U.S. finds terror camp near Baghdad

Friday, April 18, 2003

The United States has found another terrorist training camp sponsored by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

The camp was located on the outskirts of Baghdad and was operated by the Iraqi regime and the Palestine Liberation Front, U.S. officials said. They said the camp consisted of 20 permanent buildings on 25 acres of land.

On late Monday, U.S. special operations forces captured Mohammed Abul Abbas, head of the PLF. Abul Abbas has acknowledged several attacks against Israeli and U.S. nationals in the 1980s and 1990s, Middle East Newsline reported.

Cpl. John Hoellwarth, a marine spokesman, said the camp contained a prison, an obstacle course as well as chemicals, beakers and pipes.

Documents and literature found in the camp taught foreign recruits how to resist interrogation and how to become suicide bombers.

The recruits were asked to fill out questionnaires that included "What type of missions would you like to carry out?" Hoellwarth said. He said uniforms and gas masks were also left behind.

Iraq was said to have recruited more than 5,000 Arab volunteers for a range of suicide and other missions against coalition forces. Most of the volunteers were recruited in Syria.

U.S. marines also raided the home of a leading scientist in Iraq's biological weapons programs. Officials said 40 marines entered the Baghdad home of Rahib Taha, known as Dr. Germ. The force arrested three men and seized boxes of documents.

Ms. Taha is believed to have fled to Syria. Officials said several hundred Iraqis who served in senior positions in the Iraqi regime managed to enter Syria over the last week.

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