Saturday, September 27, 2003

Uday's failed assassins
An article in the Christian Science Monitor reveals the name of those who tried to kill Uday, Saddam's son, back in December 1996. He was hit by 17 bullets, but survived.

The story is interesting in two ways to me. First it reveals that arguably the most famous account of the attempted hit, the one written by the Cockburns in Out of the Ashes, is apparently wrong in several major details. The Cockburns said a group called Al-Nahda was responsible for the attack, and was founded by well-educated young Baghdadis. It turns out that the real culprit (if the Monitor story is correct) was a group called the 15 Shaaban group, which was made up of Iraqi Shiites from the south.

A second detail is that Saddam managed to find out who had carried out the attack thanks to the Jordanians, who handed over a 15 Shaaban militant to the Iraqi regime. He was tortured and revealed the names of the perpetrators. They were hiding out in the southern marshes, but one was killed and several of their family members were executed.

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