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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09BAGHDAD2121 2009-08-06 13:19:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
Cable title:  

PRT DIYALA: BOMBING TARGETS PARTY HQ IN BAQUBAH

Tags:   PGOV PTER KDEM IZ 
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1. (C) Summary: On July 30, a bomb exploded inside the
party headquarters of the National Movement for Reform and
Development (NMRD) in Baqubah, killing seven and wounding
approximately ten party members. NMRD did not win seats in
Diyala during the 2009 Provincial Council (PC) elections,
but did win 2.6 percent of the vote. The party suffered
previous attacks in the run up to the PC elections and
blames the current and previous attacks on rival political
parties. Other sources claim, however, that infighting
among current and former party members could provide a more
likely motive for the bombing. End Summary.


Bombing in Baqubah Targets Political Party


--------------------------





2. (C) Reports vary, but approximately seven individuals
were killed, and ten wounded in the attack. Among those
killed were former party members Lt. Col Tariq and Salam
al-Sumaydi. The party,s current leader in Diyala, Satar
Kitab Qaed al-Sultani, was wounded. Public reports indicate
that the explosion occurred during a meeting of the group,s
members. Local sources report that members routinely
gather to discuss party issues and that this was not a
special meeting.


Background on the National Movement for Reform and Development


--------------------------



--------------------------





3. (C) The National Movement for Reform and Development,
otherwise known as the "The Solution," formed in late 2007
in Anbar Province in response to the growing power of the
Awakening Movement. In cooperation with members of the
al-Salmani tribe, Jamal al-Karbouli (Sunni) took on the
role of party leader and now oversees party offices located
in five provinces: Baghdad, Diyala, Anbar, Salah ah-Din,
and Ninewah. Al-Karbouli was a former deputy director of
the Red Crescent Society and rumors abound that his current
wealth results from fraudulent practices during his tenure
there. NMRD started operations in Diyala during 2008 and
fielded 29 candidates for the 2009 PC elections. NMRD won
2.6 percent of the vote in Diyala, but has no seats on the
PC. (Note: NMRD holds three seats in Anbar province).
NMRD highlights the party,s secular nature and its 2009 PC
candidates were a mixture of Sunni, Shi,a and Kurdish
candidates. Various sources report that the organization
receives support from Baathists, technocrats and military
men. There are also rumors of some party members,
connections to al-Qaeda. Ali Hajee, a local journalist,
asserts that NMRD,s alleged al-Qaeda connections enabled
it, unlike other political parties at the time, to operate
freely in Baqubah in early 2008.


Previous Incidents of Violence Against NMRD


--------------------------





4. (C) There were two previous attacks against the National
Movement for Reform and Development in Diyala. On 20
January an IED detonated in front of the NMRD,s
headquarters wounding several individuals. On January 28,
one of the party,s PC candidates, Abbas Farhan al-Jubbouri
was kidnapped and killed (along with two aides) after a
campaign rally in the Mandali area of Diyala. NMRD blamed
these incidents on rival political parties that wanted to
weaken their growing power.


Who is to Blame?


--------------------------





5. (C) As with the last two incidents, NMRD party members
publicly blame rival Sunni political parties. Multiple
sources indicate, however, that there is strife internal to
the party itself. Kais Chiad Khalaf, a former party member
reported that roughly 50 members left the party in Diyala
Qreported that roughly 50 members left the party in Diyala
after disillusionment with al-Karbouli in the wake of the
January 2009 PC elections. He claims this was brought on
by a statement al-Karbouli made during the elections about
his ability to "buy votes" in Diyala and his subsequent
refusal to participate in press outreach events.
Additional sources, including Deputy PC Chairman Sadiq Ja,
far Abdullah Muhamed (Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq -
ISCI) confirmed there are ongoing disagreements among NMRD
party members. At present, many PC members and local
government contacts have little to say on the incident,
although they generally downplayed the party,s influence in
the province.

BAGHDAD 00002121 002 OF 002





6. (C) Comment: The press characterizes this recent
bombing as an indication of ongoing sectarian strife in
Iraq, and a possible precursor to violence in the run up to
national elections currently scheduled for January 2010.
Nevertheless, while responsibility for the incident remains
unclear, it is plausible the attack was not generated from
rival political parties. Ongoing disagreements among
current and former members suggest that there may have been
motives for the bombing from within the organization
itself, especially since some may have ties with al-Qaeda.
All the same, this recent attack is likely to be
interpreted by the public as a sign of ongoing security
problems in the province that may worsen during the
election season. End comment.
HILL