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Thursday, 31 October, 2002, 22:50 GMT
The open secrets of Saddam's inbox
Iraqi folk dancers and portrait of Saddam
Saddam is said to have never opened his emails
Anyone who thinks they can send private e-mails to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein unnoticed by the outside world should think again.

Journalists from the American website Wired.com say they have found an easy way to access the Iraqi leader's inbox, taking advantage of security holes in software used by the country's official internet service provider.


For weapon use, have function: no colour, no smell, will let person dead in a few second

Message from China
They found that dozens of people write to the Iraqi president's address - press@uruklink.net - each week, with anything from threats of nuclear annihilation to offers to help fight against the Americans.

But some writers appeared to be interested in more shady dealings.

The chairman of a London-based company e-mailed the Iraqi leader in August offering to act as a mediator for Iraq's purchase of unnamed products in Western Europe.

"Please consider this letter as secret... I ensure you absolute secrecy," the message read, according to Wired.com.

A more sinister-sounding message came from China.

"For weapon use, have function: no colour, no smell, will let person dead in a few second," it said, and gave details of a distributor in Saudi Arabia which could provide the chemical "in cylinder or in can".

'Rich technology'

Offers have also come from Iraq's sworn enemy, the United States.


You need only send a ticket and I will come to Iraq to fight the Americans - I am a good shot, and I am serious about my offer

Vienna resident
An e-mail was sent from the owner of a Las Vegas company offering fire retardants for the Iraqi army - the company owner later said the message was a joke by a friend.

And a California wireless technology-maker proposed "technology improvements" and the "exporting of rich technology".

The same company, which Wired.com did not name, has said in press releases it has developed technology which could be used "as a weapon to ignite large sections of the atmosphere and incinerate all living creatures within its pre-selected co-ordinates" and has also called for the resignation of US President George W Bush.

The company later said it was trying to get permission to site a wireless communications antenna in Iraq, and would never sell technology for weapons of mass destruction to Baghdad.

'Good shot'

Some of the messages were rather more straightforward.

"Imminent", said a one-word message from an AOL user, with a photo of an atom bomb exploding attached.

But an Austrian admirer of the Iraqi leader offered to fight on his side.

"You need only send a ticket and I will come to Iraq to fight the Americans," he wrote. "I am a good shot, and I am serious about my offer."


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