Thursday, June 19, 2003

Life on the Run

The Daily Telegraph has this to report about the capture of Abid Hamid.

Up to 50 people believed to be part of Saddam's security or intelligence apparatus or members of paramilitary groups were taken prisoner. "I believe over the next three to four days, you will hear much more about the number of senior Iraqi individuals we have detained here over the last couple of days," said Maj Gen Ray Odierno, commander of the US 4th Infantry Division.

So there are more in the bag, or nearly so, but the lid is still on. Although US troops "found £5.3 million in US dollars, up to £250 million in Iraqi dinars, quantities of British pounds and euros and £600,000 in gems", life on the run for Hamid was, well, the life of a fugitive. According to the AP, Hamid was found in a farmhouse whose owner was allegedly asked "to put up a guest for a few nights. The man arrived Sunday and slept on a mat in the living room. On Monday morning, Awad said, her husband had figured out the identity of their quiet house guest. 'My husband was scared,' she said. 'But we couldn't just tell him to leave our house.'" Hamid was on the roof when US helicopters swooped down and the raiders captured him.

Although one shouldn't take the operational details reported in the newspapers as gospel, a few things seem fairly certain:

  • Hamid was captured in farmhouse in Tikrit. Not in secret underground headquarters surrounded by communications equipment, but in an ordinary home in which he was a transient.
  • That other raids similar to this must have taken place close to the same time frame for General Odierno to speak of a "number of senior Iraqi individuals we have detained here over the last couple of days".

Post continued below. There's a bug in blogger which balks at posts of a certain length.