Former Iraqi Vice President Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri
Jan. 14 TIKRIT, Iraq (Reuters) - Four relatives of Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, Saddam Hussein's former right-hand man and the most wanted fugitive in Iraq, were arrested in early morning raids Wednesday, the U.S. military said. U.S. military police detained the four in swoops on two homes about 60 miles north of Baghdad in Samarra, a hotbed for anti-coalition insurgents.
The U.S. military said the relatives were all male but declined to identify them or their relationship to Douri.
In November, U.S. forces placed a $10 million bounty on Douri, one of Saddam's closest confidants and originally No. 6 on the list of the 55 most wanted Iraqis.
U.S. officials have blamed Douri for coordinating many of the attacks on American troops, and have said he may be involved with the al-Qaeda-linked group Ansar al-Islam.
Lieutenant Colonel David Poirier, commander of 720th Military Police Battalion based in Fort Hood, Texas, said the relatives were Douri's "enablers" and had good information on his whereabouts.
"We think that brought us one step closer to finding him," Poirier told reporters.
Douri's wife and daughter were detained in late November. A week later U.S. forces carried out a raid which they said may have just missed snaring Douri himself.
"One of these days, his head will rise above water and we will be able to capture him as well," Poirier said.
Douri held a number of top positions in Saddam's government, including deputy commander-in-chief of the armed forces and former vice president on the powerful Revolutionary Command Council. He was a key architect of the Baath Party's 1968 coup and was a powerful political figure in the ensuing decades.
The road runners are at it again.