More Iran's iraq

Iran gaining influence, power in Iraq through militia
Posted on Mon, Dec. 12, 2005
By Tom Lasseter
Knight Ridder Newspapers
[U.S. and Iraqi officials:]... Iranian-backed .. Badr Organization [conducts] ... many of the Iraqi Interior Ministry's intelligence activities and [has] infiltrated ... elite commando units ...
...some [officials] agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity for fear of violent reprisals, [saying] the Interior Ministry [was] an Iranian fifth column ... [w/] death squads and ... secret prisons.

"They're putting millions of dollars into the south to influence the elections ... it's funded primarily through their charity organizations and also Badr and some of these political parties," "A lot of their guys (Badr) are going into the police and military."
[--Gen. George W. Casey]

[Iraqi] ministry officials [& ex-officials]: [US] hadn't interfered ... because [they] weren't fully aware ... or because [of the risks of] arresting militia leaders [w/] powerful political positions and tens of thousands of followers.

Interior Ministry and Badr officials ... denied ... involvement in the prisons or death squads ... :

"All prisons in the south and most of those in Baghdad are run by the Badr militia,"
[--Gen. Muntadhar Muhi al-Samaraee ex-Interior Ministry special forces chief]

Al-Samaraee ... denied Interior Ministry accusations [he stole a car &] fled to Jordan ...

Badr's leader, Hadi al-Amari, has denied maintaining ties to Iran ...

"Allawi receives money from America, from the CIA, but nobody talks about that. All they talk about is our funding from Iran," "We are funded by some (Persian) Gulf countries and the Islamic Republic of Iran. We don't hide it."
[-- Hadi al-Amari]

"The Americans use the Interior Ministry commandos as tools to fight the insurgency. They know what Badr is doing and they don't care," "The interests of the Americans are the same as Badr."
[-- Omar al-Jabouri, an Iraqi Islamic Party (Sunni) top official]

... Iraqi Islamic Party and the Muslim Scholars Association, [documented hundreds of abductions by] men wearing Interior Ministry uniforms [where the abductees were] later .. found dead.

... 169 men, most of them Sunnis, were found in an Interior Ministry bunker in Baghdad's Jadriyah neighborhood.

[While acknowledging Jadriyah was rogue Interior Ministry intel operation,] "It's not clear this was an official MOI (Ministry of Interior) organization," "If you look at the MOI organizational charts, you will not find the Jadriyah bunker."
[-- anonymous senior U.S. military official in Baghdad]

... Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq [SCIRI] ... installed ... Bayan Jabr, as the head of the Interior Ministry.

"Everybody says you have a Badr guy in the MOI. Well ... he was elected," "And they say he's appointed a bunch of Badr guys. We have a Republican administration in America, and guess what? They've appointed a lot of Republicans. You elected SCIRI, and SCIRI is Badr."
[-- anonymous senior U.S. military official in Baghdad]

"I don't know that it's the quote Badr corps that's [rounding up and killing Sunnis] or ... [Mutaqda al-Sadr's] Mahdi that's doing it, but I have no doubt that people who are associated with those groups are involved."
[--Gen. Casey]

"It's not infiltration. They're upfront about [militia affiliations] and day to day things are OK, but then there's a crisis," "What you see happening is that people are ... signing up but their loyalties lie more to a militia leader than a chief of police."
[--Gen. Casey]

A memo [from Brig. Gen. Abdul Kareem Khalaf,] an Iraqi general in the ministry operations room ... to the minister's office says ... "Names of detainees." ... 14 men ... taken from ... a Sunni neighborhood in ... early morning hours ... It ... marks the time of their detention ...

[Their bodies were] found ... ... most ... killed by single gunshots to [the] heads.

[Gen Khalaf:]confirmed [memo's] authenticity. ... [said] insurgents, not Interior Ministry police, had abducted the men.

"The minister is very upset. He wants to know how such a document slipped out of the ministry."
[-- Gen Khalaf]

"Sadr City is probably our most secure zone because of the de facto militia presence ... the Mahdi militias doing their neighborhood patrols," "And you also have Badr patrols where you have SCIRI enclaves."
[Col. Joseph DiSalvo, brigade commander Army's 3rd ID:]

"The coalition forces cannot enforce it (the law forbidding militias). We cannot negate the militias. It would be like having a 2 million-man tribe, and all of a sudden saying, `Tribe, you do not exist,'""You'd have to have more manpower than is feasible."
[-- Col. Joseph DiSalvo]

2005 KR Washington Bureau and wire service sources.

13 Dec 2005 by Simon W. Moon