Iraq PM pays respects to Hisham Al-Hashemi's family, calls him ‘hero’

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Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi visits and offers condolences to the family of the late former government adviser and political analyst Hisham Al-Hashemi in Baghdad, Iraq July 8, 2020. (Reuters)
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Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi visits and offers condolences to the family of the late former government adviser and political analyst Hisham Al-Hashemi, who was killed by gunmen, in Baghdad, Iraq July 8, 2020. Picture taken July 8, 2020. (Reuters)
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Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi visits and offers condolences to the family of the late former government adviser and political analyst Hisham Al-Hashemi, who was killed by gunmen, in Baghdad, Iraq July 8, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 09 July 2020

Iraq PM pays respects to Hisham Al-Hashemi's family, calls him ‘hero’

  • Kadhimi paid his respects to the family, calling Hashemi — a personal friend and adviser — a “hero”
  • “This behavior is not Iraqi. Iraqis don’t kill Iraqis,” he said

BAGHDAD: Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi paid his respects on Wednesday to the family of slain scholar and government adviser Hisham Al-Hashemi, pledging to “avenge” his death.
Hashemi, 47, was a specialist in extremist movements and had developed a vast network of top decision makers, armed groups and rival parties, often mediating among them.
He was shot dead outside his Baghdad home on Monday night by gunmen on motorcycles, leaving behind a wife, three sons and a daughter.
On Wednesday, Kadhimi paid his respects to the family, calling Hashemi — a personal friend and adviser — a “hero.”

“Those afraid of a word can only be described as cowards. Hisham did nothing but try to help Iraqis through his words,” said Kadhimi, hugging the deceased’s tearful three sons Issa, Moussa and Ahmed.
Their names translate in Arabic to Jesus, Moses and another name for the Prophet Muhammad.
The three boys had rushed outside their home on Monday after hearing gunshots and helped neighbors pull their father’s bullet-riddled body from his car.
“This behavior is not Iraqi. Iraqis don’t kill Iraqis,” Kadhimi said.
“I will avenge him, and God willing his killers will not go free. I am your brother, and Issa, Moussa and Ahmed are my children,” the premier told Hashemi’s widow.
“This is my duty and the state’s duty,” he added.
Hashemi was a renowned researcher on Daesh and had more recently become outspoken against rogue armed actors in Iraq.
He was no stranger to intimidation efforts, but those close to him told AFP he had received more serious threats from Iran-backed groups in recent weeks.
Experts have voiced fear that Hashemi’s killing would usher in a dark era in which prominent voices critical of political parties and armed groups would be violently silenced.
Already, there has been no accountability for more than 550 people killed in protest-related violence since October, when mass rallies slammed Iraq’s government as corrupt, inept and beholden to neighboring Iran.
Among them are around two dozen activists who were shot dead, often by masked assailants on motorcycles.


Court testimony claims Turkish general killed after discovering Qatar extremist funding

Updated 04 August 2020

Court testimony claims Turkish general killed after discovering Qatar extremist funding

  • Explosive courtroom transcript says Brig. Gen. Semih Terzi was killed because he knew too much about Turkish general's murky dealings in Syria
  • Turkish officials accused of embezzling money sent from Qatar to arm Syrian militants

LONDON: A Turkish general killed during a failed coup was executed after he found out Qatar was funneling money to extremist groups in Syria through Turkey, according to explosive courtroom claims.

Brig. Gen. Semih Terzi was shot dead in July 2016 during an attempt by some military officers to overthrow the government of Recip Tayyip Erdogan. The alleged plotters were accused of being followers of the exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen.

According to a courtroom transcript obtained by the anti-Erdogan Nordic Monitor website, Terzi’s killing was ordered by Lt. Gen. Zekai Aksakalli, the then head of Turkey’s Special Forces Command.

The website claims the testimony came from Col. Firat Alakus, who worked in the intelligence section of the Special Forces Command, during a hearing at the 17th High Criminal Court in Ankara in March, 2019.

Alakus said Terzi had discovered that Aksakalli was working secretly with the Turkish intelligence agency (MIT) in running illegal operations in Syria for personal gain.

“[Terzi] knew how much of the funding delivered [to Turkey] by Qatar for the purpose of purchasing weapons and ammunition for the opposition was actually used for that and how much of it was actually used by public officials, how much was embezzled,” Alakus said. 

He added that Terzi’s knowledge of Aksakalli’s murky dealings was the real reason Aksakalli ordered his execution.

Terzi was killed after Aksakalli ordered him back to Ankara from a border province as the failed coup attempt unfolded, Alakus said.

Other accounts say Terzi was one of the main coup plotters and was killed leading an attempt to capture the special forces headquarters in the capital.

Along with the Qatari claim, Alakus said Terzi also knew the details of Turkey’s involvement in oil smuggling from Syria and how government officials aided extremist militant commanders.

He also objected to Turkish intelligence supplying weapons and training to extremist Syrian factions who were passed off as moderate opposition fighters.

“[Terzi’s murder] had to do with a trap devised by Zekai Aksakalli, who did not want such facts to come out into the open,” Alakus said.

Alakus was jailed for life in June 2019 after being convicted for taking part in the coup.