Washington (Web Desk): John Nixon, the former CIA agent who grilled Saddam Hussain, claimed that former Iraqi president denied involvement in 9/11.

Islamic State would not have enjoyed the success it did if Saddam Hussein had remained in power, John Nixon, the former CIA agent said and added the West should deal with leaders it “abhors” to have a stable Middle East.

Nixon was the first to debrief Saddam after his capture in December 2003, 13 years ago. His book, entitled “Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein,” is a first-hand account of what the invasion of Iraq and the execution of Saddam Hussein have entailed.

Saddam was quick, too, to deny involvement in 9/11. ‘Look at who was involved,’ he said. ‘What countries did they come from? Saudi Arabia. And this [ringleader] Muhammad Atta, was he an Iraqi? No. He was Egyptian. Why do you think I was involved in the attacks?’

Saddam had actually believed 9/11 would bring Iraq and America closer because Washington would need his secular government to help fight fundamentalism. How woefully wrong he had been.

“In the course of interrogations, Saddam 'turned our assumptions upside down',” Nixon wrote in one of the excerpts from the book, published by Time and the Daily Mail. In particular, ex-CIA agent asks what would have happened if Saddam had remained in power and comes to the conclusion that, among other outcomes, it would have made the rapid rise of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) almost impossible.

“It is improbable that a group like ISIS would have been able to enjoy the kind of success under his repressive regime that they have had under the Shia-led Baghdad government,” Nixon wrote.