Where the World's Views of America Come into Focus

Al Madina, Saudi Arabia
Ex-Soldier Says Story of Saddam's Capture 'a Hoax'

According to Saudi Arabia's Al-Madina newspaper, a former U.S. Army Sergeant of Lebanese origin claims that he was part of the operation that located the former Iraqi dictator, and that the familiar film of his arrest was staged.

March 9, 2005

Saudi Arabia - Al-Madina - Home Page (Arabic) Translation provided by

According to the U.S., this is how Saddam
Hussein looked after being captured.

is arrested 'without firing a shot,'
Dec. 2003, 00:05:31

Released by the U.S. military, this
is said to be the moment of capture.


A former U.S. soldier of Lebanese origin, once part of the force that undertook the capture of Saddam Hussein, says that the official American version of his capture was staged, filmed and photographed by U.S. forces, and that the actual arrest took place a day earlier than has been reported.

According to former Army Sergeant Nadim Abou Rabeh, the film of Saddam's capture at the bottom of a hole, in the suburbs west of Baghdad, was made by a special filmmaking unit of the U.S. military attached to the 4th Infantry Division.

The former soldier, interviewed in a village of the Baabada District in Southern Lebanon, said that Saddam Hussein was detained on Friday, December 12, 2003, and not on Saturday the 13th, as has been reported by the American military in Iraq. "I was among the unit of twenty American soldiers that discovered him," Nadim said.

"Eight of us of eastern origin and who speak Arabic, were assigned to raid and inspection operations with support from helicopter gunships and tanks. The operation took place over three days in houses close to Tikrit, about 15 km [9.3 miles] away. Saddam was arrested in a rural home, and not in a hole, and only after offering fierce resistance. One soldier of Sudanese origin was killed."

Nadim said that Saddam was detained after a large number of forces imposed control over the area. The military filmmaking group worked throughout Friday night and into Saturday preparing to make the movie and arranging the scene, including the hole in the ground.

"Saddam's guards offered little resistance, but Saddam himself shot more than 20 bullets from his gun, from a room on the second floor of the house, and it was I and a colleague of Moroccan origin that entered the house and spoke to him in Arabic," Nadim said.

"We told him to surrender and offer us no resistance, and he answered us: 'If you were Americans I would have fired at you.' He then aimed his gun at us, and when he saw an American officer he became agitated, clung to a concrete post near the second-floor balcony and flung himself off the porch to the ground, where he was caught and had his hands tied."