I don't recall ever hearing his name before the Iraq War. But General/Secretary of State Powell had, as reported by CNN on February 5, 2003.
No, no one's saying Saddam had anything to do with the September 11th terrorist acts. But he was complicit enough in worldwide terror to make Iraq a front in the Global War on Terror. That's why we're there.
And Zarqawi was there before we were.
Update, 7/15/05 7:54 pm: Here's an interesting ABC News report, kept at MediaResearch.org, documenting ties between Saddam and al-Qaeda. Notice what Clinton-era officials were telling ABC News then. Hint: it sounds a lot like what President Bush's officials say now.
Update, 7/17/05 5:02 pm: Here's more information about Saddam's links to international terror, including al Qaeda.