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Iraq's 'Doctor Germ' is in US Custody - 2003-05-12

U.S. military officials have taken into custody an Iraqi scientist wanted for her involvement in Saddam Hussein's biological weapons program.

The latest detainee is Dr. Rihab Rashid Taha, nicknamed "Dr. Germ" because of her suspected role in Iraq's efforts to weaponize anthrax and other toxic substances.

Military officials say the microbiologist surrendered after days of negotiations. Although she is not among the list of Iraq's 55 most-wanted former officials sought by coalition forces, Dr. Taha is believed to have critical information on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program.

Last week, U.S. soldiers took into custody another leading Iraqi biological weapons scientist, Huda Salih Madhi Ammash, nicknamed "Mrs. Anthrax." She was the only woman among the 55 most wanted.

The detentions coincide with the recent discovery by coalition forces of what appeared to be a mobile biological weapons laboratory.