Torture, rape, and mass murder are the family businesses. Saddam Hussein taught his sons well. Now the boys are eager to prove to the world that Dad was just a lightweight.
Maxim, September 2001
By Gil Reavil
A coming-of-age party is a touching occasion observed in almost every world culture. Some kids get a Camaro for their sweet 16, while others get agold watch or a fat envelope of cash.
The sons of Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi dictator, got Beretta pistols, full clips, and a sitting duck.
The execution chamber deep in the bowels of al-Nihayyah (Palace of the End) was an ancient room that stank of blood, sh*t, and fear. Inside, a middle-aged man stood swaying and trembling. In 1979, Saddam Hussein arrested dozens of Iraqi politicians duringhis bid for absolute power. The public servant in the basement had been tortured for days, his fingernails plucked out with pliers.
The heavy iron door clanked open, and in walked a squad of Mukhabarat, Saddam’s secret police. With them were two skinny teenagers trying to look tough as nails. Anyone moved to chuckle, however, would have been well advised to consider the two guns the boys wereholding in front of them.
“Ustav, ustav!” exclaimed the guards, shouting “master” to the two adolescents. Suddenly, the prisoner knew the boys’ identities. His stomach churned with dread. These were the sons of Saddam Hussein: Uday, 15, tall for his age, with bulged-out eyes and protruding teeth; and Qusay, 13, smaller, but the image of his father at the same age.
As an official read a list ofcrimes, the boys raised their guns and took aim. Before the politician could utter a word, their first shots slammed into his torso, throwing him against the wall. The police escort then drew their own weapons and fired. As dozens of bullets riddled the body, it jerked spastically. The boys kept firing until the body was nothing more than a bloody lump and some tatters of cloth.
Uday,glassy-eyed and giggling moronically, was transfixed by the mangled corpse and continued pulling the trigger on his empty gun. Qusay, eerily calm as if his pulse had not risen above a resting rate, turned to the guard next to him. He asked in a whisper, “Do you have any more bullets?”
The Lion and His Cubs
Saddam Hussein is our generation’s Adolf Hitler. In the 22 years since he took total control ofthis ancient land of 22 million people, he’s conducted a war with Iran, invaded Kuwait, and waged a genocidal campaign against his own people. Saddam’s reign of terror, however, may be coming to a close.
Last year Asharq al-Awsata, an Arab newspaper, reported that the Iraqi leader is terminally ill with lymph cancer. Like Hitler, Saddam has killed every real or imagined rival. Who couldpossibly succeed one of the most feared men on earth?
The two men maneuvering to rule Iraq are virtually unknown outside the Middle East. They are the two brothers who underwent their bloody rite of passage more than 20 years ago. Uday (“you-die”), 37, and Qusay (“coo-sigh”) 34, are scions of a criminal enterprise masquerading as government. In Iraq it’s called the Issaba. In Sicily it’s called theMafia. Uday and Qusay are the sons of its don of dons.
Using exclusive interviews with former cohorts, Maxim has pieced together an inside portrait of the two men who are competing to rule Iraq. Their deadly, escalating battle for power may have catastrophic consequences—not just for the Iraqis but for every person on the planet. World leaders are just beginning to glean the truth. The sons ofSaddam, they fear, may turn out to be far more dangerous than their notorious father.
The Boys From Tikrit
The roughly shorn sheep, its feet tied with cord, sensed what was coming. Its bleating turned into a continuous wail. Eight-year-old Uday glanced around the arid countryside, hoping the screams wouldn’t alert the shepherd. Uday motioned to his playmate to grab hold of the sheep’s head and...