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US frees Mrs Anthrax and Dr Germ.

Old 12-19-05, 11:52 AM
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US frees Mrs Anthrax and Dr Germ.

I really have no particular reason to post this except that I like the thread title.

Ok, here's one comment. I woudn't let these two women cook my meals.

US sets Saddam's scientists free

Eight former aides to Saddam Hussein - including two women accused of making biological weapons - have been released from US custody in Iraq.
The freed detainees no longer pose a security threat, a US spokesman said.

They include Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash, nicknamed by the US "Mrs Anthrax" and Rihab Taha, also known as "Dr Germ".

Reports have been circulating of a pre-election deal to free former regime figures in order to appease Iraq's Sunni Arabs, correspondents say.

A US military spokesman in Baghdad said eight detainees "were released as part of an ongoing process for many months in full consultation with the Iraqi government".

"Many were originally held as suspects in possible war crimes and as material witnesses," the spokesman said.

They were released over the weekend after nearly three years in detention.

They have been flown to Jordan, reportedly because of fears for their safety in Iraq, where many former regime figures have been assassinated.

Weapons programme

The British-educated Dr Taha and US-educated Mrs Ammash had both been accused by the Bush administration of involvement in Saddam Hussein's banned weapons programme.

Neutralising the threat posed by the former leader's chemical and biological weapons was cited by the US as its prime motive for invading Iraq in 2003.

No such weapons have been found since the invasion.

While the US military maintains only eight figures from Saddam Hussein's government have been released, an Iraqi official quoted by the Associated Press news agency said some 24 prisoners had been set free.

Aseel Tabra, an Iraqi Olympic Committee official and Hossam Mohammed Amin, head of the weapons inspections directorate, are among those released, according to the official quoted by the agency.
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Old 12-19-05, 11:56 AM
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Profiles:

DR RIHAB RASHID TAHA



Nicknamed "Dr Germ" by UN weapons inspectors, Rihab Rashid Taha helped develop weapons-grade anthrax and botulinum.

A microbiologist, Dr Taha was educated in England, earning a doctorate from the University of East Anglia, where she studied plant disease.

She is said to have carried out work on germ warfare at Iraq's top secret al-Hakim biological research laboratory in the late 1980s.

At the time, Dr Taha was reported to have ordered - and received - biological specimens from US companies.

Dr Taha worked on biological weapons development for seven years, until 1995.

She condemned the weapons inspections process introduced by the UN in Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War and defended Iraqi scientists' right to refuse to co-operate.

Weapons inspectors who met her described her as difficult and dour.

Surrendered

Dr Taha admitted producing germ warfare agents, but said they had been destroyed, according to reports.

Despite her alleged involvement in illegal weapons development, Dr Taha was not on the US list of 55 most wanted Iraqi officials.

The US still sought her capture, hoping she could lead them to alleged concealed weapons of mass destruction.

In April 2003, US forces raided the home she shared with her husband, Gen Amir Mohammad Rashid, Saddam Hussein's former oil minister, but failed to find her.

Dr Taha surrendered in May 2003, after negotiating terms with the US-led coalition.

DR HUDA SALIH MAHDI AMMASH



Dr Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash was one of the few women in Saddam Hussein's inner circle and the only one on the US list of 55 most wanted Iraqis.

Described on the list as the Baath Party "Youth and Trade Bureau Chairman", Dr Ammash was the only female in the Iraq Command, the 18-member council that ran the Baath Party, as well as a party regional commander.

However the US-educated microbiologist is best known for her alleged involvement with the weapons of mass destruction programme.

Dubbed "Mrs Anthrax" by Washington, US intelligence services say she masterminded the reconstruction of Iraq's biological weapons facilities after the 1991 Gulf War.

A mother of four, Dr Ammash studied for a master of science degree in microbiology at Texas Women's University in Denton, in the United States.

She later spent four years at the University of Missouri-Columbia where she gained her doctorate in microbiology in 1983.

US officials say after returning to Iraq Dr Ammash trained under Nassir al-Hindawi, described by UN weapons inspectors as the father of Iraq's biological weapons programme.

Inner circle

In 1996, she became the head of Iraq's Microbiology Society, a group alleged to be a front for research into potential biological weapons such as anthrax and smallpox.

Fluent in English, Dr Ammash also served as Saddam Hussein's unofficial ambassador to Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen and as the Dean of the University of Baghdad.

Dr Ammash was the only woman pictured at a meeting of Saddam Hussein and eight of his most senior officials in Iraqi television footage apparently shot after the start of the US-led war in March 2003.

She disappeared after the collapse of the regime weeks later, and there were rumours she had escaped to Syria.

Dr Amash was eventually found in Baghdad and taken into custody by US troops.
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Old 12-19-05, 12:11 PM
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Maybe they talked
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Old 12-19-05, 12:19 PM
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Maybe we looked at their names and decided they had been punished enough.
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Old 12-19-05, 12:41 PM
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But what about Captain Cholera or General Gonorrhea?

So, now where do these ladies go? Another country looking for germ warfare experts perhaps?
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Old 12-19-05, 12:52 PM
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As per the article, they have been flown to Jordan.
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Old 12-19-05, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by eXcentris
As per the article, they have been flown to Jordan.
But will they stay there?
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Old 12-19-05, 02:22 PM
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What! There were no WMDs.
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Old 12-19-05, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bhk
What! There were no WMDs.
It says that in the article. But thanks.
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Old 12-19-05, 03:23 PM
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So do we really know why they are being released?
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