It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
More info in article
U.S. and Iraqi forces killed some 250 gunmen from an apocalyptic Muslim cult on Sunday in a battle involving U.S. tanks and aircraft near the Shi'ite holy city of Najaf, Iraqi police, army and political sources said.
Defenders of the faith claim Hojjatieh's views centre on the belief that the return of the Mahdi, the 12th Shi'ite Imam, cannot be hastened, but that such a return is an impending physical event. The corollary that only then can a genuine Islamic republic be established, earned them their persecution under Khomeini. These supporters assert the view that they believe in spreading chaos in order to hasten the return of the Mahdi is a misunderstanding, and allegedly spread by critics of Ahmadinejad to attempt to make him appear dangerous. Those who adhere to this perspective claim Hojjatieh is a millenarian group who put great stock on the return of the Mahdi and the idea of such a return bringing happiness to true belivers. Such beliefs are in Iran generally associated with superstitious, working class and peasant Muslims and so are derided and looked down upon by the traditional Sh'ite hierarchy, whether conservative or reformist.
Based on the information released, the cult numbered in the hundreds and may have included some Sunnis. Iraqi officials identified the leader as Diya Abdul-Zahra Kadhim, 37, a Shiite from the southern city of Hillah who was killed in the fighting. Some Iraqi reports said he wanted to unleash violence to force the return of the "Hidden Imam," a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad who disappeared as a child in the 9th century.
Shiites believe the Hidden Imam will return to restore peace and justice to the world at a time when the Muslim community is in the gravest danger. Some officials suggested the leader considered himself the Hidden Imam.
In Basra, a Shiite cleric said the "Soldiers of Heaven" is the armed wing of a movement led by Ahmed bin al-Hassan al-Baghdadi, an obscure Shiite cleric also known as al-Yamani. The movement believes the return of the Hidden Imam is imminent. The cleric spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not want to be identified with Shiite factionalism.
Originally posted by missed_gear
Quite a stunning amount of cult members/militants gathered for the ambush...something as large as the one attacked had to have been noticed.
Originally posted by 27jd
Yeah, seems as though they were noticed, that's why they're dead or captured.
Maj. Gen. Othman al-Ghanemi, the Iraqi commander in charge of the Najaf region.
…Al-Ghanemi said the group is considered heretical by mainstream Shiite clerics and had been planning for months to attack Najaf during the Ashoura ceremonies. Source
Originally posted by marg6043
Taking into consideration that the gunmen were Sunni and so many die I wonder how Saudi Arabia and other majority Sunni nations will see this deaths.
so I still can not come to terms to understand who is the people or tribe that our nations is trying to protect or help