Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, January 5, 2020—Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy chief of the Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi (PMF) militia in Iraq, was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad alongside Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force chief Qasem Soleimani in the early hours after midnight on January 3. He was a criminal designated in the U.S. government’s terrorist list and the element behind the killing of Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) members in Iraq back in 1999.
Around 7:30 pm on November 2, 1999, the mullahs’ regime targeted the PMOI’s Camp Habib, located 45 kilometers north of the city of Basra in southern Iraq and 35 kilometers from Iran’s border, with a terrorist attack. A large truck carrying 2.5 tons of explosives was detonated adjacent to the base in this attack as the regime intended to completely destroy the site.
The blast left a 12-meter wide, 6-meter crater next to the base as the shockwave and shrapnel resulted in the deaths of five MEK members and dozens of others injured located inside the base near the blast site. A number of Iraqi civilians near the base were also killed and injured.
Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis made interesting remarks in an interview with Iraq’s Al-Sharqiya TV back in February 2019. “I have very strong relations with the Islamic Republic and their officials because I lived in the Islamic Republic of Iran for 25 years and have worked with them. I believe if we truly want to do something for Iraq, we must use our relations, meaning through our relations and friendships we can maintain and support Iraq in order to launch a new phase. I have many contacts with different Shiite and Sunni political groups, and Kurds. This goes way back and is nothing new. I was present in Najaf (southern Iraq) during the first and second seditions. Our friends in the government in that period know that from May 2004 to the end of that year, they know that I used my personal assets to quell the fire in Najaf and strived to end the war,” he said, indicating his close relations with the mullahs’ regime and Tehran’s influence in Baghdad through such elements.
Following last year’s floods that engulfed many provinces in Iran, the mullahs’ regime ordered its IRGC Quds Force proxies to dispatch Iraqi mercenaries, including Iraqi Hashd al-Shaabi members, to Khuzestan Province in southwest Iran. The mullahs’ needed to control the locals’ growing anger and knew they could not rely on their own Iranian security forces in such circumstances. This resulted in protests by the Iranian people demanding the regime’s foreign proxies to leave Iran.
Who was Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis?
Jamal Jafar Ibrahim, aka Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, was born in 1954 in the city of Basra to an Iraqi father and an Iranian mother. He finished his studies in communications engineering in 1977 and joined the Dawa Party in that same year.
When the Dawa Party was banned by the Iraqi government at the time, al-Muhandis relocated to Ahvaz, southwest Iran, and received training in a camp. He then left Iran for Kuwait and spent a few years in the Jaberiya area where he was active in political and security measures against the Iraqi government. He has been accused and condemned for planning bombings targeting the U.S. and French embassies in Kuwait. The attacks left five people dead.
In 2003, he returned to Iraq and served as a security advisor to then prime minister Ibrahim al-Jafari. In 2007, U.S. forces learned of al-Muhandis’ past and when they shared this matter with then prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, al-Muhandis’ returned to Iran. Following the departure of U.S. forces from Iraq at the end of 2011, al-Muhandis was appointed as the deputy chief of Hashd al-Shaabi, the Iraqi militia equivalent of Iran’s IRGC paramilitary Basij force.
On September 12, 2018, Hashd al-Shaabi media in Iraq said al-Muhandis’ Twitter account was suspended for violating rules and regulations.