iraq had helped al-Qaeda to attack the United States and no sign of any "collaborative relationship" between Baghdad and the group.

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