The Green Zone Plot and the Baghdad Curfew
Baghdad goes under curfew after a multiple suicide attack plot directed against the Green Zone was uncovered
As the news of a weekend long curfew in Baghdad was announced, Omar from Iraq the Model reported that there are "fierce clashes" in the north and eastern sections of the city. The fighting occurred after "the home of a senior lawmaker from a 'large political bloc' was raided by a joint Iraqi-American force. The identity of the lawmaker was kept secret 'due to the sensitivity of the case.'"
Richard Fernandez looked at the possibility that Sadr and the Madhi Army were the targets of the raid. However the politician in question was "Adnan al-Dulaimi, leader of the Iraqi Consensus Front, the largest bloc of Sunni parties in Iraq, which holds about a sixth of the seats in Parliament," according to the New York Times. A bodyguard of al-Dulaimi was the target of the raid. "American forces detained an Iraqi working for one of Iraq's most prominent Sunni Arab political leaders on Friday on suspicion that the man was helping to plan a multiple-car suicide bombing inside the Green Zone." Guard Khudhir Farhan, who is believed to lead an eight man al-Qeada cell, was arrested.
While the curfew and the raid on al-Dulaimi's compound have not been explicitly linked, the likelihood is they are. The curfew is unprecedented, as both vehicle and foot traffic have been banned. A deadly multiple suicide attack against the Green Zone has serious political ramifications during a heated election season in America.
Raiding the home of the leader of the Sunni's largest political party is not a move taken lightly by the Iraqi government. To demonstrate how lightly the Iraqi and Coalition forces tread in instances such as these, on September 21 Iraqi troops chased a suspected insurgent into a building owned by the National Dialog (or National Consensus). The search ended as "based on the nature of the National Dialogue headquarters, Iraqi Army forces were denied permission to enter the building." The aide must have been of significant value to take this political risk.
In March of 2006, Coalition forces disrupted a sophisticated al Qaeda plot to take over a portion of the Green Zone. Over 400 al Qaeda fighters were to assassinate diplomats, U.S. military officers and Iraqi politicians. In his most recent audiotape, Abu Ayyub al-Masri (or Abu Hamza al-Muhajir) called for the release of of the "Blind Sheikh," Omar Abdul Rahman. "I appeal to every holy warrior in the land of Iraq to exert all efforts in this holy month so that God may enable us to capture some of the Western dogs to swap them with our sheik and get him out of his dark prison,"said al-Masri. The latest plot may be a reincarnation of the failed March plot, with the dual intent of breeching the security of the Green Zone and kidnapping senior Americans as bargaining chips for the Blind Sheikh.