A secret transaction providing the Iraqi government with over $40 million worth of weapons was uncovered by Italian police investigating local Mafiosi, the Guardian reports. Without the knowledge of American military commanders, the Iraqi interior ministry had ordered 105,000 rifles from arms traffickers, ostensibly to supply police. Italian police halted the transaction and arrested four people.
The shady nature of the deal has raised suspicions that the guns were for use by Shia militias and police units close to the Shia-led government. The US high command came under fire last week after congressional investigators discovered the disappearance of 190,000 US-supplied weapons in Iraq.