Mithal al Alusi survives assassination attempt last night in Iraq


February 14–Human rights advocate and former Iraqi Parliamentarian Mithal al Alusi contacted me by phone today to say he survived an assassination attempt by two gunmen at his home outside Baghdad last night.


“Iranian fascists will try it against us,” Alusi told me. “Iranian fascists – They will try to kill all the liberals.”


Two armed gunmen “tried to jump through the hedge and they fired shots at my security people,” Alusi told me today. He said his bodyguards returned fire, and the two gunmen fled.


Alusi won a seat and served two terms in the Iraqi Parliament starting in 2005 as representative of the Democratic Party of the Iraqi nation, a grassroots political party he founded that advocates free markets, free press, human rights, rule of law and cooperation among democracies, including Iraq and Israel.


Alusi, who has traveled three times to Israel and has been an outspoken advocate of normalized relations between the two countries, also survived an assassination attempt in February 2005 that took the lives of his two sons, Ayman, 29, and Jamal, 24, apparently as “payback” by terrorists outraged that Alusi had advocated normalization with Israel.


“Even if these terrorists try to kill me again, peace is the only solution,” he told reporters minutes after the attack. “Peace with Israel is the only solution for Iraq. Peace with everybody, but no peace for the terrorists.”


In the aftermath of his sons’ murders, Alusi refused to leave Iraq and instead redoubled his efforts to build the political party they had helped him establish. Here is one recent account of his remarkable bravery.


He insists he will not leave Iraq now.


“This is my country; I have to stay,” he said.  Responding to this reporter’s alarm, he added, “Come on, come on … we have to understand they are weak.”


Since the U.S. troop withdrawal January 1, life in Iraq is increasingly precarious for liberals and anyone who advocates normal relations with the West, he tells me. He believes that Iran continues to infiltrate the Iraqi government in an attempt to radicalize it.


“There is no hope for Iraqi democracy through Islamic fascists –those fascists those killers [now] control the democracy.”


However, he will not flee. He vows, “I will continue.”


More to come.



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