Saddam Hussein’s notorious first cousin, Ali Hassan al-Majid al-Tikritieh, also known as ‘Chemical Ali,’ was executed on Monday in Baghdad for crimes against humanity. Majid, a member of Saddam’s defunct Baath Party, served as Minister of Interior and Defense and was the chief of the Iraqi Intelligence Service. Considered Saddam’s right-hand man and bearing a strong resemblance to Iraq’s former dictator,
Majid was a member of the decision-making Revolutionary Command Council and was regularly called upon to suppress rebellions. ‘Chemical Ali’ was sentenced to death four times. He was captured in August 2003, five months after the US-led invasion of Iraq. Majid was first sentenced to death in June 2007 for his role in a military campaign against ethnic Kurds, codenamed Anfal, that lasted from February to August of 1988. In December 2008, he received another death sentence for war crimes committed during the 1991 Shia uprising in southern Iraq, where about 100,000 people were massacred. In March 2009, the Iraqi High Tribunal handed ‘Chemical Ali’ a third death sentence over the 1999 murders of dozens of Shia civilians in the Sadr City district of Baghdad and in the central city of Najaf. An finally in January, Majid was convicted of ordering the gassing of Kurds in the Iraqi town of Halabja, a brutal attack that killed an estimated 5,000 people in the northeast of the country.