Sons of Anarchy – Saddam Hussein’s Sons

noun: anarchy
  1. :  A state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authorityc:

Uday Hussein

Uday Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti (Arabic: عُدي صدّام حُسين‎‎) (18 June 1964 – 22 July 2003) was the eldest son of Saddam Hussein by his first wife, Sajida Talfah, and the brother of Qusay Hussein.

Uday was seen, for several years, as the likely successor to his father, but lost the place as heir apparent to Qusay due to injuries sustained in an assassination attempt, increasingly erratic behavior, and his troubled relationship with the family.

His reputed actions include multiple allegations of rape, murder and torture (including of Iraqi Olympic athletes and the national football team).

He was several times imprisoned, exiled and received a token death sentence by his father’s regime.

Following the United States-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, he was killed alongside his brother and nephew Mustapha by Task Force 20 after a three-hour gunfight in Mosul.


Uday Hussein
Uday Saddam Hussein.png
Commander of the Fedayeen Saddam
In office
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Qusay Saddam
Personal details
Born (1964-06-18)18 June 1964
Tikrit, Iraq
Died 22 July 2003(2003-07-22) (aged 39)
Mosul, Iraq
Parents Saddam Hussein (deceased)
Sajida Talfah
Relatives Qusay Hussein (brother, deceased)

Raghad Hussein (Sister)

Religion Sunni Islam
Military service
Allegiance Baathist Iraq
Service/branch Fedayeen Saddam
Years of service 1995-2003
Rank Commander
Battles/wars 2003 Iraq War



Uday Saddam was born in Tikrit to Saddam Hussein and Sajida Talfah while his father was in prison.

Uday graduated from high school with very high marks. He started his university days in the Baghdad University College of Medicine. He only lasted in the medical college for three days, after which he moved to College of Engineering about a kilometer away.

Uday gained a degree in engineering and graduated summa cum laude from Baghdad University, ranking No. 1 in a class of 76 students. However, some of his professors later admitted that Uday barely managed to earn passing grades in many of his classes, and was granted the honor of valedictorian namely because he was Saddam’s son.

Although his status as Saddam’s elder son made him Saddam’s prospective successor, Uday fell out of favour with his father.

In October 1988, at a party in honour of Suzanne Mubarak, wife of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Uday murdered his father’s personal valet and food taster, Kamel Hana Gegeo, possibly at the request of his mother.

Before an assemblage of horrified guests, an intoxicated Uday bludgeoned Gegeo, reputedly stabbing him with an electric carving knife. Gegeo had recently introduced Saddam to a younger woman, Samira Shahbandar, who later became Saddam’s second wife. Uday considered his father’s relationship with Shahbandar an insult to his mother. He also may have feared losing succession to Gegeo, whose loyalty and fidelity to Saddam Hussein was unquestioned.

As punishment for the murder, Saddam briefly imprisoned his son and sentenced him to death; however Uday probably served only three months in a private prison.

In response to personal intervention from King Hussein of Jordan, Saddam released Uday, banishing him to Switzerland as the assistant to the Iraqi ambassador there. He was expelled by the Swiss government in 1990 after he was repeatedly arrested for fighting.

Saddam later appointed Uday chairman of the Iraqi Olympic Committee and the Iraq Football Association. In the former role, he tortured athletes who failed to win.

He also became the editor of the Babel newspaper, the general secretary of the Iraqi Union of Students and the head of the Fedayeen Saddam.

Uday seemed proud of his reputation and called himself Abu Sarhan, an Arabic term for “wolf”.

Uday sustained permanent injuries during an assassination attempt in December 1996. Struck by many bullets while driving,  Uday was initially believed to be paralyzed. Evacuated to Ibn Sina Hospital, he eventually recovered but with a noticeable limp.

Despite repeated operations, however, a bullet remained lodged in his spine and could not be removed due to its location near the spinal cord.

In the wake of Uday’s subsequent disabilities, Saddam gave Qusay increasing responsibility and authority, designating him as his heir apparent in 2000.

Uday opened accounts with Yahoo! and MSN Messenger, which created controversy when the provisioning of the accounts allegedly violated U.S. trade sanctions against Iraq.

Uday also amassed a large video collection, found in his palace in 2003, much of which featured himself in both public and private situations.

Personal life

In a sign of loyalty to Saddam, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri who was vice president of the Revolutionary Command Council, consented to marry his daughter to Uday.

But al-Douri’s influence with Hussein was so substantial that he could even levy a condition: that the union would not be consummated. Because of Uday’s violent and erratic behaviour, al-Douri quickly petitioned that his daughter be permitted to divorce Uday.

Allegations of crimes

A report released on 20 March 2003, one day after the American led invasion of Iraq, by ABC News detailed several allegations against Uday:

As head of the Iraqi Olympic Committee, Uday oversaw the imprisonment and torture of Iraqi athletes who were deemed not to have performed to expectations. According to widespread reports, torturers beat and caned the soles of the football players’ feet—inflicting intense pain without leaving visible marks on the rest of their bodies . Uday reportedly kept scorecards with written instructions on how many times each player should be beaten after a poor showing. He would insult athletes who performed below his expectations by calling them dogs and monkeys to their faces.

