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'Chemical Ali' Captured in Iraq

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'Chemical Ali' Captured in Iraq

Thursday, August 21, 2003

"Chemical Ali" has been captured, the Pentagon confirmed Thursday morning.

Ali Hassan al-Majid al-Tikriti (search), a first cousin of former Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein linked to some of the regime's most brutal acts, is the King of Spades and No. 5 in the U.S. Army's deck of "Most Wanted" playing cards.

No details were available on where Ali was found, but he was believed to have been captured a few days ago.

Reuters reported Thursday morning that an American soldier had been killed and two others wounded in an attack in Baghdad.

• Map: Recent Developments in Iraq

Ali got his nickname by supervising chemical attacks upon Kurdish civilians the regime accused of aiding Iranian forces during the last years of the Iran-Iraq war. Thousands of Kurds died — 5,000 in one attack upon the town of Halabja (search) in March 1988.

Ali has also been linked to crackdowns on Shiites in southern Iraq, and was governor of Kuwait during Iraq's seven-month occupation of the emirate in 1990-1991.

Ali is the uncle of Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel al-Majid (search), the Saddam son-in-law who ran Iraq's clandestine weapons programs before defecting to Jordan with his brother, another Saddam son-in-law, in 1995. The brothers were lured back to Iraq with promises of clemency, but once back in Baghdad were forced to divorce Saddam's daughters and then killed.

Before the 1968 revolution, Ali was a motorcycle messenger in the Iraqi army. Under his cousin's rule, he was defense minister from 1991 to 1995.

American forces thought they had killed Ali during the first weeks of the war when they bombed his house in Basra, but it became clear within several days that he had escaped.

In Baghdad, three more bodies were pulled Thursday from the rubble of the U.N. headquarters in the Iraqi capital, raising the death toll from Tuesday's devastating blast to 23, a U.N. spokesman said.

Hundreds of soldiers and civilians, assisted by sniffer dogs, searched for bodies amid the destroyed U.N. offices in the Canal Hotel on Thursday morning, said David Roath from the U.S. Defense Department, who is overseeing the recovery efforts.

The U.N. raised its official death toll to 23, the world body's spokesman in Baghdad, Salim Lone, told reporters at the blast scene. Among those killed was the U.N.'s chief envoy to Iraq Sergio Vieira de Mello (search).

All evidence of human remains was being collected and would be sent to a lab for testing, Roath said, without elaborating.

The hunt for Saddam continued with a raid early Thursday on a farmhouse in the northern town of Abbarah, where an informant told U.S. forces the ousted dictator was hiding. But the tip proved either false or late: Soldiers captured five men in the farmhouse, owned by a Saddam loyalist, but Saddam was not among them. The men were being questioned.

A U.S. civilian working as an interpreter for the U.S. Army was killed Wednesday in an ambush in downtown Tikrit, Saddam's hometown 120 miles north of Baghdad, said Maj. Bryan Luke, of the 4th Infantry's 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment. Another interpreter, an Iraqi, was killed Tuesday near the town of Samarra, just south of Tikrit.

U.S. forces captured a suspected senior member of Saddam's Fedayeen militia who was carrying a shopping list for explosives materials near Baqouba, 45 miles northeast of Baghdad, a military official said Thursday.

The man, identified as Rashid Mohammed, was believed to have been trying to organize a 600-strong militia in the area. He was also holding a list of ten Iraqi names — which U.S. forces believe was a hit list — when soldiers stopped his car on a highway north of Baqouba and detained him along with two others, said Lt. Col. William Adamson from the 588th Engineering Battalions.

In Baghdad, FBI agents searched Wednesday for clues in the rubble at the U.N. headquarters determined that the bomb was made up of about 1,000 pounds of old ordnance, including mortar rounds, artillery shells, hand grenades and a 500-pound bomb, Special Agent Thomas Fuentes said.

The explosives were piled — without "any great degree of sophistication or expertise" — onto the back of a Soviet-made military flatbed truck known as a KAMAZ, not a cement truck as earlier thought, Fuentes said.

The vehicle was driven to just outside the concrete wall recently built around the hotel and detonated. Some munitions failed to explode, and investigators and rescue workers had to dig through the site carefully Wednesday to avoid setting them off.

