wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09BAGHDAD3137 2009-12-03 13:07:00 SECRET Embassy Baghdad
Cable title:  

SADRIST TREND LEADER DISCUSSES POLITICAL, SECURITY

Tags:   PREL PGOV IR IZ 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO6402
RR RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHDIR RUEHIHL RUEHKUK RUEHTRO
DE RUEHGB #3137/01 3371307
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 031307Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5621
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
					  S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 003137 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/03/2019
TAGS: PREL PGOV IR IZ
SUBJECT: SADRIST TREND LEADER DISCUSSES POLITICAL, SECURITY
SITUATION IN WASIT

Classified By: John Underriner, A/OPA Director, for reasons 1 (b) and (
d)



1. (U) This is a PRT Wasit reporting cable.



2. (S) SUMMARY: PRTOff met with Sadrist Trend leader Achmed
Hussein Aberah on November 24 in al-Kut. Aberah, the primary
organizer of the Sadrist Trend primary election in Wasit,
described the high-turnout and "transparency" of the
election, crediting Moqtada al-Sadr for the concept and
general plan. Approximately 30,000 people had participated,
including many independents, he claimed. He decried the Nov.
22 sniper attack on a Wasit PRT mission which killed an
American soldier and said the Sadrist political movement had
little control of or influence over Jaysh Al Madhi (JAM)
cells likely responsible. Aberah opined that the dismissal
of former police chief Ra'ad Shakir Jawdat had led to a
deterioration of security in Wasit. Finally, he suggested
the possibility of Iraqi Police (IP) complicity in the attack
since US military movements are coordinated with IP
counterparts. END SUMMARY.

FRANK TALK ABOUT SADRISTS IN WASIT


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





3. (C) PRTOff met with Achmed Hussein Aberah on Nov. 24 in
al-Kut. Aberah is an activist in Wasit's Sadrist Trend
Party and was responsible for organizing the recent Sadrist
primary election in the governorate. He was at pains to
emphasize that the meeting with PRTOff did not constitute
"engagement" with coalition forces, but spoke frankly about
Sadrist politics, the PRT's mission, and threats to coalition
forces. Aberah credited Moqtada al-Sadr with the idea for
the primary election. He said that Moqtada had urged that
the process be as transparent as possible, and that the
Sadrist leader wanted "fresh voices" to join the Sadrist
leadership in order to strengthen the political movement.
The Sadrists had expected 2,000 to 3,000 people to vote in
the primaries, but approximately 30,000 had participated
across Wasit, Aberah claimed. Any registered voter was
eligible to participate, and Aberah believed a significant
number of primary voters were not active Sadrists, but
interested "independents," a boon for the Sadrist Trend
movement. Aberah provided a list of candidates for the
Council of Representatives (CoR) selected through the primary
and said they would appear on the party list in the same
order they were chosen by voters (controlled for adequate
female representation). He also made positive remarks about
Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) assistance with
the primary.

MEETING FOLLOWED DEATH OF US SOLDIER


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





4. (S) The meeting with Aberah occurred two days after a PRT
mission in an-Numaniyah was attacked by a sniper, resulting
in the death of a U.S. soldier assigned to the PRT's movement
protection. Aberah was unaware of the incident. When asked
who was responsible for the attack and why coalition forces
in general, and the PRT in particular, had again become
targets after a period of relative quiet, he suggested
certain militia elements were becoming active again in an
attempt to affect the elections. He claimed Moqtada al-Sadr
did not approve of such attacks. Aberah said that it was
understood within the Sadrist ranks that the PRT was
"neutral", and engaged in reconstruction and humanitarian
work; hence he was willing to meet with Wasit PRT. However,
he suggested weak discipline in militia ranks and an
inability of the political wing to control certain JAM
fighters.

SADRIST TREND ACTIVIST: "DETERIORATION OF SECURITY"


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



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


Q

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



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





5. (S) Pressed further, Aberah posed a question to PRTOff:
who knew about the PRT's movements and appointments on the
day in question? Aberah opined that the precision attack was
not random or opportunistic, but probably an arranged hit.
He then went on to say that in the wake of Provincial
Director of Police General Ra'ad Shakir Jawdat's dismissal,
security in the province had deteriorated. He said that
Ra'ad had a "personal" intelligence network that functioned
well and broke up insurgent cells before attacks occurred,
Aberah asserted. The "official" intel service was less
competent and compromised. There were insufficient IP assets
dedicated to Numaniyah, and IP discipline was more lax than
under Ra'ad. Aberah said that coalition forces should press
these points with provincial officials if they wished to
prevent further attacks. For his part, he expressed regret
for the incident and said that the Sadrist Trend political
movement would be "saddened and disappointed" by another

BAGHDAD 00003137 002 OF 002


violent attack. PRTOff urged Aberah to emphasize the nature
of the PRT's mission throughout the Sadrist ranks, and said
that the tragedy's ultimate losers were the people of
Numaniyah who might find themselves without PRT assistance
because of JAM violence.

COMMENT: IP ROLE IN SHOOTING?


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





6. (S) The implication of Aberah's rhetorical question and
surprising comments about Ra'ad were that the IP may have
passed information on PRT movements to JAM. (NOTE: The IP
escort scheduled for this movement did not show up. RSO is
investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident to
ascertain whether sensitive information was provided to
individuals who may have facilitated the attack. END NOTE)
Ra'ad was a thorn in JAM's side during his tenure in Wasit
and was unpopular within the IP ranks for purging incompetent
or possibly compromised personnel. Aberah was also trying to
make a clear distinction between the movement's political
wing and the militias. He appeared concerned that the attack
might alter the posture of coalition forces in the area and
possibly, in conjunction with other attacks and electoral
uncertainty, alter the U.S. withdrawal timeline.
FORD