- The Washington Times - Friday, March 7, 2003

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Iraq is acquiring military uniforms "identical down to the last detail" to those worn by American and British forces and plans to use them to shift blame for atrocities, a senior U.S. official said yesterday.

Jim Wilkinson, director of strategic communication at Central Command in Tampa, Fla., said Saddam Hussein had ordered procurement of the uniforms, but he would not say how this was known.

"Saddam intends to issue these uniforms to Fedayeen Saddam troops who would wear them when conducting reprisals against the Iraqi people so that they could pass the atrocities off as the work of the United States and the United Kingdom," Mr. Wilkinson said.

The Fedayeen Saddam is a paramilitary force of more than 15,000 founded by Saddam's son, Uday, in 1994, Mr. Wilkinson said.

The Fedayeen Saddam carries out patrols and anti-smuggling duties and is separate from the regular Iraqi army command, Mr. Wilkinson said. He said its members are paid a salary, deal with unrest during domestic emergencies and report directly to Saddam.

"Saddam Hussein is clearly getting ready to wage a campaign of fear and disinformation against those who seek to disarm him," Mr. Wilkinson said, referring to the U.S. and British forces that would spearhead an invasion.

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