US detains 7 League of the Righteous operatives in Iraq

Coalition forces captured seven members of a little-known Shia terror group during raids in Baghdad and Muthanna over the past two days. The League of the Righteous (Asaib al Haq) is an Iranian-backed group that broke off from the Mahdi Army after Sadr declared a partial cease-fire and ordered most of the militia to transform into a civic organization.

Two members of the League of the Righteous were captured today in Ar Rumaythah in Muthanna province. Coalition special operations forces received intelligence on the location of the two operatives. A Dragunov sniper rifle was found at the scene.

Today’s raid follows a successful operation against the League of the Righteous in the Adhamiyah district of Baghdad on Aug. 31. Coalition forces captured five suspected operatives, including a senior leader described by Multinational Forces-Iraq as a “logistician and financial manager” as well as a smuggler. The man is thought to be associated with group’s senior commander.

Nine members of the League of the Righteous have been captured since the US military identified the group on Aug. 19. Coalition forces captured a senior leader in Diyala province who was working to reactivate terror cells in the region.

The Shia group “receives funding, training, weapons and even direction from the Qods Force,” Multinational Forces-Iraq told The Long War Journal on Aug. 20. The group conducts attacks with the deadly, armor-piercing explosively formed projectiles, or EFPs.

The US military would not speculate on the size of the group, but hundreds of members of the group were killed, captured, or fled to Iran during the Iraqi government offensive against the Mahdi Army from March to July of this year.

For more information on the League of the Righteous and its connections to Iran’s Qods Force, see New Special Groups splinter emerges on Iraqi scene.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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