Iraqi Exile Warns of Saddam's Chemical Weapons

(NBC News) Dawna Friesen - Dr. Hussein Shahristani, 60, the former head of the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission, was tortured for years under Saddam's government before fleeing into exile in London a decade ago. "I was taken to the Baghdad security headquarters, down to the basement where the torture chambers are, and they started to torture me. This continued for 22 days and nights. They hanged me by my wrists. They used high voltage probes on sensitive parts of my body and beat me continuously." "Later, Saddam's stepbrother came and told me that Saddam was very sorry for what had happened to me and they would like me to go back to my work at the Atomic Energy Commission. He said I was needed to help build an atomic bomb (Shahristani refused). These were his exact words." "He said the bomb would give us a long arm with which Iraq would reshape the map of the Middle East. Saddam will use any means at his disposal to stay in power. He will try to take as many Iraqis down with him in a hope that he will stir up the international conscience to stop the war because of the civilian casualties." "I have information from inside Iraq that Saddam plans to distribute his chemical weapons in particular in major Shiite towns in southern Iraq. He plans to remotely detonate them and expose the population to nerve agents and cause very large-scale civilian deaths."

2002-12-06 00:00:00

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