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.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War, Terrorism, , , , , , , ,
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. Mark says:

    You left out Hamas. An entire terrorist organization ends up being THE government…

  2. whatever says:

    There is documented evidence that Arafat directed terrorism not only against American interests, but directly at Americans in the Middle East.

  3. madmatt says:

    What makes you think the US and its citizens should be off limits when they are in the middle east….we beat up muslims here in the US on a regular basis, how is that any different?

  4. legion says:

    Obviously, Iraq is in need of a regime change…

  5. If you have a true democracy, there will be some people who have past associations that you think shouldn’t be elected but are.

    I mean, imagine if some one from one of the US homegrown terrorist organizations such as the KKK, got elected to the US senate. That’s part of democracy. You may not agree with the choice the voters made, but you have to agree to the social contract that lets them make the choice.

  6. Segway says:

    Al-Maliki won’t do anything because it’s not in his interest to move against an anti-American terrorist from 20 years ago.

    Is this an act of incredible cruelty and injustice? Maybe. But it doesn’t matter. The prime minister is so far backed into a corner that he has no clear way out. The US army isn’t going anywhere and he knows this so he doesn’t have to kiss up to us. He has to kiss up to the Shiite terrorist which are allowing him to live every day.

    Oh, and it gets much, MUCH worse.

    He has repeatedly stated that he hates this job, doesn’t want it, never wanted it, and is serving out his time. And this is our best ally in this fight.

    Britain will be withdrawing their troops from the Southern region of Iraq in 1-2 years. At which point, American forces will have to take over a whole other region of the nation or let it be overrun by Iranian agents. Southern Iraq is probably already riddled with Iranian paramilitary forces and spies.

    The Kurds -promoted by Israel- will very quietly begin to separate themselves in the North and continue to push non-Kurds out of Kirkuk. Meanwhile their army will continue to lay mines and plan for a possible war from Turkey.

    Saudi Arabia will back the Sunni militias who will be fighting for a port and some oil (according to the current partition plans they have neither).

    As the situation deteriorates, refuge camps will begin forming along the Syrian border and even around the outskirts of Baghdad. These refuge camps will become recruiting grounds for militias, which will be the only force of law in the country.

    Eventually Iraq will become one big collection of refuge camps with a lot of violent, poor and angry people with weapons.


  7. Unfortunately, yetanotherjohn is right. Democracy can only work when it’s uncertain who will win. That doesn’t make this situation suck any less, though.

  8. Dan says:

    Is this what “freedom on the march” means?

    Well played Georgie…well played.

  9. Mark says:

    I mean, imagine if some one from one of the US homegrown terrorist organizations such as the KKK, got elected to the US senate.

    A gratuitous Robert Byrd reference! I love it!

  10. Roderick says:

    This should give you wingers who want our troops to stay indefinitely an idea of what the Iraqis think of us and our representatives.

  11. iaintbacchus says:

    Let’s not forget Gerry Adams, Burtie Ahearn and Bobby Sands, who was an elected MP when he died on H-block.
    Some people become “terrorists” because they have a grievance they can’t address any other way. Not because they’re sociopaths. Many or those eventually end up in politics.

  12. legion says:

    But does that make them any less dangerous? Going into politics as a single-issue candidate with an eye for making major changes is a recipe for frustration on a cosmic scale… While I applaud Mohammed’s apparent shift to working within the system, it’s still highly troubling that a man with such a history can gather the votes to be elected.

    That said, it _is_ just the sort of theocracy-flavored democracy (or is that the other way round?) that most people expected to rise in the absence of Saddam…

  13. jay k. says:

    in your list of terrorists in government you forgot two names…george and dick. they have used fear to political ends correct?

  14. Andy says:

    You mention Menachem Begin, but many of his group’s most notorious acts of terrorism were directed against the British, not the Arabs. It was Begin’s Irgun that blew up the King David Hotel in 1946 (91 dead) and that kidnapped and hanged two British sergeants in 1947.

  15. Jacob says:

    Weren’t some of Menachem Begin’s terrorist activities aimed against the British?