Less than 48 hours after the last American troops crossed the border into Kuwait, the Shiite-led Iraqi government issued a terrorism-related arrest warrant for Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi (pictured above). The Associated Press reports:
Interior Ministry spokesman Adil Daham told reporters about the warrant and state-run television aired what it characterized as confessions by alleged terrorists held by the Interior Ministry who were said to be linked to al-Hashemi. They claimed they received orders from him to attack government officials and police officers.
"An arrest warrant has been issued against Vice President al-Hashemi under the terrorism law and five judges have signed this warrant," said Daham as he waved a copy of the order. On Sunday, judges investigating al-Hashemi's bodyguards over the alleged attacks banned the vice president from traveling outside of Iraq.
The AP adds that Monday's move "signaled a sharp new escalation in sectarian tensions that drove Iraq to the brink of civil war just a few years ago." Al-Hashemi has criticized the United States in the past for not doing enough to rectify Iraq's tendency towards divisive politics, and his arrest is further evidence that the problem was never solved.