Unconventional thinking about the Middle East.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

British ‘Soldier of Heaven’ Identified

When Iraqi troops stormed the compound operated by the ‘Soldiers of Heaven’ Shi'a cult a week ago, a British passport was found among the wreckage. This document fueled speculation among some Iraqi observers of an alleged role for British intelligence in fostering the well-financed and disciplined cult.

Talisman Gate has learned that the British passport probably belonged to a British citizen of Iraqi ancestry, who had owned a barber’s shop in the Moseley district of Birmingham. According to a source with first hand knowledge of the man and his travels, ‘Mohammad’ [first name] traveled to Iraq about a month ago after selling his prosperous business, taking his wife and his 2 year-old son with him.

Mohammad’s family had lived in the Dora neighborhood south of Baghdad, but had been recently forced to flee to the Najaf area by Sunni militants. In Najaf, Muhammad’s family was apparently taken in by the ‘Soldiers of Heaven’ cult, but it seems likely that the family had established links with cult beforehand.

Only a few weeks prior to his departure, Muhammad had become a British citizen. He had been living in the United Kingdom since 2001.

It is not ascertained whether Muhammad himself got killed in the raid, but the source claims to know that Muhammad’s mother had died.

Before leaving for Iraq, Muhammad had told the source that “the Mahdi [Messiah] is about to emerge,” and that he was going “to do humanitarian work” in Iraq.

Muhammad, a handsome young man, was known to drink alcohol and to frequent discos, and did not strike those who knew him as particularly religious; however, he seemed to be enthralled by Shi'a millenarianism.