Iraqi Germ Warfare Specialist Exposed as Double Agent

By Venter, Al J. | The Middle East, December 1998 | Go to article overview

Iraqi Germ Warfare Specialist Exposed as Double Agent


Venter, Al J., The Middle East


The Iraqi germ warfare specialist, Dr Nassir al-Hindawi, who was arrested by Saddam's secret police shortly before he was about to flee to the West earlier this year, had been 'turned' by the Iraqi authorities several months before. A source in Washington told The Middle East that Hindawi had been forced to continue to cooperate with his Western contact as if nothing had happened.

A government spokesman in Baghdad said last April that the country's top biowarfare scientist and father of Saddam's clandestine biological warfare programme had been arrested after he was found in possession of "sensitive documents". He also had a forged foreign passport and "was about to flee to a 'rogue' state," the Iraqis said.

Curiously, Baghdad described his arrest as part of its effort "to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction", a statement described by one senior UN official as non-sense. All indications are that, had Hindawi been able to get away, he would have headed for the United States. Apparently he would have made that move a long time ago but feared for the safety of his family who are under house arrest.

The Middle East has sat on the story for several months; it was asked not to use it earlier because of the sensitive nature of developments. With new disclosures about weapons of mass destruction having been uncovered by UNSCOM in early June and the fracas that followed the resignation of former weapons inspector, Major Scott Ritter, Hindawi's role has become history.

The Iraqi microbiologist's story reads like a spy thriller. Almost all Iraqis working on sensitive defence-related projects are required to live in government-sponsored high-security compounds. It is rare that all members of a family are allowed to leave the place at the same time, in part to prevent another mass defection such as that of Saddam's son-in-law, General Kamel Hussein, who fled to Amman in 1995. It was he who exposed secrets of Iraq's clandestine nuclear and biological warfare programmes. He paid for that with his life.

A source in Washington has disclosed that -- unbeknown to Western sources -- Dr Hindawi had been arrested several months ago. He was interrogated and then released as if nothing had happened. On the threat of death, he had been forced to continue cooperating with his foreign contact. After that, the source said, he was able provide very little of value to those monitoring Iraq's biological warfare programme. It was this that initially raised suspicions in Washington that he might have been got at.

"All that Hindawi offered from then on was dated or recycled intelligence reports that were of little consequence," I was told. The charade continued for some months before he was 'officially' arrested. It had been clear to the Americans for some time that something was amiss.

What has been disclosed is that of the eight documents in Dr Hindawi's possession when he was arrested (and which were handed over to UNSCOM at their insistence) seven contained nothing new; they were among those that had been originally uncovered in the trove of secret documents at General Kamel's 'chicken farm' outside Baghdad. Nobody is saying what was in the eighth document, though if the Iraqis were involved, its contents would almost certainly have been innocuous.

What is clear is that prior to his first arrest, Dr Hindawi provided his Western contacts with enough sensitive intelligence to have caused Saddam to suddenly break with the UN weapons monitoring programme (as he did the year before, leading the US and its Allies to mobilise for an attack). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Iraqi Germ Warfare Specialist Exposed as Double Agent
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.