Saddam Helper: 'I Dug the Hole for Him'

Restaurant owner explains how he and his brother hid the ousted Iraqi ruler
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2012 4:00 PM CDT
This Dec.15, 2003, file photo shows U.S. soldiers demonstrating access to the hole used by Saddam Hussein before he was captured.   (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
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(Newser) – The Washington Post scores an interesting interview with the man whose claim to fame is that he helped Saddam Hussein hide from US forces until his capture in 2003. Alaa Namiq says he dug a hole for Saddam on his farm in Dawr, in the Tikriti region of Iraq near where Saddam was born. Namiq's brother, Qais, helped. Some snippets:

  • “He came here and he asked us for help and I said yes. He said, ‘You might be captured and tortured.’ But in our Arab tribal tradition, and by Islamic law, when someone needs help, we help him.”
  • Saddam spent much of his time reading and writing, and his only visitors were sons Uday and Qusay.
  • "In his heart, he knew that everything was gone and that he was no longer president. So he started something new—jihad against the occupiers." (In reference to Saddam's exhortations from hiding to his supporters to fight on.)
  • Namiq says he and his brother got arrested with Saddam, and he spent six months in Abu Ghraib. “I endured the dogs and the torture, but I couldn’t stand that music," he says of the loud rock. Namiq has since opened a family restaurant, and he's a minor celebrity of sorts in his hometown, where Saddam is still revered.
Read the full story here.

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