kids encyclopedia robot

Ali Hassan al-Majid facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Ali Hassan al-Majid
Detail Ali Hassan al-Majid.jpg
Ali Hassan al-Majid at an investigative hearing in 2004
علي حسن عبد المجيد التكريتي

(1941-11-30)30 November 1941
Tikrit, Kingdom of Iraq
Died 25 January 2010 (aged 68)
Cause of death Executed by hanging
Known for Iraqi Defense Minister, Interior Minister, military commander and chief of the Iraqi Intelligence Service
Relatives Saddam Hussein
(first cousin, deceased)

Ali Hassan Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (Arabic: علي حسن عبد المجيد التكريت, romanized: ʿAlī Ḥasan ʿAbd al-Majīd al-Tikrītī; 30 November 1941 – 25 January 2010), nicknamed Chemical Ali (Arabic: علي الكيمياوي, romanized: ʿAlī al-Kīmīawī), was an Iraqi politician and military commander under Saddam Hussein who served as defence minister, interior minister, and chief of the Iraqi Intelligence Service. He was also the governor of Kuwait during much of the 1990–91 Gulf War.

Early life

Ali Hassan al-Majid is thought to have been born in 1941 in al-Awja near Tikrit, though he claimed in court that he was born three years later in 1944. Al-Majid was a member of the Bejat clan of the Al-Bu Nasir tribe, to which his elder cousin Saddam Hussein also belonged. Saddam later relied heavily on the clan & tribe to fill senior posts in his government. Like Saddam, al-Majid also was a Sunni Muslim who came from a poor tribal family and had little formal education. He worked as a motorcycle messenger and driver in the Iraqi Army from 1959 until the Ba'ath Party seized power in 1968. Thereafter, he was able to gain entry into the Military Academy and was commissioned as an officer in the Infantry.

His rise thereafter, aided by his cousin Saddam, was swift. He initially became an aide to Iraqi defence minister Hammadi Shihab in the early 1970s after joining the Ba'ath party. He then became head of the government's Security Office, serving as an enforcer for the increasingly powerful Saddam. In 1979 Saddam seized power, ousting President Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr.

Al-Majid became one of Saddam's closest military advisors and head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service, Iraqi secret police known as the Mukhabarat.

Al-Anfal campaign

During the late stages of the Iran–Iraq War al-Majid was given the post of Secretary General of the Northern Bureau of the Ba'ath Party, in which capacity he served from March 1987 to April 1989. This effectively made him Saddam's proconsul in the north of the country, commanding all state agencies in the rebellious Kurdish-populated region of the country. He was known for his ruthlessness, ordering the indiscriminate use of chemical weapons against Kurdish targets during a genocidal campaign dubbed Al-Anfal or "The Spoils of War". Al-Majid was dubbed "Chemical Ali" (علي الكيماوي, Ali Al-Kīmāwī) by Iraqis for his use of chemical weapons in attacks against the Kurds.

With Kurdish resistance continuing, al-Majid decided to cripple the rebellion by eradicating the civilian population of the Kurdish regions. By 1988, some 4,000 villages had been destroyed, an estimated 180,000 Kurds had been killed and some 1.5 million had been deported.

Persian Gulf War and Iraq War

He was appointed Minister of Local Government following the war's end in 1988, with responsibility for the repopulation of the Kurdish and Assyrian region with Arab settlers relocated from elsewhere in Iraq. Two years later, after the invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, he became the military governor of the occupied emirate. In November 1990, he was recalled to Baghdad and was appointed Interior Minister in March 1991.

He was subsequently given the post of Defense Minister.


Al-Majid survived the April 2003 attack but was arrested by American forces on 17 August 2003 in Basra. In 2006 he was charged with genocide and crimes against humanity for his part in the Anfal campaign and was transferred to the Iraq Special Tribunal for trial.

He was convicted in June 2007 and was sentenced to death for crimes of genocide against the Kurds committed in the al-Anfal campaign of the 1980s. Al-Majid was executed by hanging on 25 January 2010. He was buried in Saddam's family cemetery in al-Awja the next day; near Saddam's sons, half-brother and the former vice president, but outside the mosque housing the tomb of Saddam.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Alí Hasán al Mayid para niños

kids search engine
Ali Hassan al-Majid Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.