Hussein Kamel al-Majid

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Hussein Kamel al-Majid
Hussein Kamel al-Majid in 1995.png
Minister of Military Industries
In office
4 February 1987 20 December 1995
President Saddam Hussein
Personal details
Born18 June 1954
Tel Al Thahab, Kingdom of Iraq
Died23 February 1996 (aged 41)
Baghdad, Ba'athist Iraq
Political party Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party
Spouse(s) Raghad Hussein
Relatives Saddam Kamel (brother)

Hussein Kamel Hassan al-Majid (Arabic : حسين كامل حسن المجيد) (18 June 1954 23 February 1996) was the son-in-law and second cousin of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. He defected to Jordan and assisted United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspection teams assigned to look for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Iraq Republic in Western Asia

Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital, and largest city, is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Kurds, Chaldeans, Assyrians, Turkmen, Shabakis, Yazidis, Armenians, Mandeans, Circassians and Kawliya. Around 95% of the country's 37 million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan, Yezidism and Mandeanism also present. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish.

Saddam Hussein Iraqi politician and President

Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was President of Iraq from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003. A leading member of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party, and later, the Baghdad-based Ba'ath Party and its regional organization the Iraqi Ba'ath Party—which espoused Ba'athism, a mix of Arab nationalism and socialism—Saddam played a key role in the 1968 coup that brought the party to power in Iraq.

Jordan Arab country in Western Asia

Jordan, officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is an Arab country in Western Asia, on the East Bank of the Jordan River. Jordan is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south and the east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and Israel and Palestine to the west. The Dead Sea is located along its western borders and the country has a short 26-kilometre (16 mi) coastline on the Red Sea in its extreme south-west, but is otherwise landlocked. Jordan is strategically located at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe. The capital, Amman, is Jordan's most populous city as well as the country's economic, political and cultural centre.



Kamel was born in Tel Al Thahab (in modern-day Balad District, Saladin Governorate). [1] He rose through the military ranks to become the Supervisor of the Republican Guard, Iraq's elite military forces, in 1982. He later became the Minister of Industries, heading the Military Industrialisation Commission and supervising Iraq's weapons development programs from 1987. Kamel became oil minister of Iraq in 1990. [2]

Balad District, Iraq District in Salah ad Din, Iraq

Balad District is a district of the Saladin Governorate, Iraq. It covers an area of 2,469 km2 (953 sq mi), and had a population of 167,590 in 2003. The district capital is the city of Balad.

Saladin Governorate Governorate in Tikrit, Iraq

The Saladin or Salah ad Din Governorate is a governorate in Iraq, north of Baghdad. The governorate has an area of 24,363 square kilometres (9,407 sq mi). The estimated population in 2003 was 1,042,200 people. The capital is Tikrit; the governorate also contains the significantly larger city of Samarra. Before 1976 the governorate was part of Baghdad Governorate.

Republican Guard (Iraq) 1969-2003 elite military branch of Iraqs military

Not to be confused with Syrian Republican Guard

He married one of Saddam Hussein's daughters, Raghad Saddam, and lived in Iraq until 1995. [3] On 7 August of that year, Kamel and his wife defected from Iraq, along with Kamel's brother, Saddam Kamel, and the brother's wife, Rana Saddam, another of Saddam Hussein's daughters. In a 21 September 1995 interview with CNN, Hussein Kamel explained: [4]

Raghad Hussein Saddam Husseins daughter

Raghad Saddam Hussein is a daughter of Saddam Hussein, the former president of Iraq.

Saddam Kamel Iraqi defector

Saddam Kamel Hassan al-Majid was the second cousin and son-in-law of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. He was also a part time actor.

Rana Hussein Daughter of Saddam Hussein

Rana Saddam Hussein is the second-eldest daughter of the former President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein and his first wife, Sajida Talfah. Her older sister is Raghad and younger sister is Hala Hussein.

This is what made me leave the country, the fact that Saddam Hussein surrounds himself with inefficient ministers and advisers who are not chosen for their competence but according to the whims of the Iraqi president. And as a result of this the whole of Iraq is suffering.

Jordan granted asylum to the Kamels, and there they began to cooperate with UNSCOM and its director Rolf Ekéus, the American CIA and the British MI6. The initial promises of a wealth of information were, allegedly, not fulfilled. According to U.S. and Jordanian officials, the intelligence provided by Hussein Kamel on Iraqi secret weapons programs was of limited content and value. [5]

Rolf Ekéus Swedish diplomat

Carl Rolf Ekéus is a Swedish diplomat. From 1978 to 1983, he was a representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, and he has worked on various other disarmament committees and commissions.

