Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Karma's a bitch sometimes

CAIRO (AP)-[off the wire, no link]-A former high-ranking Iraqi security officer who worked under Saddam Hussein's regime was found dead in his apartment in Cairo, his body bound to a chair and his nose and mouth taped, police said Tuesday. They blamed burglars.

Assad Abdel Hadi Haidar's body was discovered in his rented apartment Monday night, and he appeared to have died from suffocation, police officials said.

Police arrested five Egyptians in the slaying, including a real estate agent who was helping Haidar to find a house in Cairo, where he was planning to settle, said one official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information.

Haidar, 55, arrived in Cairo on June 6 and claimed to be a businessman, the official said.

Haidar was a brigadier in one of the security services under Saddam and he is believed to have fled Iraq fearing vengeance from family members of victims of the regime, Iraqi exiles in Cairo said.

Thousands of former associates of Saddam's regime have recently settled in Egypt after the government of President Hosni Mubarak started providing residency and investment facilities for Iraqis, exiles say. The Egyptian move is probably prompted by competition with other Arab countries, notably Jordan and Syria, to lure Iraqis fleeing soaring violence.

On Sunday, gunmen in Baghdad kidnapped Egypt's top envoy to Iraq, Ihab al-Sherif. The kidnapping seemed to be part of an insurgent campaign to discourage Arab countries from bolstering diplomatic ties with the U.S.-backed Iraqi government.

We didn't do it. I swear.

While it's not surprising, that countries are trying to "lure" exiles is not good. Condi, can we have someone get on top of that. Chop chop.