Britain may ask Iran for help in finding the five British hostages kidnapped in Iraq. Senior Iraqi officials think a rogue faction of the Mahdi Army—possibly under the influence of Iranian intelligence —is responsible for the kidnappings. British sources tell the Guardian they believe the kidnapping was not ordered by Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
Al-Sadr's Mahdi Army has splintered in recent months, and some cells are known to have links with Iran's Revolutionary Guards. The Iranians, a British official said, "want to show the US that they have influence over the Mahdi army, and that the US must come to them for help." Meanwhile, the push into Sadr City to find the hostages continues. (Read more Muqtada al-Sadr stories.)