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Saddam bounty may go unclaimed

Saddam after his capture
Saddam after his capture

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A look inside Saddam Hussein's hideout.
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U.S. officials begin interrogating Saddam.
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(CNN) -- It is unclear whether anyone will receive the $25 million bounty on Saddam Hussein because the information leading to his capture came under duress and from more than one person.

Unlike the hunt for Saddam's sons -- in which a $30 million reward was paid -- the information leading to Saddam did not come from a tip.

In recent days, U.S. officials pulled in former Saddam bodyguards and members of Tikriti families close to his regime for intense interrogation. Information extracted from one person led to another and then eventually to the former Iraqi leader.

"Over the last 10 days we brought in about five to 10 members of these families, who then were able to give us even more information and finally we got the ultimate information from one of these individuals," Maj. Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of the 4th Infantry Division troops, said Sunday.

That information prompted the staging of Operation Red Dawn on Saturday night to bring in Saddam. The mission included 600 4th Infantry Division soldiers and special operations forces from Task Force 121 -- a special unit set up for very high-profile targets, said Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq.

When the initial raids failed to find him, the troops launched a "cordon and search" operation that eventually brought their attention to a ramshackle compound near a farmhouse that was one of the targeted locations, Odierno said.

The forces found weapons and about $750,000 in U.S. $100 bills with the former dictator, Sanchez said. Neither Saddam nor two men found with him offered resistance. Members of the Iraqi Governing Council said the two men captured with Saddam were security personnel.

The Bush administration paid a $30 million reward to an informant for intelligence that led to the deaths of Saddam's sons in July. The informant received $15 million each for Uday and Qusay Hussein for the tip leading U.S. troops to the villa in Mosul where the brothers were hiding and died in a gunfight.


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