Iraqis Uncover Terrorist Plot Targetting Saddam Trial

The Iraqi government has thwarted a terrorist plot against Saddam Hussein’s trial and that an assassination attempt against former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi failed.

Plot to Rocket Saddam Trial Uncovered (AP)

Iraq’s national security adviser said Sunday that authorities uncovered a plot by a Sunni Arab insurgent group to fire rockets at the court building where Saddam Hussein’s trial resumes this week. A statement released by Mouwaffak al-Rubaie’s office said a group called the 1920 Revolution Brigades planned to attack the building during Monday’s court session. The statement said Iraqi intelligence uncovered the plot but gave no further details and did not say whether anyone had been arrested. Saddam and seven co-defendants are on trial for the 1982 killing of more than 140 Shiite Muslims in the town of Dujail following an assassination attempt against him there. The defendants face the death penalty if convicted.

Also Sunday, former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi said he survived an assassination attempt as a group of about 60 men armed with pistols, knives and swords tried to attack him while he prayed in a Shiite holy city in southern Iraq. Allawi, a secular Shiite, said the group wore black uniforms and were chanting slogans against him as they moved toward his delegation at the Shrine of Imam Ali in Najaf. Footage shown on television stations showed Allawi running from the shrine as shoes and stones were thrown at him. Allawi said at least seven bullets were fired from the crowd. “They were planning to kill the whole delegation, or at least me,” Allawi told reporters shortly after he arrived back in Baghdad. “One of them took out his pistol, but he panicked and it fell from his hand.”

Continued targetting of the legitimate institutions of the burgeoning Iraqi democracy would seem to be counterproductive. I at least understand the murder of American troops as furthering the jihadist cause. Hitting Iraqi-controlled courts and elected leaders, however, has no tactical value.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Russ says:

    No tactical value, but certainly a strategic value, if the enemy deem those targets to be tools of the U.S. — a proposition which would seem to be “rational,” considering that anything not contributing to the establishment of either a Caliphate or a new Baathist state (depending on which terrorist faction is meant) is by definition their enemy.

  2. Anderson says:

    Well, 9/11 didn’t make any tactical sense either.

    Terrorism, by definition, aims at terror. It’s said that under Stalin, the secret police would deliberately arrest the innocent, so that no one could feel safe.

    We have muddled terms by treating enemy attacks on our troops as “terrorism.” Guerillla warfare isn’t terrorism, though it may feel that way to its victims.

    Similarly, attacks on Westernized institutions are appropriate for some of our enemies, as Russ points out.