BAGHDAD: Iraqi mourners and relatives on Tuesday carried the body of a respected analyst shot and killed the previous night in Baghdad after receiving threats from Iran-backed militias. Many Iraqis expressed their shock over the slaying.
Hisham Al-Hashimi, 47, was gunned down on Monday night outside his home in Baghdad’s Zeyouneh neighborhood. His casket, draped in the Iraqi flag, was taken to his family home before being driven to the burial site.
Al-Hashimi, a leading expert on Daesh and other militant organization, was a regular fixture on Iraqi television and his expertise was often sought by government officials, journalists and researchers.
I cant believe it. A strikingly bright mind and a true gentleman, Hisham al-Hashimi, was assassinated today. A major loss and an unforgivable crime. RIP. pic.twitter.com/bK4SGcXAGW
— Fanar Haddad فنر الحداد (@fanarhaddad) July 6, 2020
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the killing, which comes weeks after he confided to close friends that he had received threats from militia groups. The slaying also coincides with a spate of rocket attacks targeting US interests that has been blamed on Iran-backed armed groups.
Authorities launched a raid last week in Baghdad, in which they detained 14 members of the powerful Kataib Hezbollah group, suspected of orchestrating the attacks. All but one detainees were released days later.
Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi said Iraqi security forces would “spare no effort” in pursuing Al-Hashimi’s killers.
Video shows how Iraqi Security Researcher Hisham al-Hashimi was assassinated after retiring home from a nearby TV studio. pic.twitter.com/CUVkFArD6x
— ZaidBenjamin (@ZaidBenjamin5) July 6, 2020
Hours after Al-Hashimi’s killing, authorities fired the top police officer for Zeyouneh and launched an investigation into his activities, according to an order from the prime minister’s office, seen by The Associated Press.
Condemnations from Iraqi officials poured in as shock reverberated across the country at the news of Al-Hashimi’s killing.
Horrifying video of the assassination today of #Iraq security expert Hisham al-Hashimi. Washington Post reports about threats al-Hashimi had received from #Iran-backed militia groups recently. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/nJFuSNXei0
— Jason Brodsky (@JasonMBrodsky) July 6, 2020
Nechirvan Barzani, president of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, said “authorities must find the perpetrators of this terror act and bring them to justice,” in a tweet on Tuesday.