Unconventional thinking about the Middle East.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Today's Crop of Baghdad Gossip

These are the rumors circulating among the political class. Remember, these are only rumors at this point:

-The arrest warrant on former Deputy Prime Minister Salam Zigem al-Zoba'i is real: he's wanted on charges of terrorism and corruption, and his case has been kicked up to the Higher Judicial Council to determine whether his official immunity as Deputy PM (...he recently resigned from the government along with the other Sunni ministers but their resignations were not acknowledged by PM Maliki) still stands or not.

-Ahmad Chalabi has been tasked by PM Maliki to take on al-Zoba'i's duties, as well as some of those of the other Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih. This is not an official appointment, and it is still unknown how long this arrangement will last.

-Gen. Mohammed Abdullah al-Shahwani, chief of Iraq's Intelligence Service (mukhaberat), was arrested by American forces two days ago at his office over corruption charges. He was led away in handcuffs.

-An initial investigation into an illegal antiquities shipment that was uncovered leaving Iraq by the port authorities in Basra seems to have an Ayad Allawi connection. He's somehow involved in trying to sell Iraqi historical artifacts to a Persian Gulf collector.

These are some of the things that the Iraqi political class is chattering about. We'll know soon enough if there's much merit to them.


Blogger bg said...


thanks TG.. it's been hard enough finding the good
news, but nearly impossible to getting any political


12:57 AM, November 04, 2007

Blogger Nibras Kazimi نبراس الكاظمي said...


Here are some updates:

-Haven't seen anything new on the Zoba'i arrest warrant.

-This is what Ahmed Chalabi is up to, Sunday Times (UK):


-Shahwani gave an interview to Azzaman newspaper (Sunni) and addressed the rumors of his arrest saying "Thanks be to Allah you are today guests in [my] official office and not in the prison". The source of the rumor was a very high level official in a related intelligence body of the Iraqi government who claimed to have seen Shahwani being led away in handcuffs. This official is not known to be an exagerator. This whole episode remains a mystery. This is the write-up of the interview (Arabic):


-Nothing new on the Allawi angle of the story, even though a consignment of 20 pieces of Iraqi antiquities was caught by the investigative unit of the Ministry of Transport in the port of Basra on the same day that the alleged story took place. The items were being shipped to Bahrain.

7:16 PM, November 11, 2007


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