Tags: U.S. | Captures | Iraqi | 'Ace | Diamonds'

U.S. Captures Iraqi 'Ace of Diamonds'

Wednesday, 18 June 2003 12:00 AM

Mahmud was Saddam Hussein's secretary, national security adviser and senior bodyguard, according to the Pentagon. He is the ace of diamonds in the U.S. military's deck of 55 most wanted Iraqis, and No. 4 on the list behind Saddam and his two sons, Uday and Qusay.

Third in power only to Saddam and Qusay, Mahmud controlled access to Saddam and was one of the few people he is said to have trusted completely, a U.S. official said.

Mahmud could have information on the fate of the Husseins and is thought to have details of Iraq's weapons programs. U.S. officials want to try him for war crimes or crimes against humanity for atrocities committed during his term in the Iraqi regime.

CentCom offered no details of the capture but said it occurred Monday.

Intelligence officers say two violent Iraqi groups have forged an unlikely alliance to fight occupation.

Maj. Joffery Watson, the intelligence officer for the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, which is policing Fallujah, told the Chicago Tribune the increased resistance indicated collaboration.

The continuing anti-U.S. violence in the central part of the country appears to be the work of an unlikely but deepening alliance between two of Iraq's most mutually antagonistic subcultures: secular Baath Party militants loyal to Saddam Hussein and Islamic extremists united only by a burning hatred of America.

More than 370 Iraqis have been arrested since Sunday in a security sweep code-named Operation Desert Scorpion, the second major counterinsurgency campaign in Iraq in two weeks, the U.S. military said. At least 50 U.S. soldiers have died from sniping, ambushes or accidents since major fighting ended in Iraq in April.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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Mahmud was Saddam Hussein's secretary, national security adviser and senior bodyguard, according to the Pentagon. He is the ace of diamonds in the U.S. military's deck of 55 most wanted Iraqis, and No. 4 on the list behind Saddam and his two sons, Uday and Qusay. Third...
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2003-00-18
Wednesday, 18 June 2003 12:00 AM
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