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Pentagon Offers Few Details of 'Chemical Ali's' Capture - 2003-08-21

Top Pentagon officials are refusing to give many details of the capture of one of Iraq's most-wanted former regime officials, the man known as "Chemical Ali." But they are hinting he may have been involved in post-war attacks on coalition forces.

General Ali Hasan al-Majid was a cousin of Saddam Hussein and number five on the coalition's most wanted list.

His capture was announced by the U.S. Central Command but its commander, General John Abizaid, is declining to share details for security reasons.

Still, asked by Pentagon reporters if "Chemical Ali" may have been involved in anti-American violence and sabotage since the collapse of Saddam's regime, General Abizaid indicates he may have been.

"Chemical Ali has been active in some ways in influencing people in and around him in a regional way and I think I would leave it at that," he said.

"Chemical Ali" earned his nickname for carrying out poison gas attacks on Iraqi Kurds.

He was originally thought to have been killed in an airstrike during the war this year but was later determined to have survived and was in hiding.