Iraqi official calls for measures against armed gangs posing as security forces

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Iraqi Army commanders seen near the Mosul University after the building was liberated from ISIS. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Karim Nouri, the spokesman of the Shia paramilitary Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), said in a statement to ARA News that precautionary measures are being taken to prevent criminal gangs that disguise themselves as security forces from robbing and kidnapping in Iraq.

“Recently, killings, kidnappings, robberies and extortion have been taking place,” he said. “These criminal gangs are disguised as security officials to justify their entry into victims’ homes.”

“An hour after the first theft, another gang comes to take what the first gang left behind. Hence, the Iraqi families remain confused and surrender in front of the gang raids who are mostly dressed as security forces or claim to be members of intelligence services,” Nouri said. “Even the arrest warrants are easy to falsify.”

Therefore, the PMU spokesperson suggested that civilians should not open their doors for any security officer to enter without being accompanied by a member of the municipal council in the area. “Furthermore, raids should be carried out in specific hours and not to enter houses for inspection late at night,” the PMU official told ARA News on Monday.

Nouri also said special emergency phone numbers should be established to prevent such crimes and to call the police station to inform them officially.

He stressed that citizens should be educated through the media about the severe penalties against those who want to kidnap, kill and steal, and how to expose these gangs.

Moreover, the official warned civilians not to speak to taxi drivers about the privacy of the families and their financial possessions.

Last week, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi during the TEDx conference in Baghdad warned for criminal gangs that pose as security forces.

“They want a weak society so they can control it. So their gangs can become stronger than society and the state. So they can control the people’s resources with force,” he said.

“When you object to this, they kidnap you. Did we fight the bloodthirsty Ba’athist regime, so in the end we are ruled by a bunch of gangs? Could it be! No, so we are going to be free,” he said.

“We’re not going to let someone control us no matter who they are. Don’t try to deceive me by saying that you’re from the same sect as I am; ISIS told the people of Mosul that they are the same sect and that they came to protect them. Isn’t this the same type of rhetoric and lies. In the end, they killed the Sunnis and destroyed their cities. They’re all liars,” Abadi concluded.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News

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