Washington: A man who sheltered Saddam Hussein in the Iraqi town of Dawr, where he was later captured by US officials, has revealed his experiences of helping the former dictator and how he still reveres him.
Alaa Namiq, and his older brother, Qais dug a ‘hole’, known to the world as the “spider hole,” which was tiny underground bunker on his farm, where he had hid the world’s most sought-after fugitive for nearly nine months after the US military invaded the town on Dec. 13, 2003.
“He came here and he asked us for help and I said yes. He said, ‘You might be captured and tortured.’ But in our Arab tribal tradition, and by Islamic law, when someone needs help, we help him,” the Washington Post quoted Namiq, as saying.
Namiq said he and Qais were arrested along with Hussein and spent a miserable six months in Abu Ghraib prison. Once an aide to Hussein, he has spent the past few years driving a taxi, finally saving enough to open his family restaurant a few weeks ago, the paper said.
He claimed that mainly he, his family, and Qais, who declined to speak on the matter, helped move Hussein among various houses in the area after the March 2003 invasion.
Knowing the Americans would be analyzing the recordings for clues to Hussein’s whereabouts, Namiq said that he once drove 10 miles to the city of Samarra, and recorded the sounds of urban traffic.
“I wanted to make the Americans feel dizzy and confused,” he said.
While Namiq clearly still reveres Hussein, who was hanged in 2006, his family has become something like royalty in Dawr, for sheltering the dictator, who is still idolized by many there, the paper said.
“We consider it a heroic act. This act doesn’t concern this family only, but it represents all the citizens of Dawr because this city embraced Saddam,” Col. Mohammad Hassan of the Iraqi National Police, who is stationed in Dawr, said.