January 19, 2005 Special Dispatch No. 849

MEMRI TV Project special report - commander of Saddam Hussein's ‘Army of Muhammad’ confesses: We received money and arms from Syria and Iran

January 19, 2005
Syria, Iraq, Iran | Special Dispatch No. 849

The following are excerpts from the televised confessions of Muayed Al-Nasseri, who commanded Saddam Hussein 's "Army of Muhammad" throughout 2004. The confessions were aired by an Iraqi TV channel that operates from the UAE, Al-Fayhaa TV, and were monitored and translated by the MEMRI TV Project. The following are excerpts; to view the clip, visit 1

“The Army of Muhammad was founded by Saddam Hussein after the fall of the regime”

Interrogator: "What is your name?"

Muayed Al-Nasseri: "Colonel Muayed Yassin 'Aziz 'Abd Al-Razaq Al-Nasseri, commander of the Army of Muhammad, one of the resistance factions in Iraq. The Army of Muhammad was founded by Saddam Hussein after the fall of the regime, on April 9, 2003. At first, Yasser Al-Shab'awi was put in charge, until his capture in July 2003. Then Sa'd Hammad Hisham was in charge until December 2003. Then I was put in charge from January 2004 until now. The Army of Muhammad has some 800 armed fighters."

Interrogator: "What operations did you carry out? How many operations did you carry out?"

Muayed Al-Nasseri: "We carried out many armed operations against the coalition forces in all the districts. The operations included bombarding their military posts, their camps, and their bases, fighting these forces and planting explosive devices against their patrols and convoys."

Interrogator: "What was the nature of your organisation?"

Muayed Al-Nasseri: "The organisation was a military armed one, which operated according to a method of non-centralised command."

Interrogator: "How is the Army of Muhammad related to the Ba'th party?"

Muayed Al-Nasseri: "The Army of Muhammad is militarily independent. After Saddam Hussein's capture in December 2003, for a period [of] four months, the Army of Muhammad had no connections with the party, but after April 2003 there was a meeting with the party and we are currently coordinating with them.

In addition, Saddam Hussein distributed a communique via the party, back then, instructing all his supporters or whoever wants to fight the jihad for the sake of Allah, to join the Army of Muhammad because it is the army of the leadership."

“Today, the leader of the Ba'th Party in Iraq is Izzat Ibrahim”

Interrogator: "Who are the leaders of the Ba'th Party in Iraq?"

Muayed Al-Nasseri: "Today, the leader of the party is 'Izzat Ibrahim. He is the leader of the party in Iraq. Next in line is Fadhl Al-Mashhadani, who is responsible for the local organisations within Iraq. Then, there is Muhammad Yunis Al-Ahamd, who is responsible for the organisation outside Iraq. He is currently in Syria."

“Aid came from the neighbouring countries - we got aid primarily from Iran”

Interrogator: "Did you get support from the countries of the region?"

Muayed Al-Nasseri: "Yes, sir... Many factions of the resistance are receiving aid from the neighbouring countries. We in the Army of Muhammad - the fighting has been going on for almost two years now, and there must be aid, and this aid came from the neighbouring countries. We got aid primarily from Iran. The truth is that Iran has played a significant role in supporting the Army of Muhammad and many factions of the resistance. I have some units, especially in southern Iraq, which receive Iranian aid in the form of arms and equipment."

Interrogator: "You're referring to units of the Army of Muhammad?"

Muayed Al-Nasseri: "Yes. They received money and weapons."

“[Fighters] Met Personally with Iranian Leader Khamenei […]. They Even Got Car Bombs”

Muayed Al-Nasseri: "As for other factions of the resistance, I have reliable information regarding the National Islamic resistance, which is one of the factions of resistance, led by Colonel 'Asi Al Hadithi. He sent a delegation to Iran from among the people of the faction, including General Halaf and General Khdayyer. They were sent to Iran in April or May and met with Iranian intelligence and with a number of Iranian leaders and even with Khamenei."

Interrogator: "You mean they personally met with Khamenei?"

Muayed Al-Nasseri: "According to my information, they met with him personally and they were given one million dollars and two cars full of weapons. They still have a very close relationship with Iran. They receive money, cars, weapons and many things. According to my information they even got car bombs."

“Cooperation with Syria began in October 2003 […]. Later, Saddam Hussein himself authorised me to go to Syria”

Muayed Al-Nasseri "In addition, as I've told you, Syria […]. Cooperation with Syria began in October 2003, when a Syrian intelligence officer contacted me. S'ad Hamad Hisham and later Saddam Hussein himself authorised me to go to Syria. So I was sent to Syria. I crossed the border illegally. Then I went to Damascus and met with an intelligence officer, Lieutenant-Colonel ' Abu Naji ' through a mediator called ' Abu Saud '. I raised the issues that preoccupied Saddam Hussein and the leadership. There were four issues: First, the issue of the media; second, political support in international forums; [third], aid in the form of weapons and [fourth], material aid, whether it is considered a debt or is taken from the frozen Iraqi funds in Syria."

“The Syrian government is fully aware of this, and the Syrian intelligence cooperates fully”

Muayed Al-Nasseri: "Through the [Syrian] Ba'th party - the [Iraqi] Arab Socialist Ba'th Party operates in Syria with complete freedom. It maintains its relations and organises the Ba'th members outside Iraq. The Syrian government is fully aware of this and the Syrian intelligence, as well as the [Syrian] Ba'th Party cooperates fully in Syria.

As for the Ba'th Party, after we contacted them, they organised a meeting for me with a man named Fawzi Al-Rawi, who is a member of the national leadership and an important figure in Syria. The Syrian government authorised him to meet with me. We met twice. In the first meeting, I explained to him what the Army of Muhammad is, what kind of operations we carry out, and many other things. In the second meeting he told me that Syrian government officials were very pleased with our first meeting. He informed me that the Army of Muhammad would receive material aid in the form of goods, given to us for free or for a very low price, for us to sell in Iraq in order to support the Army of Muhammad. This was done this way due to Syria's current circumstances, international pressure and accusations of supporting the terrorism and resistance in Iraq."

Interrogator: "During our investigation we found a picture of a Syrian man. What is this picture?"

Muayed Al-Nasseri: "This is the picture of an Islamic preacher called ' Abu Al-Qa'qa', whose [real] name is Mahmoud Al-Agassi. He lives in Aleppo, Syria. I have met with him twice. He supported me and gave me $3,000. He also sent a sum of money with me for someone in the resistance here in Iraq.

Also, I forgot to mention that Fawzi Al-Rawi told me he had close connections with many factions of the resistance. He mentioned his Hareth Al-Dhari [leader of Iraqi Sunni Clerics Association], Mahdi Al-Sumayda'i, and other factions."

1 Al-Fayhaa TV (Iraq/UAE), January 14, 2005.

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