The United States has captured another leading scientist in
the biological weapons program of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Officials said U.S.-led coalition forces have arrested Rihab Taha,
an Iraqi microbiologist who has been dubbed "Dr. Germ." They said Ms. Taha was
arrested over the weekend in northwestern Iraq near the Syrian border.
Educated in Britain, Ms. Taha was said to have vital information on
Iraq's BW program.
Ms. Taha worked closely with Huda Ammash, known as "Mrs. Anthraax" and regarded as the head of the BW
program. Ms. Ammash was captured on April 28 by the coalition.
Both Ms. Ammash and Ms. Taha escaped to Syria in early April, officials
said. They were expelled by the regime of President Bashar Assad under heavy
Officials said Ms. Taha, 47, had been in contact with UN weapons
inspectors to arrange for her surrender. They said the negotiations lasted
United Nations weapons inspector chief Hans Blix
described her and her husband, former Iraqi Oil Minister and missile chief
Amr Rashid, as one of the most important subjects of interrogation for the
U.S. forces have also found two Iraqi BW mobile laboratories used to
conceal biological agents and equipment from UN inspectors. The latest
mobile facility was captured over the weekend around the northern city of
Mosul. No actual traces of BW agents have been found in either mobile unit.
The United States has also captured a senior Saddam aide. He was
identified as Ibrahim Ahmad Abd Al Sattar Al Tikriti, a former military
chief of staff and No. 13 on the U.S. list of 55 most wanted Iraqis.
Officials said the most prominent Iraqi fugitive is Izzet Eddin Ibrahim
Al Douri. Al Douri, former vice chairman
of the Iraqi Revolutionary Council, was regarded as the closest confidante
of Saddam apart from his son, Qusay.
On Tuesday, the London-based A-Sharq Al Awsat reported that Al Douri was
now in the Mosul area of northern Iraq. The newspaper said Al Douri has
leukemia and had tried to flee to Syria.