Iraq arrests 'Emirati infiltrators cell' amid mass protests

Iraq arrests 'Emirati infiltrators cell' amid mass protests
A group linked to the UAE security chief and ex-Palestinian strongman Dahlan is reportedly under arrest in Iraq after infiltrating protests in an attempt to destabilise the government.
2 min read
03 November, 2019
The UAE's National Security Advisor Tahnoun bin Zayed is allegedly tied to the group [Getty]
A cell linked to the Emirati security service has been arrested in Iraq on suspicion of infiltrating the ongoing anti-government protest movement, according to local media.

The cell has been carrying out activities aimed at destabilising the Iraqi state, although its specific actions have not been made public, nor have Iraq’s authorities confirmed the arrests.

The group, whose members are allegedly Lebanese, is also directly linked to the United Arab Emirates’ National Security Advisor Tahnoun bin Zayed, claimed independent radio station, Voice of Iraq.

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The most senior member is reportedly an advisor to the Shia Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) paramilitary group, who are accused of committing atrocities in Iraq while battling the Islamic State (IS) group in recent years.

The member in question is also tied to Mohammed Dahlan, a former Palestinian strongman and head of security for the Palestinian Authority.

Local Iraqi media have reported that the brother of Abu Dhabi’s crown prince is in talks with Iraqi authorities via a Western power to “resolve” the issue.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia are known to pay foreign mercenaries give support to proxies in various neighbouring conflicts in order to assert influence in the region.

Although Iraq’s month-long protest movement is rooted mainly in popular activism rallying against corruption and unemployment, some foreign interference has been suspected.

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Iraqi security sources have confirmed that pro-Iran Shia militias, including member of the PMF, have been actively involved in the killing of peaceful protesters.

Iran’s leadership has also been lambasted by many observers for calling the protest movement - much of it also rallying against Iranian meddling in Iraqi politics - a US, Saudi and Israeli plot.

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