The New York Times

July 21, 2005

Iraqi Insurgents Aided by Hussein's Nephews, U.S. Says

WASHINGTON, July 20 - The Treasury Department today identified four nephews of Saddam Hussein who it said had played significant roles from bases in Syria in providing money, weapons, explosives and other support to the anti-American insurgency in Iraq.

The four are sons of Mr. Hussein's half brother and former presidential adviser, Sabawi Ibrahim Hasan al-Tikriti. Mr. Tikriti was captured in February in Syria and handed over to Iraqi forces, and the Treasury Department provided addresses in Syria for each of the four sons.

Among other things, the Treasury Department said in making the announcement that the oldest of the sons, Yasir, had transferred "a large sum of money" on Saddam Hussein's behalf to the former Iraqi leader's wife, Sajida Khayrallah Tilfah. It said that "information available to the U.S. government" showed that the second-oldest son, Omar, had provided financial support and direction to anti-American activities, including several attacks on the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

The announcement said the next-oldest brother, Ayman, had helped finance attacks in central Iraq carried out by the Fedayeen Saddam, the paramilitary organization formerly headed by Saddam Hussein's son, Uday. Uday Hussein was later killed by American troops.

The assertions provided a new indication of the degree to which the United States government believes that relatives and other former lieutenants of the Iraqi leader have been playing instrumental roles in the anti-American insurgency. But the Treasury Department announcement described only past activities, and did not say whether the United States believes the nephews are continuing to play active roles.

The Treasury made the details public as it announced action to freeze any bank accounts or other assets in the United States linked to the four nephews as well as two of their brothers. Stuart Levey, an undersecretary of treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, said the move was part of a broader effort that "targets the money flows of former regime elements actively supporting attacks against Coalition forces and the Iraqi people."

The four nephews described as having actively supported the insurgency range are all in their 30's, according to the Treasury announcment. The addresses provided for them include some in Damascus, the Syrian capital, as well as in the Syrian town of Bludan, near the Lebanese border.

Their father was once the widely feared head of Iraq's two most powerful security agencies. He was one of a group of officials from the former Iraqi government who were arrested in Syria and delivered into Iraqi custody in February. Iraqi officials said at the time that there 30 men in the group.

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