Central Intelligence Agency National intelligence agency of the United States

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States, tasked with gathering, processing, and analyzing national security information from around the world, primarily through the use of human intelligence (HUMINT). As one of the principal members of the United States Intelligence Community (IC), the CIA reports to the Director of National Intelligence and is primarily focused on providing intelligence for the President and Cabinet of the United States.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea separates Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Kamel confirmed what inspectors had been able to ascertain shortly before his defection, that Iraq had operated a biological warfare program prior to the Gulf War, but had destroyed its entire stockpile of chemical and biological weapons and banned missiles. Kamel's defection presented a major problem for those seeking to overthrow the Iraqi government.

Gulf War 1990–1991 war between Iraq and Coalition Forces

The Gulf War, codenamed Operation Desert Shield for operations leading to the buildup of troops and defense of Saudi Arabia and Operation Desert Storm in its combat phase, was a war waged by coalition forces from 35 nations led by the United States against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait arising from oil pricing and production disputes. The war is also known under other names, such as the Persian Gulf War, First Gulf War, Gulf War I, Kuwait War, First Iraq War or Iraq War, before the term "Iraq War" became identified instead with the post-2003 Iraq War. The war has also earned the nickname Video Game War after the daily broadcast of images from cameras on board US bombers during Operation Desert Storm.

Return to Iraq and death

In February 1996, after intermediaries for Saddam Hussein had assured them that all would be forgiven, Hussein Kamel and Saddam Kamel were convinced to return to Iraq with their wives. Reportedly, immediately upon their return, they were ordered to divorce their wives and were denounced as traitors. Three days after their arrival, on 23 February, they refused to surrender to Saddam's security forces and were killed in a 13-hour firefight at a safe house. [6] According to an alternative version of events, the Kamel brothers were killed less than 24 hours following the divorce decrees, in a gun battle with other cousins trying to gain back their clan honor in the eyes of Saddam. [7]

A safe house is, in a generic sense, a secret place for sanctuary or suitable to hide persons from the law, hostile actors or actions, or from retribution, threats or perceived danger. It may also be a metaphor.

An honor killing or shame killing is the murder of a member of a family, due to the perpetrators' belief that the victim has brought shame or dishonor upon the family, or has violated the principles of a community or a religion, usually for reasons such as divorcing or separating from their spouse, refusing to enter an arranged marriage, being in a relationship that is disapproved by their family, having premarital or extramarital sex, becoming the victim of rape or sexual assault, dressing in ways which are deemed inappropriate, engaging in non-heterosexual relations or renouncing a faith.

After effects

In a 25 January 1999 report to the U.N. Security Council, UNSCOM declared that the history of the Iraqi weapons inspections "must be divided into two parts, separated by the events following the departure from Iraq, in August 1995, of Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel."

Kamel maintained that Iraq had destroyed its weapons of mass destruction and related programs after the end of the first Gulf War.

I ordered destruction of all chemical weapons. All weapons—biological, chemical, missile, nuclear—were destroyed. [4]

A 3 March 2003 Newsweek report said that Kamel's revelations were "hushed up" because inspectors "hoped to bluff Saddam [Hussein] into revealing still more." [8] Kamel's version of events appear to have been borne out in the wake of the 2003 Invasion of Iraq.

In the build-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Bush administration figures—including George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell—repeatedly cited Kamel's testimony as evidence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. [9]

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  1. "آخر خدمة الغز علقة: العسكري الخائن في قبضة صدام حسين". (in Arabic). 18 December 2018.
  2. Ibrahim, Youssef M. (30 October 1990). "Gulf Leader Says Failed Overtures Could Mean War by Year's End". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  3. King Abdullah II of Jordan: Our Last Best Chance ; Viking Press; New York, New York; 2011; p. 95.
  4. 1 2 Transcript of part one of Correspondent Brent Sadler's exclusive interview with Hussein Kamel; CNN; 21 September 1995.
  5. Washington Post 24 February 1996
  6. Anthony H. Cordesman; Ahmed S. Hashim (1997). Iraq. Westview Press. p. 24. ISBN   978-0-7867-4234-9 . Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  7. Shahin, Miriam (1 April 1996). "The final straw". The Middle East. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  8. Barry, John (3 March 2003). "The Defector's Secrets". Newsweek. Archived from the original on 12 March 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  9. "Star Witness on Iraq Said Weapons Were Destroyed". Fair. 27 February 2003. Retrieved 16 March 2013.

See also