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Friday, August 24th, 2007


Eric Martin who blogs at TIA and American Footprints has a guest-post at The Newshoggers entitled “Guest Post – Who’s Killing The Clerics Of Najaf? “. An excerpt:

“The situation in Najaf for Iraq’s premier Grand Ayatollah, Ali al-Sistani,
has been growing rather precarious as of late:

Four aides to Iraqi Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani have been killed in Al-Najaf over the past two months, raising many questions as to the safety of Iraq’s supreme Shi’ite leader and the motives of the perpetrators of the attacks.

According to media reports, aides to Iraq’s three other grand ayatollahs have also been threatened. “The assassination operations are organized and big resources are allocated [to carry them out], which makes it difficult to accuse any local side of being behind” the attacks, the assistant director of the office of Muhammad Bahr al-Ulum, Muwaffaq Ali, told the London-based “Al-Hayat” this week.

This is a story that I have been attempting to track over at my other blogospheric venues, but it is an opaque tale of shifting political intrigue that defies easy analysis. For example, it is still unclear which party (or parties) has been behind this series of assassinations, and to what purpose (or purposes). The first two or three killings were thought to be the work of Moqtada al-Sadr’s forces – which is completely plausible in at least one of those cases (especially given the history between Sadr’s forces and the target in the third killing). But this is speculation, and by no means a given. Such uncertainty is quite remarkable given the stakes involved (and the fact that, generally speaking, parties seeking to send a message in such a manner want the targeted group to know who the sender was). “

Read the whole thing.

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