Saddam's bodyguard warns of secret arsenal
Posted 03 February 2003 - 05:49 AM
Saddam's bodyguard warns of secret arsenal
SADDAM Hussein's senior bodyguard has fled with details of Iraq's secret arsenal.
His revelations have supported US President George W. Bush's claim there is enough evidence from UN inspectors to justify going to war.
Abu Hamdi Mahmoud has provided Israeli intelligence with a list of sites that the inspectors have not visited.
They include: AN underground chemical weapons facility at the southern end of the Jadray Peninsula in Baghdad; A SCUD assembly area near Ramadi. The missiles come from North Korea;
TWO underground bunkers in Iraq's Western Desert. These contain biological weapons.
William Tierney, a former UN weapons inspector who has continued to gather information on Saddam's arsenal, said Mahmoud's information is "the smoking gun".
"Once the inspectors go to where Mahmoud has pointed them, then it's all over for Saddam," Tierney said. Tierney, who has high-level contacts in Washington that go to the White House, said the information we publish today on Mahmoud's revelations "checks out, absolutely checks out".
Mahmoud was a member of the elite unit that protects Saddam.
It is called the Murasiq Qun
Posted 03 February 2003 - 06:04 PM
Originally posted by azov
The very fact of this "evidence" being presented by Sharon's regime taints it. Even if true, which likely it isn't, it will not justify the launching of 3000 missiles intended to devastate Iraq as a society, a nation, and a culture.
Azov lets say this were true (although I have reservations about the validity). Lets jsut assume this were true.
What would be your response if you were GB?
Posted 03 February 2003 - 09:44 PM
By B Raman
As part of the countdown to the expected invasion of Iraq, General Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, is expected to present before the UN Security Council on February 5 the evidence which the US claims to have on Iraq's clandestine procurement of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), its links with Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network, and the dangers of these terrorist elements getting WMD from the Saddam Hussein regime.
In his statement, one can expect references to the alleged involvement of NEC Engineering, a New Delhi-based company, in the clandestine supply to Iraq of dual-purpose materials that could be used for the production of chemical weapons and rocket fuel. This matter has been under investigation by the intelligence and investigative agencies of the government of India for over a year now, but some details were first leaked by the British government in its White Paper of last September on Iraq's clandestine WMD program. Subsequently, as Anglo-American pressure on the UN to act against Baghdad was stepped up, sections of the US media, some acting on their own and some apparently at the prodding of the administration, have turned the focus on the alleged use of this company by the Iraqi regime.
Officials of the company, as well as the Iraqi government, have strongly denied these allegations. Despite this, these transactions continue to be projected as part of the evidence against Saddam Hussein. On January 26, a day before the presentation by chief UN arms inspector Hans Blix of the inspectors' report before the Security Council, some sections of the Indian media and CNN came out with details of the investigation made by Indian agencies against the company. CNN's special feature on the subject sought to project the results of the investigation as one of the "smoking guns" which needed to be considered by Blix.
In his indictment of the Saddam government on the question of complicity with al-Qaeda and the International Islamic Front (IIF), Powell is expected to focus on the activities from Iraqi soil of an allegedly pro-Baghdad Kurdish organization called Ansar al Islam (AAI) led by Najm al-Din Faraj Ahmad, also known as Mullah Krekar, who lives in Oslo, Norway. For over a year now, the AAI has been projected by Pentagon officials and pro-US Kurdish leaders such as those of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan as a Kurdish Taliban, a member of the IIF, and the West Asian equivalent of the Jemmah Islamiya of Southeast Asia. Western, particularly US, media have been replete with stories of the AAI's links with Saddam on the one hand and bin Laden on the other, the alleged training of its cadres in al-Qaeda's training camps in Afghanistan before September 11, its alleged links with some experts of al-Qaeda on chemical warfare, a laboratory for the production of chemical weapons allegedly run by it in the area under its control in northern Iraq, its alleged links with the Algerians recently arrested in the UK on suspicion of trying to produce ricin, a lethal chemical extracted from castor beans, etc.
