Members of Ansar al-Mehdi arrested in Najaf

January 22, 2008 § Leave a comment

(Image of the Imam Ali shrine, located in Najaf, from Sistani.org.)

Al-Hayat reports that the Sadr wing (al-tiyar al-sadri) is holding the Iraqi government responsible for the appearance of fringe religious movements in Iraq. A Sadr rep said that the government is so preoccupied with chasing down members of the Mehdi army (jaysh al-mehdi) that they have not been monitoring the growth of certain groups, such as Jund al-Samaa and Ansar al-Mehdi. The rep said that the Sadr wing is committed to a fatwa issued by Muqtada al-Sadr that says not to deal with these groups.

In Najaf, 13 followers of the Ansar al-Mehdi group (which is considered to be an extension of Jund al-Samaa) were arrested in a week-long operation, including the group’s spiritual leader — Hasan al-Hamami. A rep for the police said that the group’s members admitted to planning terrorist attacks (‘amliat irhabieh) during Ashoura in Najaf. Iraqi marja’ Mahmoud al-Hasani al-Sorkhi (aka this guy) denied any connection to the recent events in Basra and Nasiriyya. (Note: The article does not explain why al-Hasani would be connected with these fringe Shi’i groups.)

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