Saddam Hussein's Iraqi regime plotted to assassinate Martin Indyk, then U.S. ambassador to Israel.
Based on documents from the U.S. Institute for Defense Analyses report released by the Pentagon (see Saddam's support for terror: the Pentagon report's unreported findings
, Headland, March 18, 2008), a story in The Australian
today ("Saddam had Aussie killed"
) details the plot against Indyk and also implicates the former Iraqi regime in the murder of Stuart Cameron, a foreign aid worker for Care Australia to the Kurds in northern Iraq.
A letter written on June 30, 2001 from a terrorist operative in the Gaza Strip to Ba'ath party officials in Baghdad discusses a plot to kill Ambassador Indyk. The author of the letter, heavily redacted by the U.S. military before public release, is identified as Wafa Tawfiq al-Sayigh. The two individuals of the Ba'ath party to which the letter is addressed are Talal Salim Abu Taghlub and an individual identified only as the "Official in Charge of Abu al-Haytham - Sa'id al-'Ayyad."
Here is the portion of the letter that speaks of Indyk:
Four: Martin Indyk (U.S. ambassador, Tel Aviv)
: An Australian Jew who was ambassador to Tel Aviv from 1992 until the end of 1996. He was transferred elsewhere and returned in 2000 as ambassador to Tel Aviv. When he was appointed, there was pandemonium at the C.I.A., who accused him of working with the Israeli Mossad. He was welcomed in Gaza city by certain prominent individuals, most notably Industrialists [names censored by the U.S. military] and many other Gaza Strip personalities. He continues to visit them often, at all hours and without reservation. Abu al-Haytham Sa'id 'Ayyad has a suggestion of how to eliminate him, one that I will explain to you during the meeting.
Abu al-Haytham Sa'id 'Ayyad has a suggestion of how to eliminate him, one that I will explain to you during the meeting.
In another reference to Abu al-Haytham Sa'id 'Ayyad, the author of the letter claims that most of the information provided about the assassination of Lieutenant Colonel Mas'oud Hussein Mahmoud 'Ayyad has been obtained from Colonel Sa'id Hussein 'Ayyad (Abu al-Haytham).
Mas'oud 'Ayyad was a member of Yassir Arafat's elite security unit, Force 17, in the Gaza Strip. He was assassinated February 13, 2001 by four missiles fired from two Apache attack helicopter gunships on his vehicle, as he drove down the Salah ad-Din road parallel to the Jahaliya camp in the northern side of the Gaza strip. Israel claimed 'Ayyad was a liaison agent for the Lebanese resistance guerrilla group Hezbollah and had formed a Hezbollah-backed cell in the Palestinian territories. Then Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak openly took responsibility for the killing.
Who, then, is Colonel Sa'id Ayyad (Abu al-Hatham), who had suggestions for how Indyk should be "eliminated"? The Palestinian news agency Wafa website from Gaza in Arabic (translated by BBC Worldwide Monitoring,"Palestinian Statement on Israeli attack on Gaza, West Bank, January 25, 2003, subscription) reported on January 24, 2003 that a Col. Sa'id Ayyad was one of the martyred Mas'oud 'Ayyad's five brothers, who were all detained after the Israelis stormed the Gaza neighborhood of Al-Zaytun with 30 tanks and armored jeeps, and demolished the building owned by the family of the assassinated Mas'oud 'Ayyad.
The Palestinian Human Rights Monitor website (PHRMG
), which gives many of the details cited above of Mas'oud 'Ayyad's assassination, also identifies a Sa'id 'Ayyad as Mas'oud's brother, and quotes this brother as testifying to PHRMG on February 15, 2001:
"Mas'oud was a good man, he belonged to Fatah movement [sic], and he had nothing to do with the Hezbollah in Lebanon. He was detained by Israel during the first intifada for two years."
Incidentally, the June 2001 letter also alleges, on the basis of eavesdropping on the phone calls of Force 17 officers, that Colonel Muslih 'Urayqat (nicknamed "Abu 'Ali Hasan"), and a number of his attendants, "had advance knowledge of the plan to assassinate Mas'oud." The next three lines are censored, but a few lines later it is noted that neither Yasir Arafat or his military intelligence chief Musa Arafat held
"If they wanted to bump me off, they were a bit slow."
Muslih 'Urayqat or one As'ad Sa'id Abu Jahl accountable.
Asked for a reaction by The Australian
, Ambassador Indyk said that his connections in Gaza were business types and that his meetings took place in early 2000 with organizations such as the local chamber of commerce. He said that his interaction stopped with the start of the Intifada. He also denied any links to Mossad.
Indyk noted that the letter was dated on the very day that he left Israel as ambassador. He added, sardonically, "If they wanted to bump me off, they were a bit slow."
- Saddam had Aussie killed, Geoff Elliott, The Australian, March 22, 2008.
- PDF: Targeting of Indyk, The Australian
- PDF: Care killings, , The Australian
- 'Never believed it was random attack, Cameron Stewart, The Australian, March 22, 2008
UPDATE: For a contrary view from the left (and down under), see: The terrorists are (strike) were coming to get us, Larvatus Prodeo.
Labels: Abu al-Haytham, Col. Sa'id Hussein 'Ayyad, Gaza, Institute for Defense Analyses, Iraq, Israel, jihadists, Martin Indyk, Mossad, Pentagon, Saddam Hussein, Stuart Cameron, terror, Yassir Arafat