Socialist Worker

Saddam’s man Wafiq al-Samarrai has a new job

Issue No. 1949

The US has appointed one of Saddam Hussein’s most feared generals as “a special security adviser” to the new Iraqi government. Wafiq al-Samarrai was head of General Military Intelligence during the uprisings in the Shia south and Kurdish north following the end of the 1991 Gulf War.

The ministry, known as the Istikhbarat, was responsible for rounding up those suspected of opposing the Baathist regime.

After crushing the 1991 uprising, Samarrai was promoted to running Saddam’s personal office.

Samarrai defected in 1995 and tried to spark an uprising against his former boss — the uprising failed.

In 1998 he settled in Sutton, Surrey, where he founded the National Salvation Movement with other top ranking defectors.

Samarrai became one of the “intelligence sources” on Iraq’s alleged weapons programme.

In June 2002 Kurdish campaigners demanded Samarrai be tried as a war criminal, a move opposed by the two main Kurdish parties allied to the US occupation.

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