WASHINGTON (AP) _ American forces have taken into custody Abid Hamid Mahmud al-Tikriti, Saddam's presidential secretary and No. 4 on the U.S. most-wanted list of Iraqi leaders, a U.S. official said Wednesday.

The official said Mahmud was captured in Iraq but had no further details.

Third in power only to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his younger son, Qusai, Mahmud controlled access to Saddam and was one of the few people he is said to have trusted completely, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.