February 02, 2003


SADDAM Hussein's senior bodyguard has fled with details of Iraq's secret arsenal.

His revelations have supported US President George W. Bush's claim there is enough evidence from UN inspectors to justify going to war.

Abu Hamdi Mahmoud has provided Israeli intelligence with a list of sites that the inspectors have not visited.

They include:

AN underground chemical weapons facility at the southern end of the Jadray Peninsula in Baghdad;

A SCUD assembly area near Ramadi. The missiles come from North Korea;

TWO underground bunkers in Iraq's Western Desert. These contain biological weapons.

William Tierney, a former UN weapons inspector who has continued to gather information on Saddam's arsenal, said Mahmoud's information is "the smoking gun".

You'd think this would be getting more attention.

UPDATE: Several readers pointed out the similarities between the above account and this one from Debka dated January 21. Given that the bodyguard's name is a pseudonym, it could be the same guy -- though he explicitly mentions Hamdi Mamoud / Hamouda in this interview. Of course, that could be a red herring, too.

Conclusion? Beats me. The reason we're not hearing more about this could be because it's not true -- which is always the way to bet when you don't know any more -- or it could be because, well, it is and it's not time yet. Stay tuned. And if you've got any other leads on this story, let me know.