|Subj:||Saddam 'may be dead' - Egyptian Intelligence|
|Date:||1/3/01 8:57:16 AM Pacific Standard Time|
January 3rd 2001
SADDAM 'MAY BE DEAD' - EGYPTIAN INTELLIGENCE
Saddam Hussein has had a major stroke and may even be dead, according to
Egyptian security sources.
The Iraqi dictator has not been seen since a New Years Day parade when
he was shown on Iraqi TV firing his gun into the air. Reports say he was
taking the salute from his military when he collapsed.
Sky News sources in Baghdad say that while all is quiet on the streets
of the Iraqi capital there has been increased troop movement around
Saddams presidential palace.
The military parade on Sunday was the biggest since the Gulf War and was
a chance to show off sophisticated surface-to-surface, anti-aircraft
missiles plus over 1,000 modern Russian-made tanks.
None of the missiles violate UN arms control restrictions imposed after
the Gulf War when Iraq invaded neighbouring Kuwait.
Saddam has survived more than a decade of UN sanctions against Iraq for
the invasion, but the countrys infrastructure has been severely
The Iraqi government claims that more than 10,000 people, most of them
children, have died as a result of sanctions.
The UN does allow the sale of some of Iraqs oil in exchange for
medicine and food, but Saddam has been accused of spending the cash
earned from oil on building presidential palaces and rebuilding his war
If reports of Saddams demise are true his likely successor is his
eldest son Uday who survived an assassination attempt four years ago.
Uday is known to be as ruthless as his father. He was wheelchair-bound
for years after the attempt on his life but has gradually been given
more and more control of key government institutions by Saddam.
There are several opposition groups in exile who say they would be
prepared to go back and take control of the country. But the various
factions are not thought to be unified enough to govern and analysts
have warned of civil war in the country without a strong leader at the
The United States has invested a large sum of money in the Iraqi
opposition to help it remove Saddam from power.