Iraq arrests Saddam's nephew in Baghdad
Updated: 2005-10-20 08:36
Iraqi police on Wednesday arrested Saddam Hussein's nephew in Baghdad,
charging that he served as the top financier of Iraq's rampant insurgency,
senior Iraqi security officials said.
Yasir Sabhawi Ibrahim, son of Saddam's half brother Sabhawi Ibrahim Hasan
al-Tikriti, was arrested in a Baghdad apartment, several days after Syrian
authorities forced him to return to Iraq, the officials told The Associated
Press in a telephone interview from Cairo. They spoke on condition of anonymity
because they weren't authorized to deal with the media.
One of the officials, who works as a coordinator between Iraqi authorities
and U.S. military intelligence, described the purported financier as the most
dangerous man in the urgency. The other official, who is a senior member of the
Iraqi Defense Ministry, said the arrest was a serious blow to terrorist
Both officials said Syrian authorities "pushed" Ibrahim into Iraq but did not
hand him over to authorities.
The Syrians were aware of his whereabouts in Baghdad and informed U.S.
authorities, who then passed the information to Iraq security forces who carried
out a "fast, easy" raid on the fugitive's apartment, the Defense Ministry
The Iraqi officials believe the suspect was operating Baath Party funds in
Syria, Jordan and Yemen and had been running a vast network of insurgents inside
Iraq. They also claim he was coordinating between Baathist insurgents and the
terror network of Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
He was believed to be second in command of the Iraqi-led insurgency behind
Younis al-Ahmad, a former member of the Baath Party leadership believed to be
still in Syria.
Officials in Syria were not available for comment on the arrest.
On July 21, the U.S. Treasury Department froze the U.S. assets of the suspect
as well as the five other sons of al-Tikriti, who was himself captured in Syria
earlier this year and handed over to Iraq in an apparent good will gesture.
On Sept. 19, Iraq's Central Criminal Court sentenced another of al-Tikriti's
sons, Ayman, to life in prison on charges he helped fund the insurgency and was
a bomb-maker. It was the first known trial of any of the former leader's family
Syria has been under intense pressure from the United States and Iraq to do
more to prevent militants and weapons crossing from its territories into
neighboring Iraq. Damascus denies actively supporting insurgents battling
U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq, but says it is virtually impossible to lock
down its porous desert frontier with Iraq.