NewsSpecial WireProfile: Iraq’s feared Shiite militia chief

Profile: Iraq’s feared Shiite militia chief

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Iran Focus: London, Nov. 15 – This is the face of the man that heads one of the most feared groups in Iraq, the Badr Organisation.
Iran Focus has learnt from reliable sources that one of Iraq’s most notorious armed-militia leaders is working in close connection with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. Iran Focus

London, Nov. 15 – This is the face of the man that heads one of the most feared groups in Iraq, the Badr Organisation.

Iran Focus has learnt from reliable sources that one of Iraq’s most notorious armed-militia leaders is working in close connection with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

Hadi Farhan Abdullah al-Ameri (alias Abu Hassan al-Ameri) was born in 1954 in Iraq’s key eastern province of Diyala. The relatively short, dark-skinned al-Ameri graduated from Baghdad University in economic management and married a Kurdish emigrant woman in neighbouring Iran’s western Ilam Province.

Al-Ameri was one of the first people to join the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI).

SCIRI’s ties to Iran date back to 1982, when it was founded in Tehran on the orders of then-Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Iran’s current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was tasked with writing the council’s manifesto and the group’s primary goal was to spread Iran’s Islamic revolution to Iraq.

Iran’s Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi was the group’s chairman for several years after its founding while Mohammed Baqer al-Hakim was appointed as the group’s spokesman. Mohammed Baqer al-Hakim, the elder brother of current SCIRI chief Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, died in a deadly bomb blast in August 2003 in the Iraqi city of Najaf.

In 1988, after the ceasefire in the Iran-Iraq war, al-Ameri was appointed as an intelligence officer in SCIRI’s military wing, the Badr Brigade, and quickly rose through the ranks to become the group’s operational commander, working closely with the high command of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

In 2002, Mohammed Baqer al-Hakim appointed him Commander of the Badr Brigade, later named Badr Organisation.

Since then, al-Ameri has been in close contact with high-ranking officers of the IRGC Qods Force, including the elite force’s commander Qassem Soleimani. The Qods Force is tasked with exporting Iran’s Islamic revolution to “Jerusalem, via Baghdad”.

Iran Focus has learnt that the Badr Organisation chief has been receiving a regular salary from the Qods Force through Sepah Bank, which is run exclusively by the IRGC.

Since the United States invasion of Iraq and the Badr Organisation’s relocation to Iraq, al-Ameri has frequently travelled to Iranian cities to meet with top IRGC commanders in charge of fomenting unrest among Iraq’s ethnically-divided population.

He currently has a seat in Iraq’s National Assembly and heads the assembly’s Defence and Security Committee.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry is widely believed to be under the control of the Badr Organisation and its political face SCIRI.

Last November, U.S. forces raided a secret Baghdad detention centre run by the ministry, where more than 150 mainly-Sunni prisoners were being tortured.

Since then, dozens of similar torture centres have sprung up, prompting an effort by U.S. officials to force both Iraqi administrations under ex-Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and current Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to reshuffle the cabinet and disarm militias which are the primary source of sectarian violence.

The Shiite Badr militia is also believed to be behind many of the kidnappings and execution-style killings of ordinary Iraqis and political figures opposed to the establishment of a government based on Iran’s theocratic model.

A rival group also believed to be behind much of the bloodshed in Iraq is the Mahdi Army led by the firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

U.S. officials charge that Tehran is arming and funding the al-Sadr militia.

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