Dia Abdul Zahra Kadim
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Dia Abdul Zahra Kadim is a deceased Iraqi detainee, (Arabic: ضياء عبدالزهراء كاظم); c. 1970 – January 29, 2007), also known as al-Ali bin Ali bin Abi Talib (Arabic: العلي بن علي بن أبي طالب), claimed to be from Hilla, Iraq, was the leader of an armed extremist Shiite Islam cult named Jund al-Samaa ("Soldiers of Heaven" in Arabic, a well-armed Shia cult regarding the religious leadership in Najaf as illegitimate) based in Iraq. He claimed to be the Hidden Imam and Mahdi. He was detained twice in recent years. He was also known to have connections to the former regime of Saddam Hussein since 1993. He was possibly Ahmad al-Hassan who claims to be the son of the Mahdi.
After Saddam Hussein was toppled in the U.S.-led 2003 invasion of Iraq, Abdul-Zahra's group appeared to be a legitimate political movement. Soon Abdul-Zahra, who was in his mid-30s, began telling followers that he was the reincarnation of the Ali ibn Abu Talib, the first Shia Imam as well as the last of the Rightly Guided Caliphs. His followers were said to include Sunnis and Shiites, Iraqis and foreigners, men and women.
2007 Ashura attacks
Zahra Kadim was credited with planning a massive attack in Najaf during the Day of Ashura holiday. Plans called for members of the Jund al-Samaa to disguise themselves as pilgrims and suddenly open fire, in attempts to assassinate as many leading Shiite clerics as possible and cause overall disruption of the holiday. Beforehand, however, Zahra Kadim had already dispatched three gunmen to a hotel where senior Shiite spiritual leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's office was located, with plans to attack the office and consequentially assassinate the leader.
Zahra Kadim was killed during a fierce gun battle with United States, British, and New Iraqi army forces in Najaf on January 29, 2007. He was found wearing jeans, a coat, and a hat, in addition to being armed with two pistols. He was thirty-seven years old.
The footage appeared to show the body of Dia Abdul Zahra Kadim, wrapped in a blanket. His face, with a neatly trimmed beard, matched a photo in a pamphlet found at the site entitled "Holy Coming", which identified him as the Mahdi.
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