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 Shia 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.

2007 Ashura attacks[edit]

Abdul-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 then open fire in the attempt to assassinate as many leading Shia clerics as possible and cause overall disruption of the holiday. Abdul-Zahra Kadim dispatched a three-man assassination squad to a hotel where senior Shia spiritual leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani had his office with plans to attack the office.[1][2][3]


Abdul-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.[4][5]

Apparently, he had been claiming he was the Mahdi, in efforts to hide his real identity and recruit new members to the cult.[6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hardy, Roger (January 31, 2007). "Confusion surrounds Najaf battle". BBC.
  2. ^ Roug, Louise; Fakhrildeen, Saad (January 30, 2007). "Religious cult targeted in fierce battle near Najaf". Los Angeles Times.
  3. ^ Gamel, Kim (January 29, 2007). "Iraqi army kills leader of Shiite cult". news.yahoo.com. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2007-02-07. Retrieved January 29, 2007. 
  4. ^ "Ashura blast kills at least 13 in Iraq". today.reuters.co.uk Reuters. January 30, 2007.[dead link]
  5. ^ "BBC Monitoring International Reports: Ashura blast kills at least 13 in Iraq". BBC. January 30, 2007. (registration required)
  6. ^ Senanayake, Sumedha (February 2, 2007). "Al-Najaf Mystery Reflects Iraqi Divisions". Reports Archive: Iraq Report, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
  7. ^ "Death toll rises". news.yahoo.com. January 29, 2007.[dead link]

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