One defector reported that jailed football players were forced to kick a concrete ball after failing to reach the 1994 FIFA World Cup finals.

The Iraqi national football team were seen with their heads shaved after failing to achieve a good result in a tournament in the 1980s. It was widely circulated that Uday ordered the shaving as part of the punishment.

Another defector claimed that athletes were dragged through a gravel pit and subsequently immersed in a sewage tank to induce infection in the victims’ wounds.

After Iraq lost 4–1 to Japan in the quarter finals of the 2000 AFC Asian Cup in Lebanon, goalkeeper Hashim Hassan, defender Abdul Jaber and forward Qahtan Chatir were labelled as guilty of loss and eventually flogged for three days by Uday’s security.

Other allegations include:

  • Kidnapping young Iraqi women from the streets in order to rape them. Uday was known to intrude on parties and otherwise “discover” women whom he would later rape. Time published an article in 2003 detailing his sexual brutality.
  • When U.S. troops captured his mansion in Baghdad, they found a personal zoo stocked with lions and cheetahs; an underground parking garage for his collection of luxury cars; paintings glorifying him and his mother with Saddam (which was known to have infuriated his father); Cuban cigars inscribed with his name; and millions of dollars worth of fine wines, liquor and heroin.
  • An HIV testing kit was also found among his personal effects.
  • He amassed millions of U.S. dollars by running façade corporations illegally trading with Iran (although, at that time, UN restrictions did not allow foreign trading. Only later, Iraq was allowed to import certain commodities such as food and medical supplies legally under the UN Oil For Food programme).
  • Usage of an iron maiden on persons running afoul of him.
  • Beating an army officer unconscious when the man refused to allow Uday to dance with his wife; the man later died of his injuries. Uday also shot and killed an army officer who did not salute him.
  • Stealing approximately 1,200 luxury vehicles, including a Rolls-Royce Corniche valued at over $200,000. A Lamborghini LM002, given to him as a gift by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, was later blown up by U.S. forces to demonstrate the effects of a car bomb.
  • Plotting, in 2000, to assassinate Ahmed Chalabi, the leader of the Iraqi National Congress. This was done shortly after Saddam named his younger son heir apparent to the dictatorship, and Uday attempted to remove Qusay from that position by currying favor with his father through this assassination.



House of Uday and Qusay in Mosul, Iraq destroyed by U.S. forces, 31 July 2003

On 22 July 2003, Task Force 20, aided by troops of the United States Army 101st Airborne Division, surrounded Uday, Qusay and Qusay’s 14-year-old son Mustapha during a raid on a home in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

He had been the Ace of Hearts on the most-wanted Iraqi playing cards (with Qusay being the Ace of Clubs). Acting on a tip from an unidentified Iraqi, the blocking element from the 101st Airborne Division provided security while the Task Force 20 operators attempted to apprehend the inhabitants of the house. After U.S. troops hotwired Uday’s Lamborghini,  he revealed himself, upon which a gunfight ensued. The assault element withdrew to request backup.

As many as 200 American troops, later aided by OH-58 Kiowa helicopters and an A-10 “Warthog”, surrounded and fired upon the house, thus killing Uday, Qusay, and Qusay’s son. After approximately four hours of battle, soldiers entered the house and found four bodies, including the Hussein brothers’ bodyguard.

Later, the American command said that dental records had conclusively identified two of the dead men as Saddam Hussein‘s sons. They also announced that the informant (possibly the owner of the villa in Mosul in which the brothers were killed) would receive the combined $30 million reward previously offered for their apprehension.


Soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division and U.S. Special Operations (Task Force 20) watch as a TOW missile strikes the side of a house occupied by Uday and Qusay Hussein in Mosul, on 22 July 2003

The owner of the villa, Nawaf az-Zeidan, who is distantly related to Saddam, was granted U.S. citizenship, and was permitted to leave Iraq. Locals claimed that Zeidan had informed United States forces that Saddam’s sons were staying there, as the brothers became overbearing in their demands and took his hospitality for granted. On 18 June 2004, Zeidan’s brother Salaah al-Zeidan was killed, as well as three of his male relatives (including an eight-year-old boy), who were travelling in the same vehicle.

The U.S. Administration released graphic pictures of the Hussein brothers’ bodies. When criticized, the U.S. military’s response was to point out that these men were no ordinary combatants, and to express hope that confirmation of the deaths would bring closure to the Iraqi people.

Uday was buried in a cemetery near Tikrit alongside Qusay and Mustapha Hussein.

That night, and several nights following Uday and Qusay Hussein’s death, celebratory gunfire could be heard throughout Baghdad

Qusay Hussein

Qusay Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti (or Qusai, Arabic: قصي صدام حسين‎‎; (1966-05-17)17 May 1966 – 22 July 2003(2003-07-22)) was the second son of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. He was appointed as his father’s heir apparent in 2000.


Qusay’s older brother Uday was viewed as Saddam’s heir-apparent until he sustained serious injuries in a 1996 assassination attempt. Unlike Uday, who was known for extravagance and erratic, violent behavior, Qusay Hussein kept a low profile. He was married to Sahar Maher Abd al-Rashid; the daughter of Maher Abd al-Rashid, a top ranking military official, and had three sons;one of the sons, Mustapha Qusay (born 3 January 1989 in Tikrit), was killed alongside his father in an attack by U.S. troops on their house.

The other two – Yahya Qusay (born 1991) and Yaqub Qusay – are presumed alive, but their whereabouts are unknown

Qusay Hussein
قصي صدام حسين
Qusay Hussein.jpg
Member of the Regional Command of the Iraqi Regional Branch
In office
18 May 2001 – 9 April 2003
Director of the Iraqi Special Security Organization
In office
Preceded by Fannar Zibin Al Hasan
Succeeded by Nawfal Mahjoom Al-Tikriti
Personal details
Born Qusay Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti
(1966-05-17)17 May 1966
Baghdad, Iraq
Died 22 July 2003(2003-07-22) (aged 37)
Mosul, Iraq
Resting place Al-Awja, Iraq
Nationality Iraqi
Political party Iraqi Regional Branch of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party
Spouse(s) Sahar (m. 1988–2003; his death)
Children Mustapha Qusay Saddam al-Tikriti (1989–2003; deceased)
Yahya Qusay Saddam al-Tikriti (born 1991)
Yaqub Qusay Saddam al-Tikriti
Parents Saddam Hussein (father, 1937–2006; deceased)
Sajida Talfah (mother, born 1937)
Relatives Uday Saddam Hussein (brother; deceased)
Maher Abd al-Rashid (father in law)
Religion Sunni Islam
Military service
Allegiance Baathist Iraq
Service/branch Iraqi Republican Guard
Years of service 2000-2003
Rank Honorable Supervisor of the Republican Guard
Battles/wars 2003 Iraq War



Before the 2003 invasion

Unlike other members of his family and the government, little information is known about Qusay, politically or personally. It is believed that until the 2003 Invasion of Iraq Qusay was the supervisor of the Iraqi Republican Guard and the head of internal security forces (possibly the Special Security Organization (SSO)), and had authority over other Iraqi military units.

Qusay played a role in crushing the Shiite uprising in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War and is also thought to have masterminded the destruction of the southern marshes of Iraq. The wholesale destruction of these marshes ended a centuries-old way of life that prevailed among the Shiite Marsh Arabs who made the wetlands their home, and ruined the habitat for dozens of species of migratory birds.

The Iraqi government stated that the action was intended to produce usable farmland, though a number of outsiders believe the destruction was aimed against the Marsh Arabs as retribution for their participation in the 1991 uprising.

Iraqi dissidents claim that Qusay was responsible for the killing of many political activists. The Sunday Times reported that Qusay ordered the killing of Khalis Mohsen al-Tikriti, an engineer at the military industrialization organization, because he believed Mohsen was planning to leave Iraq. In 1998, Iraqi opposition groups accused Qusay of ordering the execution of thousands of political prisoners after hundreds of inmates were similarly executed to make room for new prisoners in crowded jails.



House of Uday and Qusay Hussein in Mosul, Iraq destroyed by American forces, 31 July 2003

U.S. Army soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division watch as a TOW missile strikes the side of a house of Uday and Qusay Hussein in Mosul, Iraq, 22 July 2003



House of Uday and Qusay Hussein in Mosul, Iraq destroyed by American forces, 31 July 2003

U.S. Army soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division watch as a TOW missile strikes the side of a house of Uday and Qusay Hussein in Mosul, Iraq, 22 July 2003



On the afternoon of 22 July 2003, troops of the 101st Airborne 3/327th Infantry HQ and C-Company, aided by U.S. Special Forces killed Qusay, his 14-year-old son Mustapha, and his older brother Uday, during a raid on a home in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

Acting on a tip from a cousin, a special forces team attempted to apprehend the inhabitants of the house. After being fired on, the special forces moved back and called for backup. As little as 40 101st Soldiers and 8 Task Force 121 operators were on the scene

After Task Force 121 members were wounded, the 3/327th Infantry surrounded and fired on the house with a TOW missile, Mark 19 Automatic Grenade Launcher, M2 50 Caliber Machine guns and small arms. After about four hours of battle (the whole operation lasted 6 hours), the soldiers entered the house and found four dead, including the two brothers and their bodyguard.

There were reports that Qusay’s 14-year-old son Mustapha was the fourth body found. Brig. Gen. Frank Helmick, the assistant commander of 101st Airborne, commented that all occupants of the house died during the fierce gun battle before U.S. troops entered.

On 23 July 2003, the American command said that it had conclusively identified two of the dead men as Saddam Hussein‘s sons from dental records. Because many Iraqis were skeptical of news of the deaths, the U.S. Government released photos of the corpses and allowed Iraq’s governing council to identify the bodies despite the U.S. objection to the publication of American corpses on Arab television. They also announced that the informant, possibly the owner of the house, would receive the combined $30 million reward on the pair.

Qusay was the ace of clubs in the coalition forces’ most-wanted Iraqi playing cards. His father was the ace of spades and his brother was the ace of hearts.



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