A senior Iraqi official has accused certain Arab governments of financing terrorist groups in Iraq to destabilize the country.
“Businessmen from some countries in the region, with the help of their governments, are providing significant funds to terrorist groups in Iraq,” Iraqi Deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Assadi said in a Friday interview with state television.
“The leaders of these countries say they know nothing about it but the facts prove otherwise,” Assadi said without disclosing the name of the Arab states.
According to Iraqâ€™s justice ministry, there are almost 300 detainees from other Arab countries in Iraqi prisons, most of them from Saudi Arabia.
Assadiâ€™s comments came one day after an independent inquiry panel in Iraq found fugitive Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi guilty of running terror squads in the country.
The Supreme Judicial Council said on Thursday that Hashemi, who enjoys the support of many Arab states, and his employees were behind years of deadly terror operations against security officials and civilians in Iraq.
Hashemi has denied the charges and refused to stand trial in Baghdad.
He has sought refuge in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq, with his al-Iraqiya party calling for a hearing in the northern city of Kirkuk — a request flatly turned down by Baghdad.
The independent investigation panel was set up after the government issued an arrest warrant for the vice president in December 2011.