Some Mahdis Going Freelance

What's worse than Moqtada al-Sadr? The Mahdi Army ignoring him
By J. Kelman,  Newser User
Posted May 2, 2007 1:58 PM CDT
Some Mahdis Going Freelance
Followers of radical anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr rally in protest against building security barriers in Shiite district of Sadr City in Baghdad, Wednesday, April 25, 2007. Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr strongly condemned construction of a wall around a Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad,...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – The Madhi Army is letting loose. Officially locked down by leader Moqtada al-Sadr during the troop surge, renegade Mahdis are unleashing a wave of random violence on once-peaceful areas of central and southern Iraq, Newseek reports. That worries even al-Sadr's commanders, who are now seeking U.S. help to control their wayward acolytes.

The Army's undisciplined spread has provoked internecine fighting in areas controlled by other Shiite militias. Even more troubling is a potential anti-American alliance with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. But al-Sadr himself may have the most to lose. "If you love the Sadr movement," he told his followers, "then listen and obey." (Read more Muqtada al-Sadr stories.)

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