BBC correspondent in Washington
US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has cast doubt on whether there was ever a relationship between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.
The alleged link was one of the justifications used by President Bush for the invasion of Iraq.
In front of an audience in New York, Mr Rumsfeld was asked about connections between Saddam and Osama Bin Laden. "To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two," he said.