An interview with a member of the pro-Iran Khorasani militia, captured by protestors in Baghdad
The following interview was conducted with a member of the Khorasani militia, a pro-Iranian militia in Iraq, which forms part of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), and which has been involved in activities against protestors in Iraq’s urban centers. The individual in question was being held by the demonstrators at the time of the interview, and the interview was conducted by one of the protestors:
The interviewer: We called these people kidnappers, their assignment is to kill, beat, abduct and give information regarding activists and in particular regarding medical personnel assisting the demonstrators.
In the course of the investigation, it became clear that the individual apprehended is attached to Brigade 18 of the Khorasani Brigades, and was despatched to his mission by Abu Turab who is the chief staff of the Khurasani militia. Abu Turab is responsible for these individuals, whose mission is to photograph activists and participants in the protests, acquire information and transfer this information regarding important acticists in Tahrir Square. They are targeting people leading the chants at the demonstrations.
They carry knives when going to the frontline, and they give information on the demonstrators movements’ to riot forces and militia. They would meet at the crossroad near to Sinak Bridge. Every three days they were changing their group and each group contained three to five people. The hotel they were meeting at was at Al-Batawin area or at the café at Tahrir. They were choosing these places so people didnt suspect them.
They were trained and prepared in Iran. The individual interviewed is with Khurasani since 2014. He said they are a group from most Iraqi cities including Diyala, Karbala, and Baghdad. Their assignment at the beginning was in Anbar as conveyed to them by Abu Turab. They were saying their task was to secure the area but the truth was that they were there to kill particular Sunnis with the excuse that these people are from ISIS. He said they were supervised by Abu turab in this work, and were given a gift after each assignment, which could be money or a trip (vacation) outside of Iraq.
The name of the Khorasani interviewee is given as 'Mohammed,' aged 42, from Karbala.
Q/How did you enter the area?
A/we entered after bridge.
Q/who was the first to enter?
A/ It was the Badr organization, I really can't remember all of them it was long time.
Q/How come you don't remember! You can remember 2016 and 2015 but you can't remember where you colleagues entered and targeted?
You are the guy going to the frontline and you are carrying out an attack. Tell me where did you go and what you did?
A/Aziz Balad area you are talking about, I wasn't in the liberation of Bashir area (ie the taking of the area by the PMU militias) . Aziz Balad liberated after that it was before Bashir, alright!
Q/ Do you know Abo Turab ? Have you seen him?
Q/ what does he look like?
A/ He a red faced guy with white beard.
Q/ Where did you meet him?
A/ I met him here at the crossroad and at Akash, and Fakhra Aldin.
Q/ Who sent you here?
A/ He sent us to here and there was group of us he assigned each one of us to a specific place. We were assigned on Tuesday. We were three persons, myself, Ahmed, and Hussain.
‘Ahmed’: Ahmed Karim Abd-Alzahra, Bab Al-Cheer, of the PMU’s 2nd Intelligence unit.
‘Hussain’: Hussain Saad Yusuf, Jeesr Diyala,
We came here on 17/10/2019. I was late one day, because my daughter was sick. My home is in Karbala in Abbas street. Muaatham next to Aljamaheer photo shop. My son is 10 years old. I am from Soobaidy tribe.
I came from Karbala to here, I left Karbala at 10:00 am in the morning in garage. I arrived here at 12:00 pm. After I arrived went to Abo Nouwas hotel here in Baghdad. I went there and I rent the room. I couldn't communicate with my colleagues because I had lost my phone. But we have agreement and the location where we should meet and where. After I arrived here we had an appointment for a meeting in the crossroad here either at 08:00 am or 08:00 pm. If we couldn't meet at 08:00 am we will meet 08:00pm - that was the agreement.