Unconventional thinking about the Middle East.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Maliki on al-Baghdadi

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki insisted in an interview today that the man arrested last Thursday in Baghdad, identified as "Ahmad al-Majma'i" (full name: Ahmad 'Abid Ahmad Khamees al-Majma'i, as reported here first), is indeed Abu Omar al-Baghdadi.

He claims that the arrested man was positively identified by another captured jihadist who had directly pledged allegiance to al-Baghdadi.

Maliki is touting the two-month operation as a wholly Iraqi one, but this carries the political risk of baseless grandstanding if its turns out that the arrested man in not al-Baghdadi. Maliki's political opponents have already claimed that the PM is trying to inflate the al-Baghdadi capture to demonstrate that he still has a firm handle on the security situation following the most recent spate of bombings.

Personally, I'm still skeptical of the claim. I would wait to see what 'official' response comes from the Islamic State of Iraq's media outfits, which have remained silent so far. But silence is not an indication in and of itself, since in recent months the ISI's statements have considerably lagged behind the actual events.


Blogger Editor said...

If true, this is an excellent nab. You're right that it could be considered grandstanding.

4:48 PM, April 27, 2009

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