US released Qais Qazali?

Qais and Laith Qazali.

British hostage Peter Moore, who was kidnapped more than two years ago by the Asaib al Haq [League of the Reighteous], the dangerous Iranian-backed offshoot from the Mahdi Army, was released in Baghdad. According to the BBC, the US has in turn released Qais Qazali, the dangerous commander of the Asaib al Haq:

BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner said it appeared “some kind of deal” had been done, though not necessarily involving the British government.

“The main person the abductors wanted back, I’m told, is out of US custody… and handed over to the Iraqis,” he said.

Qais Al-Khazaali had been suspected of involvement in the kidnapping and eventual killing of five US soldiers, Mr Gardner added.

I am currently working to confirm the report of Qais’ release. For more information on Qais Qazali as well as the details on the US release of Qais’ brother Laith and Qods Force commanders detained in Iraq, see LWJ reports “US releases Iraqi Shia terror group leader,”US released senior Iranian Qods Force commander,” and “Iraqi forces detain Iranian Revolutionary Guards operative.”

The move comes as the Iraqi government has clamped down on other Iranian-backed terror groups, including Hezbollah Brigades, the Promised Day Brigade, the Mahdi Army, and the generic ‘Special Groups.’

Update: It is official, my sources say Qais Qazali is now free.

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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  • Tyler says:

    The harsh reality that Iraqis will be taking custody of nearly 100% of prisoners in the coming months. I doubt Qazali, himself an Iraqi citizen, would be any exception. What Iraqis do with them after that is largely their business.

  • Russell says:

    Rule number one of a reporter is to not become part of the story. Ooops.


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