Saddam Hussein’s Half-Brother Captured
Saddam Hussein’s Half-Brother Captured (NYT rss)
The Iraqi government said today that it had imprisoned a half-brother of Saddam Hussein, a suspected major financier of the insurgency and for several years the head of the country’s domestic intelligence and security service, once the most feared agency in Iraq. The half-brother, Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan al-Tikriti, is No. 36 on the list of 55 most-wanted Iraqis that the American government compiled after the fall of Baghdad in April 2003. He is believed by Iraqi officials and American commanders to have funneled large amounts of money from Syria, where he sought refuge after invasion, to guerrilla cells here in Iraq. He was apparently captured in Syria with the help of the Syrian government over the weekend.
A senior American commander confirmed that Mr. Tikriti was a “big catch,” and American officials have said that a crackdown on financiers in Syria could deal a devastating blow to the insurgency. On the deck of playing cards portraying the 55 most wanted men, Mr. Tikriti appears as the six of diamonds, and a black-and-white portrait on the card shows him as a young, smiling man with a thin moustache. Two other half brothers of Mr. Hussein on the list, Barzan al-Tikriti and Watban al-Tikriti, were seized right after the Hussein government crumbled.
CNN buries the news in the Hilla bombing report:
Also Sunday, Iraqi government officials said Saddam Hussein’s half-brother and his former personal adviser has been captured. Sab’awi Ibrahim al-Hasan al-Tikriti was No. 36 on the U.S. military’s 55 most-wanted Iraqis list, and one of only 12 people on the list who remained free. There is evidence that al-Hasan was financing insurgents in the post-Saddam era, an Iraqi intelligence official told CNN.
The capture of 43 of the 55 people on the most wanted list is also encouraging, especially since virtually everyone in the upper echelon of that group is among the 43.
Update (0937): Austin Bay had this story yesterday afternoon, citing an AP report that the Syrians turned Tikriti over to the Iraqi government. Interesting indeed.
Evan Kohlmann has a roundup of video statements by al Qaeda in Iraq for recent attacks–so far not including this one.
Andrew Olmsted has the weekly WoC Iraq Report.
Arthur Chrenkoff has his weekly Good News roundup. It’s incredibly extensive.