Iraqi sources in Cyprus saidthe physicist, only referred to as Dr F S, was kidnapped on the night 27/28 February by a unit of the Iraqi Mukhabarat in a suburb near Athens airport, where he was hiding with relatives.
Dr F S fled Baghdad to Zakho, Kurdistan, allegedly giving documents containing vital information about Iraq's nuclear programme to the Iraqi defector, General Wafiq- el-Samaraai.
General el-Samaraai, who deserted the Iraqi army to the opposition, gave United Nations inspectors detailed information about the nuclear programme which the Iraqis have been trying to hide, including sites and two projects that the UN never knew existed.
An outraged President Saddam Hussein ordered his brother-in-law, Hussein Kamel Hassan, and his half brother Barzan Tikriti - responsible for Mukhabarat cells abroad - to "liquidate the traitors " who had exposed the programme.
The Mukhabarat investigation on how General Samaraai got hold of the files led to an office in the Iraqi Military industrial Organisation shared by Dr F S and Dr Mowaied el-Ganabi. The latter was assassinated by Iraqi agents in Amman last year after Baghdad gave him an exit visa to visit relatives in Jordan. Dr F S fled to Turkey earlier this year and slipped into Greece on forged travel documents. Greek intelligence sources said the forged papers are hampering their investigation because Dr F S used several names.