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Mithal al-Alusi - an Iraqi Hero?

Reader comment on item: Pipes criticises Middle East leaders

Submitted by Dorothy Kushner (Israel), Feb 17, 2005 at 13:30

What can the US and Israel do to protect the Iraqi stateman Mithal al-Alusi (see article, translated from German, below)? By attending an anti-terrorism conference in Israel this past September, he took a great risk, and is extremely vulnerable now.

Dorothy Kushner
Tel Aviv


... on Tuesday [February 15, 2005], armed men ambushed the convoy of an Iraqi politician in western Baghdad, killing two of his sons, police said.

They said Mithal al-Alusi, secretary-general of the Democratic Party of the Iraqi Nation, had survived the attack.

Two of his sons were killed, al-Alusi said.

"Yes, my two sons died and my bodyguard as well. It was a gunfire attack on my car near my house in Baghdad," said the 52-year-old politician.

His sons were aged 22 and 30, one of them a father of three. The bodyguard was a father of four, al-Alusi said.

Al-Alusi was waiting for his car when the armed men opened fire on the vehicle. "I was the target of the attack, there is no doubt."

Ties with Israel

"There are people who every day in the name of Islam or of the Baath party, kill those who want a free Iraq," he said.

Al-Alusi had been an adviser for Shia politician Ahmad Chalabi. He caused a stir when he voiced his support for a normalisation of ties with Israel.

After he became the first Iraqi politician to visit the Jewish state, al-Alusi and Democratic Party of the Iraqi Nation were expelled from Chalabi's political Iraqi National Congress.

Al-Alusi is a controversial figure in Iraq: he has been a vocal critic of Syria and Iran, and was widely criticised in Iraq for visiting Israel last year.

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Daniel Pipes replies:

I discuss Mithal al-Alusi at http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/347.


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