An Iraqi newspaper – Iraq of Tomorrow – along with Iraqi scientists and members of the expatriate community are reporting that U.S. emissary Khidhir Hamza, has been the victim of a bomb attack.
Hamza is often referred to in the West as "Saddam's Bombmaker" after the title of his best-selling autobiography of the same name, that portrayed his rise to leader of the Iraqi nuclear bomb program.
A roadside bomb was placed in one of Hamza's oil tanks that feeds his electric generator at his home in the Daudi district of Baghdad. It was reportedly detonated when Hamza left the home in his U.S.-issued fortified car.
The blast overturned the car and there is no immediate report of Hamza's condition.
One of Hamza's body guards reportedly shot a bystander and another guard was badly injured.
Hamza was touted as an authoritative source on Iraq's nuclear war program by both the administration and Democratic lawmakers like Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del.
Last year Hamza appeared in a U.S. congressional hearing and testified Iraq was two to three years from building a successful nuclear bomb. The testimony was repeatedly cited as proof of an Iraqi nuclear threat.
In a now-famous speech made last October outlining the Iraqi threat, President Bush said, "If the Iraqi regime is able to produce, buy, or steal an amount of highly enriched uranium a little larger than a single softball, it could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year."
Hamza's book "Saddam's Bombmaker," was cited as a source for the White House's "Apparatus of Lies" report on the situation in Iraq.
Hamza's reputation suffered however after physicist David Albright, President of the Institute for Science and International Security, reported that Hamza had exaggerated his credentials.
Last year, Albright told Australia's Lateline, "I must apologize that we no longer can in any way recommend Dr. Hamza. I unfortunately now believe he is deliberately distorting both his past credentials and his statements about Iraqi nuclear capabilities then and now."
Albright said, "I believe that his statements are often inaccurate, they're inconsistent," adding, "I think he's distorted his title dramatically." Following his defection, Hamza had worked for Albright's institute for two years.
On February 26, 2003, WND revealed the contents of a UN document marked "SENSITIVE", from UNSCOM and the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, that revealed the United Nations concluded a document provided to them by Hamza was a "fake."
The UN document is a record of the de-briefing of defector Hussein Kamel, son-in-law to Saddam Hussein and previous head of the of Iraq's Military Industrialization Corporation, in charge of Iraq's weapons program. The interview was conducted in Amman on 22 August 1995, 15 days after Kamel left Iraq.
The eight-year old document also records Kamel as saying Hamza was a "professional liar" that was "so bad" he was allowed to leave Baghdad.
Testimony from other Iraqi scientists was similar. Dr. Imad Khadduri and others, previously told WorldNetDaily that Hamza had worked in the position he claimed to hold for only 6 months, and was dismissed in 1987 for inferior performance.
The position he claimed to hold, Dr. Khadduri said, was actually held by Dr. Khalid Ibrahim Said who headed up "Group 4" activities under the secret PC3 group.
According to the U.S. government, Dr. Said died in a hail of bullets after he failed to stop quickly enough at an American checkpoint in Baghdad on April 8, 2003.
An Associated Press report later raised doubts about the situation surrounding the death of Said.
Scientists and witnesses said that Khalid Ibrahim Said was killed not when he tried to "run a roadblock," as U.S. inspector David Kay had said, but when a U.S. tank crew blasted his civilian vehicle without warning on an open street.
Dr. Hamza returned to Iraq, being sent by the administration as an authoritative source to investigate the status of the Iraqi nuclear program.
Khadduri previously told WND that although Said held the position Hamza claimed to, the real prime movers of the nuclear program had been Dhafir Selbi, Jafar Dhia Jafar, and Humam Abdul Khaliq.
Imad Khadduri also said that during the Persian Gulf War, he had been asked to copy onto an opto-magnetic disc some personal documents that Jafar Dhia Jafar gave him.
The information indicated Jafar had been exaggerating the progress of the nuclear program to Saddam Hussein.
Dr. Imad Khadduri, a 30-year veteran of the Iraqi nuclear program, has never been questioned by the U.S. government about the status of the Iraqi nuclear program, which he says has been defunct ever since the Persian Gulf War.
Notra Trulock III, former director of intelligence in the Clinton administration remains an ardent defender of Hamza.
"Hamza was no liar," Notra Trulock previously told WND. "He revealed the depth to which the Iraqis and others use the IAEA as cover for espionage and intelligence collection at US labs."
Sherrie Gossett is a Florida-based researcher and writer, formerly with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and a contributing reporter to WorldNetDaily.