Reoprt: Saddam tribe funds, arms resistance in Iraq
A broad network of Saddam Hussein's extended family is helping finance and arm the anti-US resistance in Iraq, the New York Times reported Monday, citing US government officials and a prominent Iraqi.
The network operates in part from Syria and Jordan and actively smuggles weapons, fighters and money into Iraq for this cause, according to the Times.
One of the leaders is Saddam's cousin Fatiq Suleiman al-Majid, described as a former officer in Iraq's Special Security Organization who fled to Syria after the US-led invasion of Iraq, the newspaper reported.
At least two other Saddam cousins from the Majid family who now live in Syria and in Europe are also involved in the effort, US officials told the Times.
They added that Saddam's cousins, who now live outside Iraq, can tap into tens of millions of dollars, much of it profits from smuggling oil, military equipment and other goods during Saddam's regime.
Even though US officials acknowledge that large portions of the resistance come from Iraqis with no ties to Saddam, they believe a pro-Saddam resistance force of up to 5,000 fighters that is organized and directed by former Iraqi officials is responsible for many attacks, according to the Times. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)