Unconventional thinking about the Middle East.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Daggers Drawn in Maliki’s Office

There are two strongmen in Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s office: “Abu Mujahid” and Tariq Najm al-Abdullah. Both are Da’awa Party insiders who were played out of the power dynamics of that party in the 1980s and 1990s, and were left without powerful patrons. That’s why Maliki picked them to run his office in 2005. Abu Mujahid (real name: Gati’ Njeiman al-Rikabi) used to live in Syria (where Maliki was based) and later found refuge in Australia, while al-Abdullah came from Da’awa’s London scene (same as his other ally in the office Sadiq al-Rikabi).

Now it seems that there is a power struggle going on that can have serious consequences for Maliki.

The background to this all is a struggle over money, and it involves the Kuwaitis although I am not certain how. Abu Mujahid is allegedly facilitating the business dealings of Namir Karim al-‘Uqabi (a Kuwait and Amman based Iraqi businessman whose family has many shared business interests with Nadhmi Auchi, the shady London-based Iraqi billionaire who’s been linked to Barack Obama), while al-Abdullah is associated with Global Security, the British company that runs Baghdad Airport.

Thrown into this toxic mix is Ahmed al-Maliki, the PM’s son who has taken over his father’s “private” office and is currently allied with al-Abdullah against Abu Mujahid. On the margins one finds Ali al-Dabbagh, the official spokesman, who is pushing Turkish business interests allied with the Erdogan’s AK Party.

Fortunes are being made and nerves are getting frayed as accusations of corruption bounce around Maliki’s office. As Maliki becomes more powerful and popular, there is a struggle to control access to him and all that entails concerning which investor gets a favorable hearing at that office.

There is so much that I can’t put into print: nymphomaniac daughters, mistresses, and the occasional murder conspiracy. Truly macabre stuff adding to the toxicity in the air.

But now the fight has gone public with an article attacking Abu Mujahid appearing on a Belgium-based Iraqi website under the byline of “Dr. Basima Abdul-Hussein al-Janahi”—I have no idea who this person is—with the title “Who Rules Iraq: Maliki or Abu Mujahid al-Rikabi?” (Arabic text). Al-Janahi literally delivers plenty of below-the-belt blows; accusing Abu Mujahid of having a gypsy mother (the article provides her name as “Sabriyeh”, and the gypsy stuff carries the usual connotation of prostitution) and of playing pimp to Iranians intelligence officers in Damascus as well as Saddam’s spies!

Abu Mujahid stands accused of being an informer for Saddam’s mukhaberat (the article promises original documents proving this accusation), running death squads for the Iranians, being responsible for the abduction of the Egyptian ambassador in 2005, and being a front for Zain Telecom, the Kuwaiti giant that is trying to monopolize Iraq’s mobile phone network.

Although the article makes it seem that it is coming from Maliki’s relatives, that is, his son Ahmed as well as another cousin, but my hunch that this had Tariq al-Abdullah’s fingerprints all over it.

At this point, Abu Mujahid seems cooked, but al-Abdullah has a major handicap: he’s suspected of being very close to Britain’s spooks, and nowadays many Iraqi politicians consider British influence on the Iraqi state (as well as Petraeus’ office) to be as damaging to Iraq’s future prosperity as Iran’s infiltration of the state. The conventional thinking on this is that the Brits as too entangled in Gulf money to come up with a policy of their own, and that whatever the rulers of Dubai have in mind for Iraq translates into British actions in Iraq.

Why is this important? Well, Maliki is turning more and more paranoid; he seems convinced that someone will try to kill him soon, and hence has become far less accessible, including to the Americans. Maliki does not seem personally involved in the corruption surrounding him, but whoever comes out on top as his gate-keeper will have tremendous influence on Iraqi policy.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent. I can never forget the look of confidence on Abu Israa's face when a bomb exploded near a location where he and Ban Ki Moon exchanged speaches. What happened now?

9:37 AM, August 26, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very, very insightful post Nibras.

On a side note, do you happen to know anything regarding the role of Haidar al-Abbadi within Maliki's inner circle?

I remember hearing rumors that he was involved in receiving kickbacks after the Orascom deal in 2003, but I never saw any concrete proof.

All the best,


5:36 PM, August 26, 2008

Blogger bg said...


hey TG..

truly haven't got a clue if this is relevant or not, but here you go anyways..

مجلس الرئاسة يصادق على قانون مكافأة المخبرينالمخبرين


Presidential Council endorse the law reward informants

BAGHDAD - Iraq votes

26 / 08 / 2008 at 17:32:17

Sadik of the Presidency of the Republic, Tuesday, the law reward informants, to encourage those who provide information leading to the recovery of assets and funds owned by the state and the public sector, and to take legal action against violators, according to a presidential statement.

The statement said, who received the Independent News Agency (Voices of Iraq) a copy of it, that "the Council presidency sincerely today (Tuesday) to reward informers law based on what was adopted by Parliament in accordance with the provisions of Article (61 / I) of the Constitution and before the legal limit constitutionally enshrined Article (138 / V / F)."

