Khidhir Hamza, a U.S. emissary to Iraq, has survived an assassination attempt and is currently “safe and sound,” according to close associates.

Hamza is often referred to as “Saddam’s Bombmaker” in the West, after the title of his best-selling autobiography of the same name, which told the story of his rise to leader of the Iraqi nuclear bomb program.

A roadside bomb had been placed in one of Hamza’s oil tanks that feeds the electric generator at his home in the Daudi district of Baghdad. It was detonated Wednesday when Hamza left the home in his U.S.-issued fortified car.

Crater created by bomb targeting Khidhir Hamza

The powerful blast overturned the car and dug a crater into the ground.

A Hamza bodyguard was badly injured, while another shot a bystander, Yousif Abdul Wadood, who is being described as an innocent bystander by Arabic media.

Mukhlid Abbas, one of Hamza’s bodyguards, has given an interview to Arabic media.

News of the attack first began surfacing in Iraq on Christmas Eve and was reported in the English-speaking world exclusively by WorldNetDaily on Christmas Day.

Hamza was sent to Iraq by the U.S. in order to ascertain the state and recent history of the Iraqi nuclear program.

In congressional testimony last year Hamza stated that Iraq was two to three years from building a successful nuclear bomb. His book, “Saddam’s Bombmaker” was cited as a reference for the White House “Apparatus of Lies” report in the pre-war situation in Iraq.

Hamza’s prior assessment and reporting on the program, as well as his credentials, have been challenged by Iraqi scientists who say the program has been defunct since the Persian Gulf War.

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‘Saddam’s bombmaker’ hit in assassination attempt

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