|Defence Minister of Iraq|
|Assumed office |
24 June 2019
|Prime Minister||Adil Abdul-Mahdi|
|Preceded by||Erfan al-Hiyali|
Najah Hassan Ali al-Shammari
20 January 1967
Sweden (since 2015)
|Political party||al-Wataniya (coalition)|
|Education||Iraqi Military Academy|
|Unit||Iraqi Special Operations Forces|
Al-Shammari was born in Baghdad. He is a Sunni Arab and a member of the Shammar tribe (one of the largest and most influential Arab tribes). Al-Shammari graduated from the Iraqi Military Academy in 1987 with a bachelor's degree in military science. He also has a master's degree in strategic planning for national security. Al-Shammari later served as a commander in the Iraqi Special Operations Forces and has held many military positions from 2003 until 2007. He retired in 2018 with the rank of major general.
On June 24, 2019, al-Shammari was approved by the Iraqi parliament as defence minister of Iraq in Adil Abdul-Mahdi's cabinet. He was nominated to the post by the al-Wataniya coalition, led by former prime minister and then vice president of Iraq Ayad Allawi.
Reports of dual Iraqi-Swedish citizenship and criminal charges in Sweden
In April 2019, prior to the nomination of al-Shammari as a candidate for the post of defence minister, there were reports in Iraqi media that al-Shammari has dual Iraqi-Swedish citizenship. The claims were rejected as false by a representative of the al-Wataniya coalition.
In November 2019, Swedish news website Nyheter Idag reported that al-Shammari is a Swedish citizen registered as a resident in a Stockholm suburb under an alternative surname (this surname was reported to be the name of al-Shammari's clan within the Shammar tribe). According to the report, which was confirmed by Swedish authorities, al-Shammari applied for a residence permit in Sweden in 2009 and became a Swedish citizen in 2015. It was also reported that al-Shammari was granted several state welfare benefits in Sweden, including full time sick leave, while he did not declare any (or for some years only very low) income from work. He has also been the subject of several criminal investigations in Sweden, although he was never convicted of a crime.
The Swedish police has launched a preliminary investigation into benefit fraud and civil registration violations against al-Shammari after allegedly claiming child and housing support for years despite living in Baghdad. The Swedish Prosecution Authority also announced that it had started an investigation for crimes against humanity against "an Iraqi minister", whom Swedish media identified as al-Shammari.
- "Iraqi official: Parliament approves 3 key Cabinet ministers". Federalist News Network. Associated Press. 2019-06-24. Retrieved 2019-10-25.
- "Who are Abd al-Mahdi's new ministers of defense, interior, justice?". The Baghdad Post. 2019-06-24. Retrieved 2019-10-25.
- Brinkemo, Per [@PerBrinkemo] (2019-11-23). "Den nu omskrivna försvarsministern i Irak, Najah al-Shammari, kommer från en av de mest inflytelserika klanerna i regionen - Shammarklanen" [The now well-publicised defense minister in Iraq, Najah al-Shammari, comes from one of the most influential clans in the region - the Shammar clan.] (Tweet) (in Swedish). Retrieved 2019-11-26 – via Twitter.
- "Candidate to defense min. post not Swedish: Wataniya bloc". The Baghdad Post. 2019-04-08. Retrieved 2019-11-24.
- Bergman, Jakob; Nilsson, Johannes (2019-11-19). "Iraks försvarsminister är svensk medborgare och folkbokförd i Stockholmsförort" [Iraq's defense minister is a Swedish citizen and is registered in Stockholm suburb]. Nyheter Idag (in Swedish). Retrieved 2019-11-19.
- Wikén, Johan; Björk, Helena (2019-11-22). "Iraks försvarsminister är svensk medborgare – folkbokförd i Stockholm" [Iraq's defense minister is a Swedish citizen - registered in Stockholm]. SVT Nyheter (in Swedish). Retrieved 2019-11-22.
- Wikén, Johan (2019-11-25). "Polisen bekräftar utredning mot Iraks försvarsminister" [Police confirm investigation into Iraq's defense minister]. SVT Nyheter (in Swedish). Retrieved 2019-11-26.
- "Iraq's defence minister 'reported for alleged benefits fraud in Sweden'". The Local. 2019-11-23. Retrieved 2019-11-26.
- "Swedish prosecutors investigate Iraqi minister for 'crimes against humanity'". The Local. 2019-11-25. Retrieved 2019-11-26.
| Defence Minister of Iraq