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[casi] Lies of Khidhir Hamza Exposed

Dear All

The two articles below by Dr. Imad Kahdduri expose the lies of the "Iraq A
bomb chief" Khidhir Hamza.  In a message last year I informed CASI readers
that Hamza was lying and these articles confirm what I have found about this


'''Saddam's bombmaker' is full of lies''
Date: Wednesday, November 27, 2002 @ 15:39:50 EST
Topic: Guest Editorial

By Imad Khadduri Guest Columnist (Canada)

The book "Saddam's Bombmaker," recently published by Khidhir Hamza,
recounted the author's 22 years of experience with theIraqi Atomic Energy
Commission (IAEC). Hamza exaggerated to a great extent his own role in the
nuclear weapon program. As I personally know the author and have worked with
him during these two decades, I wish to clarify the
following untruths and misinformation that has been postulated by him in
his book.

There is a huge difference between those who worked with the
government for scientific and professional reasons despite being under the
sword of government security agencies, and those who try to hide their fear
with a fig leaf. A few scientists who believed in their work realized the
slippery road they were treading and tried to leave before and after the
1991 Gulf War. While some were able to flee Iraq, others, such as Dr. Al
Shahrastsani (who was also charged with other offenses), ceased his work
despite the penalty of death given to such rebellious actions.

But when the bells of fear first started to ring in Hamza's mind in
1974, when he prepared the first nuclear weapons project report at the
of the government, he decided to stay in Iraq until it was convenient for
him to go abroad. In the 70s and 80s it would have been much easier and less
risky to leave, yet he wallowed in Iraq in nice Mercedes cars while
attending scientific conventions, with lavish stipends. He kept deluding
himself, as he naively mentions in his book, that the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IEAE) or the CIA would contact him and magically whisk
him out of Iraq as if on a flying carpet.

Even though he was the head of the physics department in the nuclear
research center for ten years during the seventies, his deep inner fear
of radiation prevented him from ever entering the reactor hall or touching
any scientific gadgets, probably due to his continual fear of an electric
jolt that he experienced as a child, as his book mentions.

Hamza's aversion to scientific experimentation drove him to insist on
working solely on the highly theoretical three-body-problem during the
seventies, far removed from any of the initial work on fission that was
carried on during that period at the Iraqi Nuclear Research Center. He
did not, even remotely, get involved in any scientific research, except for
journalistic articles, dealing with the fission bomb, its components or
its effects. The testimony to this is the recorded archive of the IAEC for
the seventies that point to the efforts of others in this field, and none to
the self-proclaimed "bombmaker."

At the end of the seventies, he completely refused to take any
responsibility in the Iraqi purchased French research reactor, and left
that task to the great Egyptian scientist Dr. Yehya El Meshad, who was
assassinated by the Israeli Mossad in Paris in 1980.

After he again withdrew from any leadership responsibility for the
nuclear weapon project which started in earnest in 1980, in direct
response to the Israeli attack on the OSIRAK reactor, leaving it to one of
great physicists, Hamza was merely assigned the gaseous diffusion
project.  He did in fact spend some effort in buying the fine filters needed
that  project, but his fear of entering the project hall was a cause of many
hilarious puns.

In the mid eighties, Hamza was asked by Hussain Kamil to write a
report on the progress of the weapon program to present to the government.
response to this report, the whole program was put under the control and
guidance of Hussain Kamil himself in 1987. The pace of work accelerated
immensely till 1991. However, during that time, the "bombmaker" was
kicked out of the program at the end of 1987 for stealing a few air
conditioning units from the building assigned to his project. This he
omitted to mention in his book, but cited frequent travels abroad to
garner assistance and equipment, while in fact he was an outcast to the
and did not attend any seminar or brainstorming sessions during that
intense period.

