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U.S. pays reward to Odai-Qusai informant

The informant who led U.S. troops to Saddam Hussein’s two sons in July has been paid the bulk of $30 million in reward money, the State Department said Friday.
/ Source: The Associated Press

The United States has paid the bulk of $30 million in reward money to the informant who led U.S. troops to the hideout of Saddam Hussein’s two sons in July, the State Department said Friday.

The tipster, who was not identified, and his or her family have been relocated. The brothers, Odai and Qusai, were killed by U.S. troops who fired TOW missiles into a villa in the northern city of Mosul where they had been hiding.

The U.S. military then released graphic after-death photographs in an effort to prove to Iraqis that Saddam’s feared sons were killed.

The ousted Iraqi leader was hunted down in December and remains in U.S. custody.

Julie Reside, a State Department spokeswoman, said the informant who provided information on the sons’ whereabouts was paid the bulk of the reward in the last few days. She did not say how much money the informant received.

The reward offered $15 million for each of the sons.

A $25 million reward had been posted for information leading to the deposed president’s capture. But he was located by the U.S. military, and the reward is not likely to be paid, Reside said.

The $30 million reward for the two sons was the largest ever made under the reward program.

U.S. government policy is not to publicly identify informants.

But neighbors of Sheik Nawaf al-Zaydan Muhhamad, an Iraqi with ties to Saddam, blamed him for tipping off coalition forces that the former leader’s sons were staying with him and his family.

They said they became suspicious of the sheik when his wife and their four daughters left the house early the morning of the shootings and did not return.

Three hours after the women left, U.S. troops walked up to the front door, knocked and asked all those inside to come out. Muhhamad and his only son, Shalan, left with their hands on their heads, neighbors said. Coalition forces took them away.