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Cablegate: Karbala Police Chief Target of Jaysh Al-Mahdi

VZCZCXRO2067
PP RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHKUK
DE RUEHIHL #0112 2061407
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P R 251407Z JUL 07
FM REO HILLAH
TO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
INFO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0921
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEHIHL/REO HILLAH 0983

UNCLAS HILLAH 000112

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV ASEC PINR PTER
SUBJECT: KARBALA POLICE CHIEF TARGET OF JAYSH AL-MAHDI

1.(U) This is a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Karbala
sensitive but unclassified cable.

2.(SBU) On July 25 at approximately 8 a.m. PRT Karbala received
reports that the Karbala Police Chief, BG Ra'id Shakir Jawdat's
convoy was struck by an IED when it was traveling from his home
in al-Hindiyah to Karbala city. The IED exploded in the
Babtwareej area of Karbala city killing members of the Police
Chief's protective detail in an area reported by locally engaged
staff to be a Jaysh al-Mahdi strong hold. Only a few hours
before the Provincial Council of Karbala voted to remove the
Police Chief. BG Ra'id claims to be preventing militia
activity, reducing the militia presence in the police force,
limiting Provincial Council influence on police hiring practices
and reducing the size of security details assigned to Provincial
Council members. Any of these reasons is cause enough to incite
the Provincial Council to remove him from his position.

3.(SBU) Reportedly, leading the effort to remove BG Raid Shakir
Jawdat from the police chief position is Hamid Ganoosh Jasim the
number two Jaysh al-Mahdi leader, Provincial Council (PC) member
and head of the PC Committee on Municipalities. At this time it
remains unclear if the central government has been officially
notified about his removal. CPA 71 requires that the Provincial
Council Chairman (PCC) sign the removal order before it can be
delivered to the Ministry of Interior and the Prime Minister.
The PCC, rumored to be Sadrist leaning and a fierce independent,
is most likely caught between pressures from the Sadrist PC
member Hamid Ganoosh Jasim and the knowledge that it is unlikely
that the removal order will be approved by the central
government. BG Ra'id Shakir Jawdat moved to Karbala with MG
Mohammed in October of 2006 to serve as the Deputy Police Chief.
Following the April 2007 dual car bombs in the city the former
Police Chief was reassigned elsewhere. With the blessing of
the Prime Minister BG Ra'id was promoted and installed as the
Karbala Chief. Locally engaged staff report that the previous
Police Chief faced similar threats and pressures by the
Provincial Council when he attempted to implement regulations
similar to BG Ra'id's changes.

REED

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