Unlike his older brother Uday, who became well known for his extravagant and violent behavior Qusay maintained a much lower profile. Qusay married the daughter of an army officer and with her had three sons. Otherwise unlike others in his family or the government comparably little was known about the man.
Until 2003 American forces beleived that Qusay was head of the Iraqi Republican Guard and head of some internal security forces. Iraqi dissidents maintained that Qusay was responsible for the torture and murder of dissidents.
In 1991 after the first Gulf War large segments of the Iraqi population rose up in rebellion against Saddam's government. Qusay played a leading role in crushing the insurrections and was responsible for destroying the southern marshes in Iraq. The destruction of the marshes displaced a large number of people living in the area and disrupted the migration patterns of a number of bird species. While the government publicly claimed this was to make usable farmland, others believed Qusay masterminded this to get back at the residents of the marshes for their roles in the uprisings.
Along with his father and his brother, in March of 2003 Qusay was told by President Bush to leave Iraq within 48 hours. The three ignored the demand and a collation of US and other forces invaded Iraq. The Iraqis government fell within a couple weeks, and Qusay went into hiding.
In July of 2003 Qusay, along with his brother Uday, and son Mustapha were tracked to a home in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. In the ensuring shootout all three were killed.
Graphic photos of the deceased brothers were released to the public. Even though attempts were made to clean them up and made them presentable the release of the photos was controversial. The US military stated that the two men were not ordinary combatants and that it would show the Iraqis that the two men were truly dead. Their father would eventually be captured and executed at the end of 2006. Qusay's two other sons survived, however their whereabouts are not publicly known.