The old jihadi soft shoe shuffle continues. Spokesmen for the Iraqi government are today confirming what they were busily denying just yesterday. Mookie al Sadr is
hiding like a scared little child making a visit to Iran. Brave jihadi leaders are big on sending others to heaven, not so keen on visiting it themselves.
Sami al-Askari said al-Sadr traveled to Iran by land "a few days ago," but gave no further details on how long he would stay in Iran. A member of al-Sadr's bloc in parliament, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of fear of reprisals, said al-Sadr left three weeks ago.
"I confirm that Muqtada al-Sadr is in Iran on a visit," said al-Askari. "But I deny that his visit is a flight."
But another lawmaker loyal to al-Sadr, Saleh al-Ukaili, insisted that al-Sadr is in Iraq and claimed the accounts of his departure were part of a "campaign by the U.S. military" to track down the elusive cleric.
Conflicting reports on al-Sadr's whereabouts have been exchanged for days.
U.S. and Iraqi forces have increased pressure on backers of the anti-American cleric and other militants in a major security operation that began in force this week.
The chief U.S. military spokesman, Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, said al-Sadr "is not in the country" and that "all indications are, in fact, that he is in Iran." Al-Sadr's supporters have insisted he was still in Iraq.
Of course this was just a little vacation. Brave jihadis like Mookie would never rabbit from their enemies according to their spokesmen. They just set land speed records with their brisk walks.