BAGHDAD — A senior spokesman at the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior confirmed publicly on Thursday that 23 of its officials had been arrested in recent days under suspicion of being affiliated with a banned political party related to Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party. The ministry, in a statement, also said the scope of the investigation was wider than originally reported, with officials in other security ministries also arrested.
According to senior security officials in Baghdad who revealed the arrests earlier this week, up to 35 officials in the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior ranking as high as general have been detained this week.The arrests, according to those officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, included at least three generals. The officials also said that the arrests had come at the hand of an elite counterterrorism force that reports directly to the office of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. -NYTimes
Thursday, December 18, 2008
It's being spun as a thwarted coup on Maliki but I don't buy it. It looks more like Maliki is trying to strengthen his control of the government by slowly removing opponents so that he can become the next Iraqi strongman. As I said after SOFA passed, now that the endgame is in sight we will see a power struggle for control of the country in the post American era. Maliki looks like he is doing pretty well for himself for now.