A U.S. congressional committee will reveal November 17, 2004, that money taken by deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein from the U.N. oil-for-food program was used as reward payments to families of Palestinian suicide bombers, WorldNetDaily has learned.
The committee, led by Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., chairman of the House Committee on International Affairs, will reveal that some of the $10 billion Saddam allegedly forced contractors to kick back from the oil-for-food program between 1997 and 2002 was used to fund families of Palestinians suicide bombers.
Israel has said the aid received from Saddam provided major financial motivation to underprivileged teenagers who could help their cash-strapped families with the large payments that would be issued upon completion of a suicide mission.
The U.N. Security Council launched the oil-for-food program in 1996 so Iraq could raise funds for food, medicine and other humanitarian goods in spite of sanctions against the Saddam regime.
Iraq sold more than $67 billion worth of oil before the program was ended by the U.S. invasion last year.
According to the rules outlined by the Security Council, Iraq was allowed to choose its own suppliers and oil traders. Under the program, the Security Council established a separate committee made up of member states, the so-called “661 Committee,” to approve all contracts issued by the Iraqi government.
The General Accounting Office, the auditing arm of the U.S. Congress, reported Hussein illegally diverted and sold goods intended for the Iraqi population.
Sources tell WorldNetDaily Hyde will detail the methods used by Saddam to funnel some of the money from the proceeds to fund Palestinian terrorism against Israelis. A U.S. official said the money was wired to an account in the Rafaidan Bank of Jordan then transferred to the personal account of Iraq’s ambassador to Jordan, who would then have the money delivered to the Palestinians.
As WorldNetDaily reported, remnants of Saddam’s regime may still be funding terrorism against Israel by continuing the payments to families of Palestinian suicide bombers the dictator previously provided, according to a document recently seized in Iraq and obtained by WorldNetDaily .
The document, discovered by a U.S. military unit on the body of an Iraqi combatant in Northern Iraq in September, is a general “Certificate of Martyrdom” honoring a family member who carries out a suicide attack against Israelis. It was provided to WorldNetDaily by an American military source in Iraq.
Unlike documents Saddam issued while in power, the new certificate refers to the former Iraqi leader as a “Freedom Fighter” and is not signed by Saddam himself, but by the “Iraq Sector Command,” a reference not previously used in such certificates, indicating that post-Saddam militants may be seeking to fund Palestinian terrorism.
Military analysts experienced in Iraqi affairs told WorldNetDaily the document appears indeed to be post-Saddam, although it is unclear whether it was printed while Saddam went into hiding or after he was captured in December 2003.
While in power, Saddam paid the families of Palestinian suicide bombers as much as $25,000 each. The checks were thought to provide major financial motivation to underprivileged teenagers who could help their cash-strapped families with the payments that would be issued upon completion of a suicide mission.
According to documents captured in 2002 by Israel’s Operation Defensive Shield, Saddam set up an “Arab Liberation Front” – a Ba’ath party department in the Palestinian areas used to encourage terrorism and issue checks, usually through the Palestine Investment Bank, to the families of suicide bombers.
The payments were $15,000 at the start of the intifada, and were later raised to $25,000.
Saddam would also issue checks of $10,000 to the families of “ordinary” Palestinians killed in the intifada by other means, such as “through the aggression of the Zionist army.”
Along with the checks came the martyrdom certificates, signed by Saddam, that read: “A gift from President Saddam Hussein to the family of a martyr in the al-Aqsa intifada. To those who irrigate the land with their blood. You deserve the honor you will receive from Allah and you will defeat all who bow before your will.”
A $25,000 check and martyrdom certificate, for example, was transferred June 23, 2002, to Khaldiya Isma’il Abd Al-Aziz Al-Hurani, mother of the Hamas terrorist Fuad Isma’il Ahmad Al-Hurani, who carried out a suicide attack on March 19 of that year in Jerusalem’s Moment Cafe. Eleven Israelis were killed and 16 wounded in the attack. Checks for $15,000 each were given along with the martyrdom certificates to the families of Hamas suicide terrorists who blew themselves up in Zion Square in Jerusalem Dec. 1, 2001.