Will the Third Son also Rise?

mg class=”picture” src=”/dynmedia/pictures/saddam_black.jpg” align=”right” border=”0″>The decision to kill Saddam Hussein’s two sons Uday and Qusay when they were surrounded in a villa in Mosul – instead of taking them alive – was made by high-ranking officials in Washington to meet the overarching goal of showing the Iraqi people that Saddam Hussein and his like were doomed to be eliminated root and branch from Iraq’s ruling system, never to return. Washington needed to hammer this message home to counteract the corrosive effect on Iraqis of the mounting guerrilla campaign on American troops and their failure to take out a single senior member of Saddam’s inner circle since invading the country in March.
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After the two sons’ deaths were confirmed, DEBKA-Net-Weekly published a world exclusive in its last issue of July 25 that, even now, the Saddam succession lives on in the person of a third, virtually unknown younger son called Ali. Uday and Qusay had the same mother, Sajida. Ali’s mother is Samira Shahbandar, the daughter of an aristocratic Syrian-Iraqi family.
According to our sources, Samira was never married formally to Saddam although there are rumors of a secret marriage contract. She preferred to live apart from him in Syria so as to stay clear of Baghdad politics and the brutalities of the Saddam regime. But their relationship was strong and she often paid visits to Baghdad. In recent years, Samira is believed to have moved to Beirut, but their son Ali stayed in Syria, presumably under the custody of Saddam’s close advisers. His two half-brothers worked long and hard to keep Ali’s existence dark and unrecognized, but Saddam is fond of his youngest son and always protected him from his siblings’ rancor.
Just before the war, Ali dropped out of sight and has not been located so far by any intelligence agency. Until recently, US intelligence assumed the young boy had gone into hiding in a secret place prepared in advance by his father. Now, according to debkafile and DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s sources, he is believed to have been brought to Iraq by Saddam several weeks before the war and kept beside him throughout the fighting. The son and father are most probably together in one of the presidential underground complexes between Tikrit and Samarra or Samarra East.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s intelligence sources report the strong possibility that Saddam Hussein will try and elevate his last surviving son to fill the dynastic gap left by the deaths of Uday and Qusay and Qusay’s 14-year old son Mustafa.
Ali’s presence in the presidential hideout is held by some intelligence sources as the reason for the two half-brothers’ unexplained emergence from hiding and exposure to danger in Mosul where they and Mustafa were finally killed by US troops last Tuesday, July 22. They may have fallen out with their father over the presence of the half-brother they hated and walked out to force Saddam to send him away.
debkafile‘s military sources report that finding Ali Hussein was the object of the US Task Force 20 raid on a house in the Mansour district of Baghdad Sunday, July 27 and sweeps by the 4th Infantry Division around Ouja on the outskirts of Tikrit since Wednesday July 23. Their mission is deemed important enough to bring General Richard Myers, top US armed forces commander, to Iraq to lead operations. Finding Saddam’s last surviving offspring appears to be the key to the capture of Saddam himself. Failure would boost Iraq’s deposed president hopes and encourage him to name Ali as his successor.

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