Watban Ibrahim Hassan al-Tikriti was born in 1952 in Tikrit. He is the brother of Barzan Ibrahim and half brother of Saddam Hussein. Watban Ibrahim and Saddam Hussein share the same mother. He was one of the original members of the Ba’ath Party.
Watban Ibrahim was supposedly linked to the fate of more than 180,000 Kurds who went missing in the 1980s when the regime undertook a campaign of ethnic cleansing. Watban Ibrahim was in the inner circle of the regime and held high-ranking positions in the security apparatus when the ethnic-cleansing operations against Kurds were launched.
In 1991 he was promoted Minister of the Interior. As such, he was reportedly involved in the brutal repression of the uprising which followed the Gulf War in 1991 including mass executions, torture and destruction, particularly in Baghdad suburbs of Thawra, Shu'la, Hurriya' Bayya', the village of Yousiffiya and the nearby districts of Mahmoudiya. Some of those executions were reportedly taped with copies kept at the ministry.
He was allegedly responsible for repression of religious and ethnic minorities including forced deportation, disappearances and murder committed by forces under his control. He reportedly permitted and encouraged the systematic use of torture, including rape and the threat of rape, by his forces.
In May 1995, Watban Ibrahim lost his office as Minister of Interior.
Despite his family ties to Saddam and his position, Watban Ibrahim was not thought to be fully trusted by Saddam Hussein. Watban Ibrahim was believed to have been shot in the leg by Uday Hussein during a party in 1995.
Nevertheless he served afterwards as Presidential Advisor.
First hand accounts exist of his personal lethally brutal behaviour towards at least one person.
British SAS troops were believed to have orchestrated the capture of Watban Ibrahim Hasan al-Tikriti on the road between the city of Mosul and the Syrian border, as he was attempting to flee to Syria. He was officially captured by Kurdish elements in Rabia, near the Syrian border, and turned over to the US military on 13 April 2003.