"These munitions were probably in the possession of Iraqi military during Saddam's regime," Fuentes said. "Someone with access to large military cache put them on truck and drove it down an open street." U.S. Army soldiers have turned up plentiful weapons caches across the country in past months.

L. Paul Bremer, the American civil administrator in Iraq, told American television Wednesday morning that there were "at least two hypotheses" over the bombing — one blaming remnants of the Saddam regime, and the other insurgents from neighboring countries. He said more than 100 foreign terrorists were believed to be in Iraq, but did not say which theory seemed more likely at this stage.

Members of Iraq's U.S.-picked Governing Council pointed to Saddam loyalists. After a council meeting Wednesday, member Mouwafak Al-Rabii told reporters, "There are fingerprints indicating that the act was committed by remnants of the former regime and there are early investigation reports confirming that." He did not elaborate.

Ahmad Chalabi, a prominent council member, warned that the lines between foreign militants and pro-Saddam guerrillas had already blurred, saying Iraqi intelligence reports showed that the Saddam's Fedayeen militia had allied itself with the Al Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Islam.

"There is evidence of links between Fedayeen Saddam and Ansar al-Islam," he told a news conference. "Ansar are now in Baghdad and they are compromised of Iraqis from all sects and non-Iraqis."

The United Nations began what it called "partial evacuation" by flying 45 staff members to Jordan on Wednesday, U.N. officials in Amman said. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, key players in efforts to rebuild Iraq's devastated economy, pulled their staff out of Iraq on Wednesday.

However, a defiant U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan vowed that those behind the deadly blast would not succeed in driving the world body out of the country.

"We will persevere. We will continue. It is essential work," Annan, having cut short his Finnish vacation, told reporters in Stockholm, Sweden, where he stopped en route to U.N. headquarters in New York. "We will not be intimidated."

"We have been in Iraq for 12 years and we have never been attacked," Annan said. He said now the United Nations would reevaluate its security measures.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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how is what he did any different from what palestinian terorrists are doing?

and if youre so against invading Iraq, how would he ever have been punished? and if did such bad stuff to innocent people, why shouldnt we have come into Iraq and STOP him from doing such bad things to innocent people?

i sense a bit of hypocrisy here

either that or youy are starting to see reality.....

:)

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Originally posted by breakbeatz2

how is what he did any different from what palestinian terorrists are doing?

and if youre so against invading Iraq, how would he ever have been punished? and if did such bad stuff to innocent people, why shouldnt we have come into Iraq and STOP him from doing such bad things to innocent people?

i sense a bit of hypocrisy here

either that or youy are starting to see reality.....

:)

dear God....:blank:

who the hell are you, the world's policeman? do you have to nitpick EVERYTHING??

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Originally posted by breakbeatz2

how is what he did any different from what palestinian terorrists are doing?

and if youre so against invading Iraq, how would he ever have been punished? and if did such bad stuff to innocent people, why shouldnt we have come into Iraq and STOP him from doing such bad things to innocent people?

i sense a bit of hypocrisy here

either that or youy are starting to see reality.....

:)

:aright:

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Originally posted by sassa

dear God....:blank:

who the hell are you, the world's policeman? do you have to nitpick EVERYTHING??

nit picking?? youre the queen of that, i'm just trying to keep up ;)

but if i see hypocrisy in your arguments, am i wrongin pointing them out to you?

i think that you might know that your arguments are flawed and that you are just arguing for arguments sake. actually, i hope that is true.

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Originally posted by breakbeatz2

nit picking?? youre the queen of that, i'm just trying to keep up ;)

but if i see hypocrisy in your arguments, am i wrongin pointing them out to you?

i think that you might know that your arguments are flawed and that you are just arguing for arguments sake. actually, i hope that is true.

your arguments are flawed also. but of course you will not see that.

let's just agree that he is a bad person and it's good the US has him. i'm done arguing with you about petty bs.

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Originally posted by breakbeatz2

but its not petty its central to the general debate

how can you say that he is bad and its good that we got him and he killed innocents, yet also say that its wrong that we went in their to get him?