It would seem that most of this so-called evidence has been coming from the pro-US Kurdish leaders. Even some US analysts have said that while Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon as a whole have been projecting this evidence as clinching, the CIA's counter-terrorism experts are not that convinced, but have been going along with the administration.
Until last spring, even the US State Department's counter terrorism division did not seem to have believed seriously the Pentagon's allegations of Saddam's links with al-Qaeda. In its annual report for 2001 on the Patterns of Global Terrorism presented to Congress in April last, it referred to the sanctuaries in Iraqi territory allegedly enjoyed by the anti-Tehran Mujahideen-e-Khaq, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, the Palestine Liberation Front, and the Abu Nidal Organization, as well as Baghdad's contacts with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. But there was not even an allegation that any of these organizations had links with al-Qaeda. The only reference to bin Laden was in a comment that Iraq was the only Arab country which did not condemn the September 11 attacks and that an article in a newspaper run by one of Saddam's sons expressed sympathy for bin Laden.
As Eli J Lake, United Press International's State Department correspondent, pointed out in a dispatch dated January 28, the Pentagon accuses the AAI of links with al-Qaeda, but has not so far considered it necessary to seek the extradition and interrogation of its leader, who lives openly in Oslo. The dispatch said, "Najm al-Din Faraj Ahmad, also known as Mullah Krekar, is - according to officials of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in northern Iraq and administration hawks - a terrorist with ties to al-Qaeda; a man who has acquired chemical weapons; and who has received funding from Iraq and logistical support from elements in the Iranian intelligence service. Krekar himself denied these allegations this month at a news conference in Norway. But while hawks - especially in the Pentagon - believe Krekar is a 'smoking gun' linking Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, the CIA is skeptical about his alleged ties to Baghdad. One US official sympathetic to that view told United Press International Tuesday, 'There is no evidence that Saddam and his regime are directly financing and arming Ansar al Islam'."
If you believe the hawks, Krekar meets the criteria of what Bush described in his State of the Union address last week as the gravest threat posed by rogue regimes. "These regimes could use such weapons for blackmail, terror and mass murder. They could also give or sell those weapons to their terrorist allies, who would use them without the least hesitation," he said. And yet, the State Department does not appear disturbed that Krekar - under house arrest in Norway - is able to hold news conferences and communicate with members of his group in northern Iraq.
In an interview with Al Hayat, an Arab language daily published from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Mullah Krekar alleged that in 2000 he had rejected a request from the CIA to collaborate with it against Saddam and that since then it had launched a campaign projecting him and his organization as having links with al-Qaeda.
Powell announced on January 30 the designation of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ) of Pakistan as a foreign terrorist organization under a 1996 US law. This organization came into existence in 1996 as the militant wing of the Sunni extremist Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), which itself has been active since the days of the late Pakistani military ruler, Zia ul-Haq in the 1980s. The SSP and its LEJ were being used by the CIA, the Iraqi intelligence and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for operations directed against the Iranian regime. They killed a large number of Shi'ites, Iranian diplomats and military officers in Pakistan during the 1990s. They assisted the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, became a member of bin Laden's IIF after its formation in 1998 and were used by bin Laden for carrying out a massacre of the Shi'ites (Hazaras) of Afghanistan. The SSP's leader, Maulana Azam Tariq, who is now a member of Pakistan's newly-elected National Assembly, is considered by many as the mentor of many of the Pakistan-based pan-Islamic jihadi organizations.
So long as the SSP and the LEJ served US interests by creating trouble for Iran, Washington closed its eyes to their acts of terrorism, but after they started attacking US and other Western nationals and Pakistani Christians from the beginning of last year, the US suddenly woke up to its being a terrorist organization. After a wave of attacks on Shi'ites in Karachi in 2001, President General Pervez Musharraf himself banned the LEJ on August 14, 2001, and the SSP on January 15, 2002, but did not round up their leaders and cadres trained by al-Qaeda. However, since June 2002, under US pressure, he has been acting more strictly against them and has tried to neutralize them.
