Self Appointed Mayor Al-Zubaidi in Baghdad
– As Coalition forces were working to help the people of
Iraq, in Baghdad Al-Zubaidi had been constantly causing obstruction
and chaos behind the scenes. He used his power as a leader in
Baghdad to pressure the Iraqi people to work against the Coalition’s
efforts to get the city running independently for the many families
and businesses. Coalition forces took action to solve the problem
and arrested Mohammed Mushin Al Zubaidi Sunday at approximately
4 pm (Kuwaiti Time) while he was in the vicinity of the Coalition
Civil Military Coordination Center in Baghdad. Centcom officials
report that Al Zubaidi obstructed Coalition efforts to get Iraqis
back to work and exercised authority he did not have.
was detained and then removed from Baghdad to prevent his continued
misrepresentation of his authority as the mayor of Baghdad in
the aftermath of the regime’s defeat. Specifically, Al Zubaidi
sent letters to individuals and organizations telling them not
to go back to work at utility plants (power, water, sewage) and
banks, unless he approved it. Without authority, he purported
to fire legitimate, licensed and competent power company employees
and in their steed placed his deputy Ubaidi in charge of power.
He then appointed other persons to operate water, power, and sewage
and bank facilities in Baghdad. Al Zubaidi and Al Ubaidi attempted
to exercise authority in the region not representative of the
interests of the people in Baghdad while obstructing the normal
means of governance for their own self-interests.
has been made on the next step to ensure he does not interfere
with the restoration of Iraq.
the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division took Al-Zubaidi
and approximately seven other members of his organization into
custody. Five have been released with the remainder being held
at an internment facility in Iraq.
no injuries and no exchange of gunfire.
appeared unannounced in Baghdad in the wake of the Coalition seizure
of the Iraqi capital and the destruction of the former regime.
In a media statement he issued on April 17, Al-Zubaidi proclaimed
himself mayor of Baghdad and further claimed he was sponsored
by the Iraqi National Congress and selected by an executive council
representing clerics, Shiites, Sunnis, Christians, academics and
writers. Then on April 20, Al-Zubaidi began issuing letters to
the managers of public services such as power plants and banks
in Baghdad directing them not to operate unless they had received
documents from him authorizing operations.
Senior ORHA (Organization for Reconstruction and Humanitarian
Assistance) Representative for the central region in Iraq, stated
the next day that Al-Zubaidi was not the mayor of Baghdad as he
had not been elected and had not been recognized by the interim
Coalition authority administering Iraq.
on April 18, CFLCC representatives met with Al Zubaidi and informed
him that he had no authority. Although he acknowledged his the
lack of authority, he continued to subvert Coalition authority
and their attempts to restore public services by replacing people
who were working with the Coalition with his own people.
on April 23, Lt. Gen. David D. McKiernan, Commander of Coalition
Forces Land Component Command, delivered a letter to Al-Zubaidi
warning him that he was misrepresenting himself, directing him
to move out of the Palestine hotel, well away from Coalition forces,
and cease his efforts to subvert the Coalition’s restoration
of services. Al-Zubaidi did not follow Lt. Gen. McKiernan’s
directive. He instead moved across the street into the Sheraton
Hotel and continued his subversive actions.
On April 23,
McKiernan also issued a proclamation reaffirming to the citizens
of Iraq that Coalition Forces are committed to improving the security
situation and repairing damaged infrastructure. In addition to
encouraging Iraqis to return to work, the proclamation also made
clear that the Coalition, and Coalition alone, retains absolute
authority within Iraq. In the proclamation — distributed in handbills,
through radio programs and in person – McKiernan warned
that “those that choose to wield power without the express
authority of the Coalition will be considered unfavorably by the
Coalition” and that “failure to abide by these instructions
will be viewed as criminal behavior.”
efforts to take political and personal advantage during this transitional
period in Iraq’s move to a representative government made
it necessary for Coalition Forces to act decisively against him.
The Coalition will continue to move decisively against any individual
or group exercising or claiming political authority outside the
is committed to ensuring that the people of Iraq elect their own
future political leaders in Iraq. The Coalition will not tolerate
and will exercise every option at its disposal to ensure there
is no interference with the Iraqi peoples’ moves toward
self-governance and reconstruction.
which liberated the Iraqi people from the tyranny and oppression
under Saddam Hussein and the Ba’ath Party, is committed
to ensuring the Iraqi people have the freedom to establish a legitimate
representative government, elected by all the citizens. Until
such time as that government is formed, the Coalition is the only
legitimate government authority in Iraq.