The United States has begun capturing members
of Iraq's deposed ruling family.
U.S. officials said coalition special operations forces have captured
President Saddam Hussein's half-brother during a raid
in Baghdad. Officials said Barzan Tikriti, No. 52 on the U.S. most
wanted list of Iraqis, was captured on late Wednesday in Baghdad.
"The capture demonstrates the coalition's commitment to relentlessly
pursuing the scattered remnants of a fractured regime," Brig. Gen. Vincent
Brooks, deputy operations chief for U.S. Central Command, said. "We are
currently asking a number of questions, finding out whatever we can from
For the U.S.-led coalition, the capture of Tikriti is regarded as having
special significance for intelligence units. Tikriti supporters had claimed
that he was killed in a U.S. bombing of his farm on April 11, Middle East Newsline reported.
Tikriti is said to be one of three half brothers of Saddam. One of them,
Watban Tikriti, was captured by coalition forces on Sunday. The third half
brother, Sabawi Tikriti is believed to have fled to Syria.
Barzan, 53, served as head of intelligence and was said to have been the
chief financial adviser of the president. He is the youngest of Saddam's
three half brothers.
Officials said the capture of Tikriti could result in information on
Saddam's fortune. During his tenure as Iraqi ambassador to the United
Nations in Geneva, Tikriti is said to have funneled Saddam's cash reserves
"Barzan is an adviser to the former regime leader with extensive
knowledge of the regime's inner working," Brooks said.
So far, officials said they remain uncertain over the fate of Saddam and
his two sons, Uday and Qusay. Izzat Ibrahim Al Douri, vice chairman of the
ruling Iraqi Revolutionary Council, is believed to have fled to Syria.