Iraq and Gulf Analysis

The Arrest of Ali Faysal al-Lami

Posted by Reidar Visser on Friday, 29 August 2008 0:00

There are problems concerning the portrayal in some media sources of Ali al-Lami – the de-Baathification director captured recently by US forces on suspicion of pro-Iranian activities – as a straightforward “Sadrist”. Lami, whose name suggests a link with the Bani Lam tribe of Maysan in the far south, has a long history of association with Ahmad Chalabi and Abd al-Karim al-Muhammadawi who back in 2005 participated in a party called the “Shiite council” – one of the first Iraqi parties to use Shiite sectarian identity in such an explicit way in its name. Jawad al-Bulani, the current ministry of interior, at one point also belonged to this circle.

There are many other individuals in the United Iraqi Alliance who since 2005 have floated between several camps – they include figures like Sami al-Askari and Jabir Habib Jabir. It seems inconceivable that Lami should have been able to hold on to his current position for so long time unless the Maliki regime saw certain advantages in having him there.

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