Abu Tubar (literally The Hatchet Man) was the name given to the perpetrator of a series of robberies and murders committed in Baghdad during the early years of the Ba'ath Party rule. Although eventually ascribed to former members of Nadhim Kzar's (chief of the Directorate of General Security) police force, at the time there was widespread fear amongst the Baghdad population about the nature of the crimes.

Abu Tubar has achieved the title "hatchet man" in early 1970s. His real name is حاتم كاظم هضم (Hatem Kazem Hathom); born 1932 in the city of Babylon, Hilla in Iraq. He is known as the man who brought fear and terror to the civilians of Iraq. He has a reputation of murdering families by chopping them with his hatchet.[2] He usually begins his crimes with a strange phone call, usually when the victim is alone at home. The call consists of useless conversation, threatening, and cursing. After the phone call, there is a knock on the door, after which the crime begins.

The Experience in Iraq

The citizens of Iraq at the time became worried and very feared. People in Baghdad became more cautious; they became very protective. Individuals no longer go out alone, began to trim any trees and bushes around the neighbourhood to have a clear view of any potential hideout areas, and added more lights to keep them on all night for security. Being used to the safe environment in Iraq, these acts of Abu Tubar created tension and anxiety, which paralyzed Iraq. People began to create curfews for themselves and secured their homes more regularly. Television programs began to give safety instructions to viewers and so did call-in shows to train the citizens what to do if they see him or any suspicious acts being found.

Early Life and Career

He lived in Babylon, Hilla; came from a very known and generous family in Iraq. He graduated elementary school 1946, and then attended middle school and graduated 1949. After that, he went to a police school in Hilla and ended up graduating in 1951 with a commissioner rank of police of Hilla. Not much later, he got fired in 1952 due to professional reasons. He immediately returned to study air force in college that year, however, he got expelled in 1956 due to purposely fooling around in the air with the training planes. Hatem knew multiple languages; one being Arabic, English, German, Persian, and even Kurdish. After getting expelled, he traveled to Kuwait to study free business in 1957, but returning to Iraq in 1959 to work as a collections accountant in Kirkuk. However, he got sentenced two and a half years to jail due to damaging (?) the company's state funds. While later serving the time in jail, he left to explore Europe, spending most of his time in West Germany, Munich. Hatem began to smuggle weapons and cars from Belgium, Germany, Greece, Syria, and Turkey.

The After

On March 30, 1974; 2:55 P.M. there was a report of a thief entering a neighbours house that belongs to Doctor Joseph Paul Pedros Jadraji. The police came in time to get the thief; however, in their book, Hatem is seen to be one of the air forces. This allowed him to keep lying about what he has done, until they asked him to show his house. They found many reported stolen items in his home; from expensive radios to jewellery and clothing. He admitted on national television the crimes he committed, as well with the help of his two brothers, Galib and Hazim, his nephew Hussain, and the help of his wife. When questioning Abu Tubar, he said he had two reasons why he killed people; one, to move freely in the house to able him to steal anything, two, he admitted to having a psychological problem that sometimes he enjoyed killing, even drinking some of the victims blood at times. His death took place in 1980, sentenced to death by hanging in Abu Ghraib prison.