Ali Fadhil Arrested
I'm not quite sure what to make of this:
Is that the same Dr. Ali Fadhil who we know from his blog?
Wednesday January 11, 2006
Last weekend an American special task force unit raided my house. It was precisely the kind of terrifying experience I have had described to me over and over again by Iraqis I have interviewed in the past two-and-a-half years. My wife, Zina, described it as like something out of a Hollywood action movie.
It began at half past midnight on Saturday when explosives blew apart the three entrances to my house. We thought we had been caught in a bombing, but then a rifle sneaked round our bedroom door and shot a couple of bullets blindly; suddenly our room was filled with the wild sounds of US soldiers.
My three-year-old daughter Sarah woke to this nightmare. She pushed herself on to me and shouted "Daddy, Americans! They will take you! No, no, not like this daddy ..." She tried to say something to one of the soldiers but her tears stopped her from speaking. Instead of blaming the soldier I could see she was blaming me. I tried to calm her down but as I did so the soldier threw me on to the ground and tied me.
They then took me downstairs and made me sit in the living room while they smashed every piece of furniture we have. There were about 20 soldiers inside the house and several others on guard on the roof. A blue-eyed captain came to me holding my Handycam camcorder and questioned me aggressively: "Can you explain to me why you have this footage?"
Another news article news article has a sinister connotation behind this:
Dr Fadhil is working with Guardian Films on an investigation for Channel 4's Dispatches programme into claims that tens of millions of dollars worth of Iraqi funds held by the Americans and British have been misused or misappropriated.Now this gets interesting. I wonder if one of the officials behind this "misuse" and "misappropriation" got wind of Ali Fadhil's investigation and decided to call in an anonymous tip, telling the authorities they could find a terrorist at Ali's address, knowing the US forces would go raid his house. Someone's going to have some explaining to do...
The troops told Dr Fadhil that they were looking for an Iraqi insurgent and seized video tapes he had shot for the programme. These have not yet been returned.
The director of the film, Callum Macrae, said yesterday: "The timing and nature of this raid is extremely disturbing. It is only a few days since we first approached the US authorities and told them Ali was doing this investigation, and asked them then to grant him an interview about our findings.
Update: January 11, 2005
The Guardian posted an audio file from Ali Fadhil, explaining what happened. Here is a link if you would like to download it for yourself.
Some highlights from the audio file:
- While the soldiers were raiding Ali's house, they showed him a picture of a woman with glasses, an "American reporter" who sounds like Jill Carroll. Apparently, the soldiers had received a tip that Jill Carroll (the topic of my last post) was being held captive in Ali's house.
- After raiding his house, the soldiers took Ali to the Green Zone for interrogation, where they told him they had the wrong address and apologized to him.
- They gave Ali $1000 as compensation for the damage to his house, and $500 as compensation for the time he spent in captivity in the Green Zone. According to Ali, the damage to his house was far more than this amount, since they smashed most of his furniture.
- The only thing that was missing from Ali's house was a videotape, which was only a copy of a news report he was working on (the original is in London).
- Ali's 3 year old daughter is "traumatized" and jumps at any loud noises now.
Update 2: January 11, 2005
The mystery gets deeper, here are two blog comments:
There are at least two Ali Fadhil's in Iraq. One is a brother of (deleted). The other is a reporter. I remember last year there was a radio report from Ali Fadhil broadcast on NPR in the USA. I checked with Ali Fadhil, and he said, "It was not me."Thus, I think it is not our Ali Fadhil. This Ali Fadhil apparently is very close with the insurgents, and perhaps his cell phone number was found in the possession of terrorists.Original Jeff Email Homepage
There are at least two Ali Fadhil's in Iraq. One is a brother of (deleted). The other is a reporter. I remember last year there was a radio report from Ali Fadhil broadcast on NPR in the USA. I checked with Ali Fadhil, and he said, "It was not me."Thus, I think it is not our Ali Fadhil. This Ali Fadhil apparently is very close with the insurgents, and perhaps his cell phone number was found in the possession of terrorists.I realize it's not the most uncommon name in Iraq. The Guardian report suggests that they are the same person, and it identifies him as a doctor, which is also true of Ali from (deleted).DaveDave Nalle
How many doctors named Ali Fadhil live in Baghdad? And, is the one who had his house smashed up the same one we know from his blog? I would really love to know the answer...