Saddam calls for jihad, his wife takes Mideast shopping spree

Thursday, October 23, 2003

ABU DHABI Saddam Hussein remains active in the Sunni insurgency war against U.S. forces in Iraq while his wife has been shopping throughout the Middle East.

Saddam issued another message to Iraqis calling for jihad against the U.S.-led coalition. The message also warned those Iraqis who collaborate with the United States and its allies.

Iraqi sources said Saddam's message was dated Oct. 9 and sent to Tikrit by loyalists. The message was then broadcast by Arab media, Middle East Newsline reported.

On Wednesday, the U.S. commander of the coalition in Iraq reported an increase in attacks on his forces.

Meanwhile, Saddam's wife, Sajida, and daughter Hala, have been traveling throughout the Middle East, according to local newspaper reports..

The Yemeni daily Al Tajamu newspaper reported on Tuesday that Sajida and Halla were seen in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa. They were said to have been staying at Hotel Jedda in southern Sanaa and were seen accompanied by Sajida's sisters and their children.

Sajida was reportedly the guest of the regime of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Salah. Sajida was said to have been given $5,000 per day by Yemen for her daily needs.

The Yemeni government has denied that Sajida is in the country.

Saddam's two other daughers, Raghad and Rana, have been living in Amman. They are also expected to join their mother in Yemen.

Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez said attacks have risen to up to 35 a day. During the summer, Sanchez reported an average of 15 attacks daily.

"We are making progress, but we need to accelerate it, and accomplish it across all lines of operation economic, political, security," Sanchez said. "Once we get economic progress and law and order capacity built in the country, that will go a long ways toward re-establishing a safe and secure environment in Iraq. If we get unemployed back to working, that will contribute to eliminating some of the anti-coalition forces throughout the country. Those are really key things."

[On Thursday, Iraqi police foiled two car bombings in Baghdad. A Syrian national was arrested and was said to have confessed to preparing one of the car bombs.]

Saddam's two sons, Uday and Qusay, were killed in July in Mosul.

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