The Presidency Council consisting of three members are President Jalal Talabani (leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan one of the biggest parties Althaf Kurdistan Alliance, which occupies 53 seats out of 275 seats is the sum of parliament), and his two deputies Adel Abdul Mahdi (the United Iraqi Alliance major parliamentary blocs and occupies 83 Seats), and Tariq Hashimi (Secretary - General of the Iraqi Islamic Party, one of the main components
of the Iraqi Accord Front and occupies 38 seats in the House of Representatives).

The statement explained that the law proceeded "to encourage those who make news or information leading to the recovery of assets and funds owned by the State and the public sector and the arrest of the perpetrator and take legal action against him, as well as the promotion of information on cases make financial and administrative corruption."

The House of Representatives has approved a reward informants in the law on July 21 last, and referred it to the Presidency of Massagah it.

The statement, "The provisions of this Act apply to state employees and the public sector and informants on movable and immovable property of persons confiscated after the ninth of April 2003, funds or other Iraqis." He continued that the law also applied to make the information "leading to the restoration of Iraqi antiquities stolen, and informers on cases of financial and administrative corruption, and crimes of theft or embezzlement or forgery of official notes, his news leads to the arrest of the perpetrator."

The text of the presidential statement as well, that the law "eliminated the Revolution Command Council resolutions (dissolved), numbered 265 at 30/12/1999 and 133 in 12/9/2000 and 15/2/2001 at 53 and a note Coalition Provisional Authority (dissolved) No. 10 on 5 / 4 / 2004 amended the ninth paragraph of Section VI of the Coalition Provisional Authority Order (dissolved) No. 59 for in 2004."

The law, article states "not to work with any text inconsistent with its materials."


12:02 AM, August 27, 2008

Blogger bg said...


okay, now that i read it again,
i don't believe it is.. sorry!!


12:05 AM, August 27, 2008

Blogger bg said...


2 Iraqi officials accused of aiding al-Qaida


[A university president and a top local official in a restive province north of Baghdad are suspected of giving weapons and government cars to al-Qaida in Iraq insurgents, according to arrest reports obtained Wednesday.


Nazar al-Khafaji, University of Diyala president, and Hussein al-Zubaidi, head of the provincial council's security committee, were arrested last week. Al-Khafaji was led from his home with a hood over his head and security forces seized three computers.

According to excerpts from the arrest reports by the anti-terrorism squad involved in the case, the two are suspected of aiding al-Qaida insurgents involved in sectarian killings. The reports say more than 20 Diyala residents complained about al-Khafaji and al-Zubaidi.

The high-profile arrests prompted angry complaints by Sunni leaders, and the 41-member provincial council suspended operations last week. The council chief, Ibrahim Bajilan, said Wednesday that the council members would not return to work until the detainees are released.]


4:02 PM, August 27, 2008

Blogger bg said...


Three senior al Qaeda in Iraq leaders captured in Baghdad


[Coalition and Iraq forces captured three senior al Qaeda in Iraq leaders behind some of the deadliest violence over the past several years. Two of the men were detained during the past two weeks in raids by Task Force 88, the hunter-killer special operations teams assigned to dismantle al Qaeda's networks in Iraq.

The special operations teams captured Salim 'Abdallah Ashur al Shujayri during an operation on Aug. 11. Six days later, Ali Rash Nasir Jiyad al Shammari was captured. The locations of the raids were not disclosed by Multinational Forces-Iraq. Today, Iraqi forces announced the capture of Mahdi Mosleh al Djeheishi.

Shujayri and Shammari are senior al Qaeda in Iraq leaders and have been "assessed to be longtime members" of the group. Both men are Iraqi citizens, a senior US military intelligence official who wishes to remain anonymous told The Long War Journal.]

more @ link..


4:05 PM, August 27, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, at least there are no charges of being in bed with the Joooos. That's when you know it has really gotten ugly.

5:27 PM, August 27, 2008

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1:15 AM, August 28, 2008

Blogger bg said...


U.S. forces arrest senior Iraqi official


[U.S. forces arrested the deputy head of a committee that purged Iraq's government of members of Saddam Hussein's party, an ally said, but the U.S. military said he was a wanted militia leader behind a deadly Baghdad bombing.

U.S. troops detained Ali al-Lami, general manager of a committee established in 2003 and 2004 by then U.S. governor Paul Bremer to remove members of Saddam's Baath party from the government, on Wednesday, the committee's head said on Thursday.


"Coalition forces captured a man suspected of working within the highest echelons of the special groups criminals," spokesman for the U.S. military, Major John Hall, said.

"Intelligence sources have implicated the captured man with multiple criminal acts including bombings and attacks against Iraqi targets -- specifically the June 24 bombing at the Sadr City District Advisory Council."]

pincers seem to be closing, what will Maliki do??


12:39 PM, August 28, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nibras, is your information based on your connections or based or the article? If it is based on the article written by "Dr. Basima" then I think you fell for the lies of the Baathists. This Dr. hates Iraq and she writes her propaganda based on her hate to the new government.

Ali / Iraq

7:54 PM, September 08, 2008

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