She will continue to duck you, like she always does when her hypocrisy once again exposes her

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Originally posted by igloo

She will continue to duck you, like she always does when her hypocrisy once again exposes her

seriously, either shut the fuck up or say something intelligent.

the US's reasons for invading iraq were WRONG. this man is a bad man, he needs to be punished yes. so does mugabe, so does chavez, so do the zapatistas, so do many many people. so does that mean the US is obliged to invade every state in the world and rid them of bad people?

the CIA are the biggest terrorists in the world. you do not see other states invading the USA.

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Originally posted by sassa

seriously, either shut the fuck up or say something intelligent.

the US's reasons for invading iraq were WRONG. this man is a bad man, he needs to be punished yes. so does mugabe, so does chavez, so do the zapatistas, so do many many people. so does that mean the US is obliged to invade every state in the world and rid them of bad people?

the CIA are the biggest terrorists in the world. you do not see other states invading the USA.

haha they can try if they want

and the US is obliged to invade every state that poses a threat to us

and if you call that selfish, no shit! everybody in the world wants to look out for themselves, first priority. are we to blame because we can do it better than anyone else?

and about the CIA, what about every Red Cross mission and every other altruistic missions in the world that the US funds? how come i dont see your friends over in Palestine and Iraq etc etc doing anything like that? Oh, right, cause all the countries over there spend all their money on supporting terrorists. Oooops, sorry I forgot.

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Originally posted by breakbeatz2

haha they can try if they want

and the US is obliged to invade every state that poses a threat to us

and if you call that selfish, no shit! everybody in the world wants to look out for themselves, first priority. are we to blame because we can do it better than anyone else?

and about the CIA, what about every Red Cross mission and every other altruistic missions in the world that the US funds? how come i dont see your friends over in Palestine and Iraq etc etc doing anything like that? Oh, right, cause all the countries over there spend all their money on supporting terrorists. Oooops, sorry I forgot.

*holds tongue and temper*

ok, if you believe that. iraq posed a threat to ISRAEL,not the US. it also didn't hurt that iraq had loads of oil. but i know you are going to say no that wasnt the reason, better to just drop this because it's going nowhere. you are not going to budge and neither am i.

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Originally posted by sassa

*holds tongue and temper*

ok, if you believe that. iraq posed a threat to ISRAEL,not the US. it also didn't hurt that iraq had loads of oil. but i know you are going to say no that wasnt the reason, better to just drop this because it's going nowhere. you are not going to budge and neither am i.

ONE: invading Iraq did not bring down the price of oil

TWO: bringing down the price of oil is NOT in the US's best interests

THREE: yes Israel is vital to the US. without Israel we have no foothild in that land of barbarians and terrorists. Israel is extrememly important for the US

but its also vital to the Jewish people of the world. and thank god we have enough of a Jewish Community in the US to lobby for Israel.

Now what is wrong with any of this?

Iraq psed a threat to the Us by posing a threat to Israel and by having the capacity to harbor and fund terrorists.

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Originally posted by sassa

*holds tongue and temper*

ok, if you believe that. iraq posed a threat to ISRAEL,not the US. it also didn't hurt that iraq had loads of oil. but i know you are going to say no that wasnt the reason, better to just drop this because it's going nowhere. you are not going to budge and neither am i.

ONE: invading Iraq did not bring down the price of oil

TWO: bringing down the price of oil is NOT in the US's best interests

THREE: yes Israel is vital to the US. without Israel we have no foothild in that land of barbarians and terrorists. Israel is extrememly important for the US

but its also vital to the Jewish people of the world. and thank god we have enough of a Jewish Community in the US to lobby for Israel.

Now what is wrong with any of this?

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Originally posted by breakbeatz2

ONE: invading Iraq did not bring down the price of oil

TWO: bringing down the price of oil is NOT in the US's best interests

THREE: yes Israel is vital to the US. without Israel we have no foothild in that land of barbarians and terrorists. Israel is extrememly important for the US

but its also vital to the Jewish people of the world. and thank god we have enough of a Jewish Community in the US to lobby for Israel.

one: Iraq hasnt started pumping much oil yet.

two: oh yes it is. the global economy cant grow much if oil continues to hover around $30/barrel

three: our foothold in the Middle East has caused much of our problems in the first place (as well as our consumption of their oil....dont get me started on that one).

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