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UDAY´S FAVORITE YANK (NEW YORK POST) By NILES LATHEM WASHINGTON 02/01/05)Source: http://www.nypost.com/news/worldnews/39637.htm NEW YORK POST NEW YORK POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
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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