More on Iraqi Mahdism and its potential for terror

On my Hipbone Out Loud blog yesterday, I wrote:

The content which most interests me is the emotional and archetypal content of apocalyptic arousal, and (for practical reasons) its potential expression in jihad should the Mahdist (messianic) tendencies already visible in both Sunni and Shiite circles reach the tipping point and add their intensity to an already inflamed situation.

Today, MEMRI posted their Special Dispatch # 1886 as part of their Iraq / Jihad & Terrorism Studies Project, titled Iraqi Tells Bizarre Story of Recruitment to a Messianic Shi’ite Terror Group.

In an interview, “Abu Sajjad,” a military commander in the Ansar Al-Imam Al-Mahdi movement in Iraq, tells how he used to be a follower of Sayyid Muhammad Sadeq Al-Sadr but was persuaded by an Iraqi whom he met when he was “in a neighboring country” that the Mahdi, the Shi’ite Messiah, had appeared, as proven by TV cartoons.

Transcribed and translated excerpts from the interview, which aired on Al-Iraqiya TV on February 25, 2008, can be found here, while the clip itself can be viewed here.

Similarly important for gaining a vivid insight into contemporary Mahdism in Iraq is Tim Furnish’s interview with an Iraqi Mahdist and Ali A Allawi’s speech at the Jamestown Foundation a little over a year ago.


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