Coalition Forces continue hunt for Al Duri

Izzat Ibrihim Al Duri, BAGHDAD, Iraq, November 14, 2005 7:46


Coalition Forces continue the hunt for Izzat Ibrihim Al Duri, long-time Saddam Hussein associate, in spite of the latest Baath party announcement of his death. Coalition officials question the validity of the Baath party claim, and a reward of up to $10 million remains for information leading to Al-Duri’s capture or his gravesite.

There have been conflicting reports regarding Al-Duri. On Nov. 12 a Baathist website reported his death, but the author of this site has made false claims in the past. Another website, also claiming to be associated with the former Baath Party, apologized for the false reporting of Al-Duri’s death and claimed Al Duri was still alive.

Al Duri remains the senior ranking fugitive among the failed former regime associates of Saddam Hussein. Numerous reports indicate he is suspected to be in poor health and running out of hiding places and supporters willing to help him in northern Iraq.

Iraqi and Coalition intelligence officials note that there is strong evidence that Al Duri’s influence within the fragmented underground Iraqi Baath party leadership has rapidly diminished since he is unable to maintain the visibility and contacts required to uphold loyalty among what little remains of his network and supporters. Officials believe that Al Duri still has access to funds that he personally transferred to Syria. This money was looted from Iraq during the Saddam Hussein reign and is now being used to recruit and finance numerous insurgent attacks in Iraq.

As the former Minister of Interior, Al Duri is also suspected of playing a key role in the chemical shelling of Kurdish villages near the city of Halabjah in 1988, resulting in the deaths of 5,000 Kurds. He is also suspected of direct involvement in mass executions, torture and destruction during the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait and the brutal repression of the Shiite uprising that followed the Gulf War in 1991.





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