RealNews

Radical Iraqi Cleric Expands His Reach

Muqtada Sadr’s expanding web of power starts right here, on the teeming streets of a neighborhood in northeastern Baghdad named after his assassinated father and uncle. It begins with charities and public services, such as subsidized cooking fuel, street cleaning and soccer games for the aimless boys of the Shiite Muslim ghetto. It extends to neighborhood watch groups and his Al Mahdi militiamen, who control and secure Sadr City as well as southern cities such as Basra, sometimes menacing rival Shiite groups, U.S.-led forces and, more recently, Sunni Arab neighborhoods. Full Story

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