Amerikanerne tror det var en utbrytergruppe fra den shia-muslimske Mahdi-hæren som sto bak selvmordsbomben i Bagdad igår som kostet 63 mennesker livet. Hensikten skal ha vært å utløse ny strid mellom shiaer og sunnier.

Utbrytergruppene fra Mahdi-militsen skal være under iransk innflytelse. Det sies at de mottar penger og trening fra Teheran.

Army Lt. Col. Steven Stover, a military spokesman in Baghdad, said the Americans believed the bombing was orchestrated by fighters under the command of Haydar Mehdi Khadum Fawadi. They said Fawadi’s group had seized homes that belong to displaced Sunnis and rented them out to Shiite families. Thousands of Sunnis fled Hurriya beginning in November 2006 at the height of Baghdad’s civil war.

«We believe he [Fawadi] ordered the attack to incite violence against Sunnis; that his intent was to disrupt Sunni resettlement in Hurriya in order to maintain extortion of real estate rental income to support his nefarious activities,» Stover said. «He killed Iraqi civilians and attempted to incite retaliatory bloodshed.»

To personer

Det er en viss forvirring med hensyn til Fawadi. Amerikanerne mener han bruker to navn, mens irakerne sier det er to forskjellige personer.

However, there was some confusion about Fawadi’s identity. The military’s wanted poster indicated that Fawadi also goes by the name Haidar Khadum Majidi. An Iraqi security officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Wednesday that Fawadi and Majidi are two different people. According to the officer, Fawadi reports to Majidi.

The activities of their fighters had been reduced over the last year because of the U.S. military buildup in Baghdad. A Shiite paramilitary group recruited to guard Hurriya has in part offset their influence. Even so, the officer said, Majidi toured the neighborhood last week in a convoy flanked by motorcycles as a reminder of his fighters’ strength.

With the rise of Al Qaeda in Iraq after 2003, Majidi, a former vegetable seller, positioned himself as a defender of the Shiites, vowing to kill two Sunni families in revenge for every Shiite family slain, the officer said. Majidi and Fawadi carried out attacks, killing Iraqis and bombing U.S. soldiers, the officer said.

Shiite behind Iraq bombing, U.S. says

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