Terrorist in Iraqi Parliament
Jamal Jafaar Mohammed, a terrorist who has been convicted for bombing the U.S. embassy in 1983, now sits in the Iraqi parliament.
A man sentenced to death in Kuwait for the 1983 bombings of the U.S. and French embassies now sits in Iraq’s parliament as a member of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s ruling coalition, according to U.S. military intelligence. Jamal Jafaar Mohammed’s seat in parliament gives him immunity from prosecution. Washington says he supports Shiite insurgents and acts as an Iranian agent in Iraq.
U.S. military intelligence in Iraq has approached al-Maliki’s government with the allegations against Jamal Jafaar Mohammed, whom it says assists Iranian special forces in Iraq as “a conduit for weapons and political influence.”
A U.S. Embassy spokesman said officials are actively pursuing Jamal Jafaar Mohammed’s case with Iraqi officials. Al-Maliki has urged American intelligence officials to share their information with Iraqi lawmakers, who could strip Jamal Jafaar Mohammed of his parliamentary immunity. “We don’t want parliament to be a shelter for outlaws and wanted people,” al-Maliki told CNN. “This is the government’s view, but the parliament is responsible. I don’t think parliament will accept having people like [him] or others currently in the parliament.”
Al-Maliki’s political party, Dawa, claimed responsibility for the Kuwait bombings at the time but now disavows them. The Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim party was forced into exile under former dictator Saddam Hussein, who was executed in December.
It’s not all that unusual for terrorists to wind up in government. Famous examples include Menachem Begin, Nelson Mandela, and Yasir Arafat. In those cases, though, the terrorism was directed at enemies in a quasi-civil war, not at American targets.