UDAY´S FAVORITE YANK (NEW YORK POST) By NILES LATHEM WASHINGTON 02/01/05)
NEW YORK POST
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February 1, 2005 -- WASHINGTON ó An Iraqi-American businessman under
investigation in the U.N. oil-for-food scandal was placed on an honor
roll of former regime thugs by Saddam Hussein´s demonic son Uday just
months before the war, The Post has learned.
Detroit-area real-estate developer Shakir al-Khafaji, who received
millions of dollars worth of vouchers to buy discount Iraqi crude in
the U.N. oil-for-food program, appeared on an "Honor List" of Iraqis
considered most valuable to Saddam that was published by the Uday
Hussein´s newspaper, Babil, in November 2002.
The article, which names Khafaji as a "political activist for the
regime," has deepened suspicions among federal prosecutors and
congressional investigators that he was a second secret agent
operating inside the United States to weaken U.N. sanctions and
undermine U.S. foreign policy.
Sources told The Post that interest in Khafaji has intensified in
recent days in the wake of the guilty plea of Virginia-based oil
trader Samir Vincent. Vincent admitted in federal court two weeks ago
that he lobbied influential American bigwigs, including former GOP
vice-presidential nominee Jack Kemp and former President Jimmy
Carter, in return for almost $5 million in cash payments and
lucrative oil deals from Saddam.
Khafaji, a father of three who develops strip malls in suburban
Detroit and has murky business ties in South Africa, is the subject
of a Justice Department criminal probe, and at least one
congressional committee investigating the oil-for-food scandal wants
to call him to testify, investigators told The Post.
Khafaji, 50, who has lived in West Bloomfield since 1975, did not
return phone calls seeking comment. His sister Intissar has said in
statements that her brother is a humanitarian who is being smeared as
part of a campaign to discredit opponents of the war and sanctions.
Khafaji´s presence on Uday´s honor roll indicates that the regime
considered him a valuable asset, as the article called it a "list of
great men," that was being published "for the sons of our great
people to see."
But there was a bizarre twist. Because the front-page list also
contained names of Iraqi intelligence agents abroad and a mysterious
agent based in Pakistan who was identified as a liaison to terror
master Osama bin Laden, Saddam ordered hundreds of security agents to
shut down his son´s newspaper and confiscate copies, according to
reports at the time.
Troops killed Uday and his brother, Qusay, in 2003. (Copyright 2005
NYP Holdings, Inc. 02/01/05)
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