The US military arrested Makki Dulaimi, the son of prominent Sunni Arab politician Adnan Dulaimi, on Friday, along with 40-odd security guards. The US soldiers had discovered a car rigged up as a bomb near the younger Dulaimi’s house and found that one of his security guards had the key to the car. They tried to carry out a safe detonation of the car, but apparently botched it because some Iraqi civilians and US soldiers were wounded in the blast.
The US military appears to assume that this circumstantial evidence points to Makki Dulaimi being a terrorist. However, under the Iraqi constitution he is innocent until proven guilty, and it is possible that his security guard is the terrorist, without his boss knowing about it.
Adnan Dulaimi, the father and one of the leaders of the Sunni fundamentalist Iraqi Accord Front, appears to be under house arrest, presumably because he is also suspected of complicity. As a member of parliament, he has immunity from arrest unless he is proven to have committed a serious crime.
If the Dulaimis really were rigging up car bombs in their spare time, in between sitting in parliament, that would be depressing statement about how unstable Iraq is.
As it is, the arrest of Makki will roil Shiite-Sunni relations and make it more difficult than ever to effect reconciliation between the two communities. The Iraqi Accord Front that Adnan Dulaimi heads withdrew from the al-Maliki cabinet this summer.
Al-Hayat’s reportage on the incident, in Arabic, implies that many Sunnis see the incident as a US and Shiite fabrication aimed at pressuring the Iraqi Accord Front to rejoin the government.
Turkish Prime Minister Rejep Tayyip Erdogan says that he has given the Turkish military a greenlight to conduct cross-border raids in Iraq to root out guerrillas of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK).