The Qayis al-Khazali papers – AEI – American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise31st August 2018
Qayis al-Khazali rose to prominence amongst Iraqi Shia during his religious training in the Hawza (the theological seminaries) of Najaf. He was a devoted student of Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, the father of Muqtada al-Sadr, until Muhammad Sadiq’s execution by Saddam Hussein’s regime in 1999. When coalition forces overthrew Saddam, Khazali became one of the founding members of the Office of the Martyr Sadr (OMS), and an aide to Muqtada al-Sadr in his resistance to the US occupation. Khazali became one of OMS’ most powerful members, in charge of financing, construction and operation of all the OMS offices in Iraq, and weapons smuggling from Iran. However, his relationship with Sadr began to deteriorate and he eventually broke away from the Sadrist trend altogether. He founded his own “Special Group,” Asaib Ahl al-Haqq (the League of the Righteous), to pursue a more violent opposition to the United States and so was responsible for carrying out attacks on American soldiers.
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