The leader of Iraq’s Iran-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia, Qais al-Khazali, stirred controversy after claiming that Israel’s Mossad was behind the murder of Imam Ali bin Abi Talib who was assassinated over 1,300 years ago.
A video of al-Khazali marking the remarks during a lecture has been widely shared by social media users with some noting that neither the Mossad nor Israel existed at the time and others saying al-Khazali has no idea what he’s even talking about.
“How is it possible that anyone in Iraq listens to someone like [him]?” one user wrote, with another saying he wouldn’t have believed such remarks if he hadn’t seen the video where al-Khazali made them.
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This is not the first time al-Khazali has made controversial statements in Iraq.
Last month, he claimed that late President Saddam Hussein was originally Indian, claiming that a DNA test proved it.
These claims about Saddam’s origins, however, date back to 2017 when state-run magazine al-Shabaka published an investigation saying that a DNA test showed that Hussein had DNA haplogroup “L” which is common in South Asia and uncommon in the majority of the Middle East.
The investigation, however, did not explain how the results were concluded.