A vital financial asset of the Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr (Shiite) Mahdi army in Basra Port Iraq is smuggled cars (from Dubai) purchased from the profits of stolen oil, see The Guardian 11/17/07 and Al-Sharq al-Awsat 11/11/07 newspaper reports.
There are numerous used car dealers in Tampa from Iraq and Gaza (Shiite) who are sending vehicles to the Middle East (Dubai) and then into Iraq in what appears to be in support of terrorism. The car smuggling appears to transcend Sunni and Shiite lines as both the Mahdi army and al-Qaeda in Iraq rely heavily upon profits from the vehicles to continue with their terrorist activity.
The Guardian; Hayaniya Square in Basra is a busy intersection leading to a poor and run-down neighborhood. The square is dominated by a painting of six men dressed in casual trousers and jackets, behind whom loom the faces of Moqtada al-Sadr, the leaderof the Mahdi army, and his father, Muhammad Sadiqal-Sadr. The six men, described on the mural asmartyrs, are Mahdi army commanders who were killed by the British The day before our meeting, the energetic Iraqi army commander in the region, General Mohan, whose 8th division is in charge of security in Basra, banned illegally imported right-hand drive cars from the streets of Basra.
The Mahdi army controls the ports and the smuggling of these cars. The ban was aimed at draining a vital financial asset of the militia. Within a few hours of the ban, an Iraqi army checkpoint in Basra seized a smuggled car with some Mahdi gunmen inside.
Basra-Iraq's Second Largest CityControlled by Militias and Mafias An anonymous reporter of the London-based daily al-Sharq al-Awsat, draws a grim picture about the situation in the port city of Basra, Iraq’s second largest city. The city is controlled by religious parties-affiliated militias that roam the streets with their weapons to establish their influence on various segments of the life in the city and to enforce strict religious conduct. Most significantly, the militias and mafias control the major ports on Shatt-al-Arab waterway for the smuggling of oil by dhows, motor boats and small tankers whose lack of maintenance has caused the complete pollutionof the river. The smuggling starts by drilling holes in the main oil pipeline which carries oil to oil terminals which causes more pollution on theground.
Money gained from the smuggling of oil is used to import cars and contraband material. In one port,there are currently 4000 cars which fall below the specifications established by the government, smuggled by one of the controlling families in that particular port. The police force’s loyalty is to the militias rather than to the government. The commander of police in the city said 3500 police officers draw salaries while staying at home. He added that there is not a single major crime committed in the city in which a police vehicle of personnel is not involved.
"Sheibani Network" led by Abu Mustafa Al-Sheibani and "Qazali Network" led by Qayis Khazali, Shiite terrorists working out of Basra Iraq, funded by Iran's Quads Force and smuggled cars, were responsible for the Karbala raid on Jan 20th 2007, 5 US Soldiers were killed.
The Karbala raid, as explained by the Iraqi and U.S.officials, began after nightfall Jan. 20, while U..S.military officers were meeting with their Iraqi counterparts on the main floor of the Provisional Joint Coordination Center in Karbala. Iraqi officials said the armored black GMC Suburbans were waved through an Iraqi check point at the city's edge. The Iraqi soldiers believed it to be American because of the type of vehicles, the distinctive camouflage U.S. uniforms and the fact that they spoke English. One Iraqi official said the team leader was blond, but no other official confirmed that.
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A license plate from a car registered to Iraq's minister of trade was found on an SUV used by the gunmen who killed five American soldiers in the city of Karbala, an Iraqi police official said. Maj. Gen. Qais al-Maamuri, a police commander in Hilla, said the plate had been stolen from a BMW that belongs to Abdul Falah al-Sudani, a member of the Shiite Muslim Dawa Party. He said Sudani wasn't a suspect in the attack.
The "Special Groups" operate throughout Iraq updated July 11th 2008..... They planned and executed a string of bombings, kidnappings, sectarian murders and more against Iraqi citizens, Iraqi forces and coalition personnel. They receive arms -- including explosively formed penetrators, the most deadly form of improvised explosive device -- and funding from Iran. They also have received planning help and orders from Iran.
One group leader was Azhar Dulaymi, whom coalition forces killed May 19. Bergner said the terrorist led the Jan. 20 attack on the Provincial Joint Coordination Center in Karbala that killed five U.S. soldiers. Dulaymi worked closely with Ali Musa Daqduq and Qayis Khazali, two men with direct links to Iran. Coalition forces captured Daqduq on March 20. “He is Lebanese-born and has served for the past 24 years in Lebanese Hezbollah,” Bergner said. “He was in Iraq working as a surrogate for Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force operatives involved with special groups.”
Daqduq, a member of Hezbollah in Lebanon since 1983, served as a bodyguard for Hezbollah leaderSayyad Hassan Nazrullah. He also led Hezbollah operations in large areas of Lebanon, Bergner said.“In 2005, he was directed by senior Lebanese Hezbollah leadership to go to Iran and work with the Quds Force to train Iraqi extremists,” the general said. “In May 2006, he traveled to Tehran with Yussef Hashim, a fellow Lebanese Hezbollah and head of their operations in Iraq. There they met with the commander and deputy commander of the Iranian Quds Force special external operations.” Daqduq also helped the Quds Force in training Iraqis inside Iran.
“Quds Force, along with Hezbollah instructors train approximately 20 to 60 Iraqis at a time, sending them back to Iraq organized into these special groups,” he said. “They are being taught how to use (explosively formed penetrators),mortars, rockets, as well as intelligence, sniper and kidnapping operations.”
The Quds Force also supplies the groups with weapons and a funding stream of between $750,000to $3 million a month. “Without this support, these special groups would be hard-pressed to conduct their operations in Iraq,” Bergner said. When captured, Daqduq had detailed documents that discussed tactics to attack Iraqi and coalitionforces. “He also had a personal journal that shows his involvement with extremist operations in Iraq,”the general said. “His diary also notes meeting with special group members who were targeting otherIraqis and coalition forces in the Diyala province using IEDs, as well as small-arms fire.”
Khazali was captured with Daqduq. He was in charge of these groups throughout Iraq since June 2006. He is an Iraqi who worked to develop the Iraqi groups into a network similar to Hezbollah. “It is important to point out that both Ali Musa Daqduq and Qayis Khazali state that senior leadership within the Quds Force knew of and supported planning for the eventual Karbala attack that killed five coalition soldiers,” Bergner said. “Ali Musa Daqduq contends the Iraqi special groups could not have conducted this complex operationwithout the support and direction of the Quds Force.“Ali Musa Daqduq and Qayis Khazali both confirm that Qayis Khazali authorized the operation and Azhar al Dulaymi, (killed) executed the operation.