It will be interesting to see whether Powell will refer to the well-established links of the LEJ with the Saddam regime, and with the ISI on the one hand and with al-Qaeda on the other. If he does, how will he explain the pre-August 2001 use of the LEJ by the ISI for achieving Pakistan's strategic objectives in Afghanistan and India and the US's failure to act as vigorously against the Musharraf regime as it has been trying to act against the Saddam regime? How can he argue that it was all right for Pakistani military regimes to have created them and used them as long as they did not attack US nationals and interests, but it was an international crime for Iraq to have used them to serve its own interests?
Posted 04 February 2003 - 05:44 AM
January 27, 2003
by Gordon Thomas
Abu Hamdi Mahmoud has provided a list of sites that so far the UN inspectors have not visited.
They include: An underground chemical weapons facility at the southern end of the Jadray Peninsula in Baghdad.
A Scud assembly area near Ramadi. The missiles come from North Korea. Two underground bunkers in Iraq's Western desert. These contain bio weapons.
William Tierney, a former UN weapons inspector who has continued to gather information on Saddam's arsenal, described Mahmoud's information as "the smoking gun. Once the inspectors go to where Mahmoud has pointed them, then it's all over for Saddam".
Tierney still has high level contacts in Washington that reach into the White House.
He said that the information we publish today on Mahmoud's revelations "checks out, absolutely checks out".
Tierney believes it is "inevitable" that we will go to war.
Globe-Intel has independently obtained documents smuggled out of Iraq which show he does have weapons of mass destruction that have eluded discovery by UN inspectors.
The weapons include motorised underwater mines capable of creeping along the sea bed and then surfacing beneath a battleship or carrier.
Each mine is filled with chemicals that upon explosion can envelop the ship in a deadly cloud of poison.
The documents show that the mines and other weapons of mass destruction have been secretly developed at sites the UN inspectors have also not visited.
These are: Al-Qaqa's State Establishment. Sixty miles south of Baghdad, it has produced what the documents describe as "self-detonating precise guided missiles".
Near State Establishment. It is on the western side of the Baghdad-Mosul road. It has produced "artillery rounds and other machined metal parts" for the mines.
The mines have been machine-finished at Hateen State Establishment, to the north of Baghdad.
In the past weeks, they have been moved to Basra - ready to be launched against the naval armada assembling in the Gulf.
One document reveals: "The mines use a special camera to distinguish the target above it. The mines then stop under the target. Once in place they produce chemical materials which generates huge amounts of oxygen that guides the mine to the surface. When the amount of oxygen reaches a specific level, the pressure of the oxygen triggers the detonator which results in a tremendous explosion".
The documents reveal that test firings of the mine were carried out on Lake Tharthar on June 5 last year. The tests are described as "completely successful".
Mahmoud's revelations have also enabled both George Bush and Tony Blair to take an even stronger stand against anti-war protesters when they meet in Washington this week.
Mahmoud was a member of the elitist unit charged with protecting Saddam. It is called the Murasiq Qun - the "Inner Circle". He was known as "The Gatekeeper". Mahmoud is the muscular Saddam lookalike who is always photographed standing either behind Saddam when he is seated - or to his left when on the move.
He was trained to spot the slightest threat to Saddam. To deal with it, he had a throwing knife up his right sleeve.
"In any threat my first job was to throw myself over Saddam to protect his body and then use my knife", he has told his Mossad debriefers.
Now he's at the top of Saddam's kill list. But there is no way Saddam's own assassination unit - the Hamaya Khasa - can get to Mahmoud. He is now protected by a team of Israeli agents.
For weeks he was in secret negotiation with a Mossad agent in Baghdad. With the promise he could not be charged with any crimes he committed on behalf of Saddam, and he would be given a new identity - including having his appearance changed by surgery - Mahmoud agreed to desert.
Last week he was being debriefed in a high security base in Israel's Negev Desert. Ariel Sharon, the country's hard-line prime minister has so far only allowed snippets of Mahmoud's sensational claims to be shared with the CIA and MI6.
