“Former Prime Minister Tony Blair acknowledged Friday that Saddam Hussein didn’t become a bigger threat after Sept. 11, but said his perception of the risk posed by terrorists acquiring weapons of mass destruction was dramatically changed by the attacks. Blair told Britain’s Iraq Inquiry that his contentious decision to back the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was inspired by fears of another, even deadlier, terror attack. ‘It wasn’t that objectively he (Saddam) had done more, it was that our perception of the risk had shifted,’ Blair said. ‘If those people inspired by this religious fanaticism could have killed 30,000, they would have. From that moment Iran, Libya, North Korea, Iraq … all of this had to be brought to an end. The primary consideration for me was to send an absolutely powerful, clear and unremitting message that after Sept. 11 if you were a regime engaged in WMD, you had to stop.’ Clutching a sheath of documents, a tense-looking Blair sat down in a London conference center to answer questions from the Iraq Inquiry, a wide-ranging investigation commissioned by the government to scrutinize the behind-the-scenes machinations from 2001 through Britain’s decision to join the costly and unpopular Iraq war.”
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