The "bombmaker" did make a great deal in his book of his role in
building the Al Atheer weapon manufacturing center during the late eighties,
while in fact he was going in circles doing nothing at the Tuwaitha Research
Center, as a mere has-been, and did not even have an office space in Al
Atheer. He was, in fact, assigned the peripheral job of writing a report
on the American Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) project and spent his
time collecting whatever information was available in the library from
newspapers and scientific journals. He spent all his time during these
critical years in the library and in 1989 was made a sort of consultant,
still loosely attached to the IAEA, but also taught at a university two
days a week, far removed from any bomb making.

In addition, he was thoroughly annoyed and bitter regarding the
rejection by the CIA of his appeal for them to take him through the auspices
the Iraqi National Congress representative in the north of Iraq where he
fled alone, leaving his family behind, in 1994. He pathetically thought that
the CIA was not aware of his miniscule role in the bomb making, especially
after the weapon program's scientific report fell in the hands of the
IAEA inspectors in 1991. He claimed to be the container of secrets while in
fact he was only regurgitating them. Worse than that, he claims in his book
that the CIA in 1995 fabricated a story published in an English newspaper of
his submitting a report on the supposed continued Iraqi nuclear program just
to ferret him out of his hiding place. Being a teacher, at that time, in a
Libyan University is not a place to hide, to say the least.

The extent of his fear climaxed when the Iraqi government sent his son
to Libya to persuade him to return. He repulsed his son's appeals and again
scrambled to Europe knocking desperately at the doors of the IAEA and
the CIA, who again gave him the cold shoulder. But then, it is most
probable, the CIA reconsidered his case on the light of the escape of
Kamil to Jordan and his revelation of yet more hidden technical reports in
chicken farm in Iraq. The CIA thus hoped that Hamza might fill in some
small gaps on information and took him under their wings, helping him
and his family to settle in the U.S. under their protection and strings.

I can only recall the image of "the bombmaker" straggling for two
decades during the seventies, eighties and early nineties with his tail
his legs, looking over his shoulders and running to whomever gave him a
piece of bone with some meat on it, to then suddenly spring from his cocoon
the end of the nineties as a Don Quixote with an American mask
brandishing his wooden sword in the small arena afforded to him by the CIA
on the silence of his colleagues, either for fear from the Iraqi security
agencies or the blind cruelty of the American ones from exposing his
phony claims in his book, which may be rendered as a repayment to the CIA
their services to him. His appearances on the weekly American talk shows
are truly a reflection of his present allegiances.

The reader might question the motive of my writing on this sensitive
subject and the personal tack apparent in it. All I can say is that even
if silence is gold, then not speaking out at this time against such
fallacies is a stigma of cowards.

[Imad Khadduri has a MSc in Physics from the University of Michigan
(United States) and a PhD in Nuclear Reactor Technology from the
University of Birmingham (United Kingdom). Khadduri worked with the Iraqi
Energy Commission from 1968 until 1998. He was able to leave Iraq in
late 1998 with his family. He now teaches and works as a network
administrator in Toronto, Canada.]

Imad Khadduri encourages your comments: is an international news and opinion publication. encourages its material to be reproduced, reprinted, or
broadcast provided that any such reproduction identifies the original
source, Internet web links to are appreciated.

See related article that provides more information on Khidhir Hamza:

This article comes from

The URL for this article is:
From: "Imad Khadduri"
Subject: The second article
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2002 23:58:31 -0500 ArticleBelow is the other article that I wrote on Hamza.

There is also a voice interview at in the November
27 2002 page, second item, and if you have RealOne media player, you can
listen to the interview at:

As UN weapons inspections begin, a former Iraqi nuclear scientist says
Iraq's atomic program no longer exists:

If you only have Windows Media Player, you can either play the
streaming one hour long whole program (My interview starts at minute 42
after the
start of the program), or you can first download the whole 34MB for the
whole program to your hard disk - if you have a good Internet
connection-, and then play it with Windows Media Player and move quickly to

Meanwhile, the list of sites that hosted the first article is still
increasing:,14183,339982,00.html (Link in the top right hand list of articles)

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