More Iraqi Political Gossip
MORE TROUBLE ON THE DULEIMI FAMILY FRONT
Fresh charges were leveled today against Adnan al-Duleimi, the head of parliamentary Consensus bloc (Sunni) and his daughter and fellow parliamentarian Asma al-Duleimi by the latter's head of security, Hassanein Ghazi Karim al-Samaraie. Al-Samaraie was arrested two days ago in connection to the car bombs found at Duleimi's compound that had earlier implicated Makki al-Duleimi, Adnan's son and Asma's brother, who has been under custody for several weeks now.
According to his testimony today, al-Samaraie claimed that he had been Asma's lover and that both she and her father had prior knowledge about a string of car bombings in the Hai al-'Amil neighborhood that al-Samaraie had organized and confessed to.
As if things couldn't get any weirder for this family, a source is telling me that Asma's husband died today in the Adhamiya suicide bombing that targeted and killed Col. Riyadh al-Samaraie, the head of the 'Adhamiya Rebels Command that was formed about a month ago to fight al-Qaeda. However I can't verify this last bit about the husband.
An Iraqi court issued an arrest warrant for former PM Ayad Allawi today over charges linking him to antiquities smuggling. From what I can gather, this operation occurred while Allawi was still prime minister and the five pieces in question ended up in the United States, where the FBI tracked them down. A person who is very close to Allawi was arrested in this case, and this suspect has given testimony that the transaction had occurred with Allawi's knowledge and approval.
Another high ranking Iraqi politician who is currently in government is also implicated, and he had to go in and testify to the court today.
Allegedly, the US Embassy has asked PM Maliki to intervene to calm the situation down and to revoke the arrest warrant on Allawi and any legal action that may be taken against the Duleimi family.
Oh, three quarters of the cell phones in use in Iraq could be out of network coverage within a week. 450 out of the 2000 towers for the Atheer-MTC and IraqNa networks are out of commission due to security issues (...the security company was fired), and the number is likely to increase over the next few days. The background to this mess is a huge dispute between Iraqi and Kuwaiti investors in the Atheer-MTC company that had gobbled up IraqNa last week; the Kuwaitis control 62 percent of MTC-Atheer. Some Iraqi lawmakers are up in arms over this development, citing that Iraq's strategic telecommunications sector is now beholden to the whims of the State of Kuwait. Expect fireworks.