Operation StrongVet Brings Army Officer Who Captured Saddam Hussein To Town

By: Kym Gable

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The mastermind behind the capture of Saddam Hussein is in Pittsburgh this week sharing his incredible story about the capture of one of the world’s most wanted men.

Former Army Intelligence Officer Eric Maddox will speak at an event at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall on Wednesday. He sat down with Kym Gable to give KDKA a preview of the program.

“Tracking down Saddam was a five-month hunt. We went from person to person to person. There were multiple steps. I started gathering intelligence which made me believe Saddam might be in Tikrit,” said Maddox.

Maddox conducted over 300 interrogations.

The capture of Hussein’s bodyguard was a key element of the operation, but so was his favorite meal.

“Saddam ate this fish every single day, and because the U.S. invaded Iraq, he couldn’t go to the fish store. He actually built a fish pond,” Maddox said. “Raiding that fish pond and capturing these two individuals was what took us over this hump.”

Operation StrongVet brought Maddox to Pittsburgh.

Executive Director Roy Cheran says the organization’s goal goes hand in hand with Maddox’s own perseverance and heroism.

“And that’s really what our charge is,” said Cheran. “How can we help our vets reintegrate back into civilian population and give back like they did to our nation on the military front to us socially and economically in our region. They’re an asset, not a liability.”

Maddox gets numerous requests to collaborate with charities and veterans organizations. He says the support and pride Western Pennsylvania has for its veterans and active military is inspiring.

“I’m here because I know… this is the most efficient productive military support group in the world and I will put my name on it,” Maddox said.

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