U.S.: 'Chemical Ali' Captured The former senior Iraqi official known as "Chemical Ali" is in U.S. custody, the Defense Department says. U.S. officials initially said Ali Hassan al-Majid had been killed in an April airstrike, but later said he was still alive. Al-Majid, No. 5 on the U.S. list of most-wanted Iraqis, received his nickname for his alleged role in 1988 poison gas attacks on Iraqi civilians. Hear NPR's Eric Westervelt.