Iraq issues ‘most wanted’ terror list

Iraq issues ‘most wanted’ terror list
An Iraqi man looks at a list of names published for the first time by the Iraqi security services of the country's sixty most wanted people including members from Daesh, Al-Qaeda and the former Baath party. (AFP)
Updated 04 February 2018

Iraq issues ‘most wanted’ terror list

Iraq issues ‘most wanted’ terror list

BAGHDAD: Iraqi security authorities have revealed a “most wanted” list of people involved in terrorism in the country over the the past 14 years.
The list seen by Arab News on Sunday includes about 60 names, mostly of senior aides of the former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, his family members and top Daesh and Al-Qaeda leaders.
Among the most prominent names are Saddam’s daughter, Raghad Saddam Hussien, and his nephews, Omar and Ayman Saba’awi, and Ahmed Wattban Ibrahim Al-Hassan. Saddam’s cousin, Rafei’a Abdulatief Telfah, is also included.
While some of the names are already on a US wanted list for 55 Saddam-era officials, the Iraqi list provides allegations that show how far leaders from the banned Ba’ath Party have been involved with militant groups operating in Iraq since the 2003 downfall of Saddam’s regime.
The Iraqi list links the Ba’ath officials to the Army of Muhammad, the Naqshbandi Army, the Army of Mujahideen, Al-AUssra Army, Al-Qaeda and Daesh.
The lists also included the names of many Ba’athist leaders who managed to maintain and run the party’s work after the fall of Saddam in 2003 from outside Iraq. The leaders set up fixed and mobile cells in Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Jordan and Qatar, while others have been commanding armed groups fighting inside Iraq.
A senior Iraqi intelligence official told Arab News that the names on the list are the “leaders of the terrorism organizations” and “all who run terrorism in Iraq.”
“We sent copies of these lists to Interpol and the UN.”
Iraq has faced serious security problems since 2003 when a the US-led an international military coalition invasion of Iraq and toppled Saddam.
Dozens of radical armed groups were raised specifically in the Sunni areas in the north and western parts of the country in addition to Baghdad.
Daesh, which seized almost a third of Iraqi territory in the summer of 2014, had its roots in these groups.
The wanted list details accusations against senior Ba’athists and Saddam family members over their involvement in the militant groups. They include incitement, mobilization, financing and leadership.
Accusations against a second level of Ba’athists said they were involved directly in terrorist activities, such as planting IEDs, launching rockets, running armed cells and providing facilities for armed groups to operate.
There has been previous evidence that the Ba’ath party had been deeply involved in aiding militant extremist groups in Iraq since 2003.
Ezzat Al-Douri, Saddam’s top aide, who replaced him as Ba’ath party leader, formed the Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Order, which fought alongside Daesh in Mosul in 2014.
An eight month investigation by the Parliamentary Committee of Security and Defense in 2015 found that Daesh could not have succeeded in taking Iraq’s second most populous city, without the help of local officials — mainly former Ba’athists and former army officers loyal to Saddam.