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More Husseins Than Meet the Eye, Network Reports

September 27, 2002|From Reuters

BERLIN — A German television network said Thursday that it had made a scientific study of 450 photographs of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and concluded that there are at least three look-alikes posing as the Iraqi president.

The ZDF public television network, working with a German coroner, said it took the photographs and film clips of Hussein from its archives and used facial recognition technology to determine that men said to be him were look-alikes.

"In the film sequences since 1998 only the doubles appear," said a coroner whom ZDF consulted, Dieter Buhmann. "He himself has not been seen again."

ZDF said that "a scientific investigation proved that the 65-year-old ruler allows at least three doubles to replace him at official appearances."

ZDF said it was difficult to tell the look-alikes from Hussein.

"They have apparently undergone surgery to appear to look like the statesman," the television network said. "The doubles have mastered Saddam's gestures and perfectly mimic Saddam, with only tiny details separating them from the real Saddam Hussein."

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