Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Kadimi said on Friday that the suspect in the murder of Hisham Hashmi, a well-known academic and government adviser in Iraq, has been arrested.
Al-Hashemi is an armed group cyber expert with close ties to high-level Iraqi policymakers. Was shot outside his Baghdad home At the beginning of July last year, he was attacked by gunmen on motorcycles.
Iraq’s national television broadcast a short clip of a suspect, 36-year-old police lieutenant Ahmed al-Kenani, who apparently pleaded guilty.Al-Kenani in a brown jumpsuit admits Shoot al-Hashemi with a pistol.
According to surveillance video of the attack broadcast on national television, al-Kenani and three other people rode two motorcycles to the killing.
Friday’s announcement marked the first reported arrest and shocking killings in the country, which has seen a surge in killings by militants in the past year.
“We promise to capture… [the] The killer of al-Hashemi,” al-Kadhimi said on Twitter. “We have fulfilled that promise. “
In the aired confession video, al-Kenani said he was “a lieutenant of the Ministry of Interior”, but an official who asked not to be named told Al Jazeera that the killer was “connected and loyal to Iran.”
We promised to arrest the murderer of Husham Alhashimi. We have fulfilled this promise. We arrested hundreds of criminals-murderers who killed innocent Iraqis like Ahmed Abdul Samad. We do not care about the rotation of the media: we perform our duties, serve the people, and pursue justice.
— Mustafa Kadim July 16, 2021
Hashimi is not only an expert in Sunni armed groups such as the Islamic State (ISIS) operating in Iraq, but also outspokenly opposed to powerful Shiite militants allied with Tehran.
Hashmi’s support for the popular protests that erupted in 2019 has angered the Shia factions supported by Tehran in the Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitary network in Iraq.
Hashid owns the second largest group in the Iraqi parliament and controls a large number of financial assets.
A few weeks before his death, al-Hashemi told his confidante that he was worried that Iranian-supported groups would target him.
Ghanim al-Abed, an Iraqi political analyst, said sources told him that the arrest took place long before the announcement.
“According to the information I received, the arrest occurred a long time ago, after the political party pressured to reveal their identities-on condition that he did not provide details of his connection with Iran or Iran. Hezbollah Brigade,” al-Abed told Al Jazeera.
Raed al-Hamid, an armed group researcher, told Al Jazeera: “I think the government found out that it was forced to declare the murderer more than a year after al-Hashemi was assassinated. But the announcement was not clear and transparent, and it did not provide information about the killing of al-Hashemi. Full details of the group behind.”
Al Hamid said that due to his announcement, the prime minister may be affected.
“What al-Kadhimi did will put him in trouble with the armed groups because al-Kadhimi does not have a security force capable of fighting the militia. He did this only to say that he fulfilled his promise on the day al-Hashemi was killed,” al-Hamid said.
“Best Security Analyst”
Earlier this month, dozens of people gathered in downtown Baghdad to commemorate the 47-year-old Hashmi, holding photographs of researchers and lighting candles. One participant described him as “the best security analyst in Iraq’s history.”
Officials of the Ministry of the Interior who participated in the vigil promised to hold the murderer of Hashmi accountable. But many people doubt the ability of al-Kadhimi to control the armed factions.
The judiciary stated that there was “no evidence” that Kassim Muslih was involved in the murder.
His release dealt a blow to al-Kadhimi’s efforts to fight for the democratic protest movement in Iraq. Since 2019, more than 70 militants have been targeted by assassinations or attempted assassinations.
But on Friday, the prime minister tried to dispel doubts about his government’s ability to pursue hooliganism.
“We arrested hundreds of criminals-murderers who killed innocent Iraqis,” al-Kadhimi added on Twitter. “We don’t care about media rotation. We perform our duties, serve the people, and pursue justice.”
Al-Azhar Ruba Contributed to this report in Basra, Iraq