Jordan's king thinks Saddam Hussein is probably alive

Monday, June 23, 2003

AMMAN, Jordan -- Saddam Hussein and at least one of his sons are believed to be alive, Jordan's king said Sunday.

King Abdullah II told ABC's "This Week" program that many Iraqis still may fear that their former president "might still be alive and might come back to haunt them."

"I think from day one, until there was critical proof that he was dead, I think we all have to assume that he is (alive)," Abdullah said in an interview conducted on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum being held in Jordan.

"And out of the top three, i.e., Saddam and his two sons (Odai and Qusai), I think that the attitude is by the international community, at least two or three are alive."

Abdullah added that it was important for everybody to have "some closure" in terms of Saddam's fate.

"I wouldn't underestimate the fear that Saddam still shadows his people" with, he said.

Abdullah also said there were reports Saddam has been "moving around the northwestern area (of Iraq) in the tribes, using sort of taxis and pickup trucks."

The Observer newspaper of London reported Sunday that American specialists were conducting DNA tests on human remains recovered last week to determine whether they belonged to Saddam or his sons.

The remains were retrieved from a convoy of vehicles struck by U.S. forces last week in the Western desert near Syria, the newspaper reported, citing military sources it did not identify.

On Sunday, officers with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Iraq told The Associated Press they had no information concerning such a find.

The chairman of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee said Sunday he "would not be surprised" to learn of Saddam's death because of "this very aggressive effort that we have been mounting" to locate Saddam and his loyalists.

"I will not be surprised at any military action that would lead to the possibility that we have now finally killed Saddam Hussein," Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., told "Fox News Sunday."

But he added, "Until we have absolute proof you have to assume he's alive."

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: