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December 15, 2003

Eyewitness account of the raid that got Saddam

From: Steve Hite@noneofyourbusiness.saddamistoast Subject: We got Saddam Hussein! Date: Sun, 14 Dec 2003 16:53:20 +0300

As you all know by now, we have captured Saddam Hussein. The 1st
Brigade Combat Team "Raiders", 4th Infantry Division (M)with Special
Ops forces caught HVT#1. [High Value Target. ed.]

I participated in this raid last night which started at about 1900
(7PM) as we quickly rehearsed the plan. This was a joint operation
between 1st Brigade, 4ID and Special Ops Forces. After we rehearsed
the plan at a grain storage facility in Tikrit (that smelled like an
outhouse by the way!), we mounted up and drove about 20km south to Ad
Dawr. We had Humvees and a some armored Bradley Infantry Fighting
Vehicles and the Special Ops guys brought their toys. I won't go into
what they ride around in, but they have got some nice vehicles and
equipment! One vehicle you'd never expect to see over here! Totally
out of place but totally fits the Special Ops "look".

We drove at about 40-50 MPH in total darkness on the highway
across the Tigris River and headed south to the small town of Ad Dawr. We used our Night Vision Goggles as we sped down the road as some of the locals watched this convoy of about 30 vehicles speed by in the moonless night. Wonder what they were thinking? Last night was pitch black with no moon until about 2130hrs (9:30PM).

After we hit the objectives (Wolverine 1 & 2) we set a cordon and
began the search. Initially we didn't find him and the Special Ops soldiers in the house were being led away from his #1's "rat hole" by an Iraqi that was in the house.

Well, the "rat hole" was discovered and the cover moved and sure enough, there he was down in the bottom! Our Special Ops guys whisked him away in a "Little Bird" (small Special Ops Helicopter)off to Tikrit for a quick stop and then off to Baghdad.

We drove all the way back up to Tikrit in disbelief that we had finally found this guy! All the work and intelligence gathering we have done for the past 8 months have paid off! It has been quite amazing watching us narrow the ring around this guy. We have got an amazing "wiring diagram" with Saddam Hussein in the middle working outwards starting with his children, wives, cousins, uncles, nephews, body guards, drivers, etc. Amazing! We just followed up on all the clues we have gathered and here we are. The last two weeks we have really been "cleaning house" on Saddam Husseins most trusted aides. We have had a great working relationship with our Special Ops brothers. We have shared information and worked together for so long on this that it's great to be able to say that "I was part of the unit that caught
Saddam Hussein!"

I have a great photo of him in the house that I'll try to send, but it's a very big file. Over 2 MB! I'll try to send it in another email as an attachment!

Major Steve Hite
Brigade Fire Support Officer
1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) RAIDERS!

All I got to say is Hoo-ahh!