But a source close to Sharon says he wants to use the revelations when, as expected, he returns to power after the country's election (tomorrow, Monday).
"Sharon intends to shatter the growing anti-war movement. He plans to call all those European leaders who are wavering to let them know how Saddam has continued to fool Hans Blix and his inspectors", said the source.
Mahmoud's revelations include: Locations of five bunkers buried beneath purpose made sand dunes.
Stockpiled in the bunkers are warheads identical to the empty shell cases found two weeks ago by the UN inspectors.
Mahmoud has claimed those shells were on their way to be refilled and stored in the bunkers.
A portion of a transcript from his debriefing includes: "Saddam's weapons of mass destruction are also concealed in a tunnel complex deep beneath the sewers of Baghdad and in an underground complex in Ouja, to the north of Tikrit. The complex was build five years ago with help from Chinese engineers.
"The actual entrance to the site is through a house in Tikrit. It is the home of one of Saddam's cousins. The entrance is over half a mile from where the weapons are stored".
Mahmoud has also provided the first really detailed insights into how Saddam lives and is protected.
Mahmoud says since the Gulf War there have been nine assassination attempts on Saddam. The most recent was in February last year.
Mahmoud has described how he was selected.
"I was on gate duty at one of Saddam's palaces. One night he arrived in a 10-car convoy. I checked all the vehicles and Saddam stepped out of one car and asked why I inspected them all and not just his. I told him I was not sure in which car he was traveling and that it was in his honour that I checked all the cars. He replied, 'from now on you will be at my side all the time'. He also doubled my salary".
Joining the "Inner Circle", Mahmoud found himself in a world far removed from the life of the starving population of Iraq. He received the finest food and had the best weapons. He had access to top level intelligence - so that he could help to plan Saddam's protection.
In another excerpt from his debriefing, Mahmoud boasts: "I was inside the innermost circle where Saddam eats and sleeps. I was among the handful of bodyguards closest to him". The bodyguard has given a rare glimpse of what life is like with Saddam.
"Very few people are allowed close to Saddam. Many of the TV images you see of him were taken years ago. Most people now only speak to him over the phone. He usually calls them. If they have to call him back with information he wants, it is passed through his sons, Quasy or Tariq Aziz.
"All those close to him have codes, which they use to access the outer circle. But even they can only come so close to Saddam before there is a cut-off point - the Inner Circle. Even Tariq Aziz is checked to see if he is carrying weapons. Saddam knows fortunes are being offered to have him assassinated", Mahmoud has revealed.
The most protected of all Saddam's palaces is the Qesser al-Quwwa Sitta'shar in Tikrit - close to his birthplace. Mahmoud has described how the palace has four main entrances - and has the latest Chinese-manufactured surveillance equipment.
"There are sensors and matchbox sized cameras everywhere. There are doors which can only be opened by placing your face on a key pad.
"The palace has a number of escape routes that are outside the palace walls.
At each escape point there are cars. A car is always parked at each exit.
No one knows what exit Saddam will use. On the way to one he can change his mind and go to another. I have know him change his mind several times over thirty feet.
"Saddam's own living quarters in the palace are a labyrinth of doors. To even enter the private sanctum requires having the separate codes to open four doors. On the reverse side of each door is a monitor which shows the Special Guards on duty who is entering".
Saddam's paranoia has increased after his son, Uday, narrowly escaped assassination. He is now wheelchair bound.
To avoid even his own bodyguards being tempted to kill him, Saddam himself is, according to Mahmoud, a walking arsenal.
"He has concealed guns all over his body. He also has panic buttons to press if he even suspects somebody is about to attack him", the former bodyguard has said.
Israeli intelligence sources have hinted that part of the deal with Mahmoud was to smuggle out his family from Iraq. Mossad have done this before. At the start of Saddam's reign of terror they persuaded an Iraqi pilot to fly his Russian Mirage to Israel - after Mossad had spirited his wife and children there.
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users