WASHINGTON – Another member of Saddam Hussein's (search) regime has fallen from the U.S. military's deck of cards.
Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash, known as "Mrs. Anthrax," (search) was taken into custody on Sunday, according to Defense Department officials. Ammash is the "Five of Hearts" in the deck of cards portraying 55 members of Iraq's top regime leaders.
She was No. 53 of the coalition's list of Iraq's most wanted.
U.S. officials hope Ammash, 49, can provide details about Iraq's banned weapons program.
Ammash was a top scientist in Iraq's biological weapons program and was a member of Saddam's ruling Baath (search) party. She's referred to as the party's Youth and Trade Bureau Chairman.
U.S. intelligence officers say she played a central role in revitalizing Iraq's biological weapons program after the 1991 Gulf War. She's the daughter of a former Iraqi minister of defense who was allegedly murdered by Saddam because he was seen as a potential rival for power.
Officials said Ammash was trained by Nassir al-Hindawi, described by United Nations inspectors as the father of Iraq's biological weapons program. Other top Iraqi scientists wanted by the United States include Amir al-Saadi, a chief chemical weapons researcher, and Dr. Rihab Taha, a woman who was dubbed "Dr. Germ" by inspectors.
Ammash, who has served as president of Iraqi's microbiological society and as dean at University of Baghdad, was educated in the United States.
She received her undergraduate degree at the University of Baghdad, master of science in biology from Texas Woman's University, in Denton, Texas, and received a doctorate in microbiology from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1983.
In one of several videos of Saddam released during the war, Ammash was the only woman among a small group of men seated around a table. The videos were used as Iraqi propaganda as invading forces drew closer to Baghdad and it was not known when the meeting happened nor what was the significance of her visibility on camera.
In 2001, she became the first and only woman elected to the highest policymaking body in the Baath Party after working closely with Saddam's youngest son, Qusai.
American officials say Ammash is among a new generation of leaders named by Saddam to leading posts within that party. She played a role in organizing Baath activities in Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen, officials said.
Ammash is the 19th regime member to be rounded up by coalition forces. Thirty-six others are still at large.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told Fox News Sunday that it likely will be the lower-level regime members who will provide the coalition with information about Saddam's nuclear, biological and chemical weapons program.
"I never believed that we'd just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country," Rumsfeld said. "We're going to find what we find as a result of talking to people, I believe, not simply by going to some site and hoping to discover it."
Rumsfeld said weapons of mass destruction will not be easily found because Saddam hid them from U.N. inspectors for so many years.
So far, high-level Iraqi officials, such as Tariq Aziz, one of Saddam's closest deputies, haven't cooperated or provided information about the weapons. Even lower-level officials don't seem to be helping much yet.
"Are they telling us something substantive? We don't have anything substantive to announce at the present time," Rumsfeld said.
The Washington Times reported Saturday that the Bush administration has received intelligence reports that top Iraqi weapons scientists fled to Syria and that some may be trying to enter France.
The Times reported that either one or both of Iraq's two top biowarfare researchers -- "Mrs. Anthrax" being one of them and "Dr. Germ" the other -- have shown up in intelligence reports as escaping to Syria.
Asked on NBC's Meet the Press if senior Saddam aides have fled to Syria, Rumsfeld said, "Oh, there's no question but that they did. Absolutely. ... Some left and went to Syria and stayed, and some have left Iraq, gone to Syria and transited to other countries."
Asked if "Dr. Germ" and "Mrs. Anthrax" were among them, the defense secretary said there was "nothing that I want to discuss about individuals of Saddam's regime."
Over the weekend, the coalition also announced the arrest of a former Iraqi intelligence chief.
The U.S. Army’s V Corps had no details on Iraq’s top spy other than his name, Adil Salfeg Al-Azarui. He was not in the deck of cards. Al-Azarui, a Baath Party official, also was once the mayor of Tikrit, Saddam's hometown.
On Friday, three more regime members were nabbed.
Abdel Tawab Mullah Huweish, No. 16 of the most wanted, was director of the Military Industrialization Organization, which oversaw development of Iraq’s most lethal weapons. There were reports that Huweish’s daughter, Wafa, had married Saddam.
Taha Muhie-eldin Marouf, one of two vice presidents and a member of the Revolutionary Command Council, was also in custody. He was the highest-ranking Kurd in Saddam’s administration. Marouf joined the Baath Party in 1968 and held several ministerial posts. He also served as ambassador to Italy, Malta and Albania.
No. 41 on the most-wanted list, Mizban Khadr Hadi, a member of Saddam’s Revolutionary Command Council and a top Baath Party leader, also was captured in recent days. He was appointed commander of one of four military regions Saddam established on the eve of the war
There were also reports that former Transport Minister Ahmed Murtada Ahmed Khalil has been arrested recently. He was not on the most-wanted list, but is believed to be on the larger list of 200 former Iraqi officials sought by the coalition.
Fox News' Bret Baier and Jonathan Hunt and The Associated Press contributed to this report.