Profile: Izz al-Din Salim

Izz al-Din Salim, who was killed in a Baghdad bombing on Monday, was a political survivor who ran out of lives.

    Salim had been an assassination target for the last 20 years

    Temporary head

     of the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council, Salim

    was accused

     by the Iraqi resistance of collaborating with the occupation authorities.

    An author and journalist, he

     was the head of the Shia Daawa

    Party in Basra and the editor of several newspapers and magazines.

    He was also an opponent of Saddam Hussein for many years

     and his party once mounted a high-profile attack to assassinate the former Iraqi leader

    .

    But Salim's transition from Iraqi dissident to alleged "American puppet"

    earned him still more enemies and made him an even bigger

     target.

    Daawa Party

    At least eight people died in the
    bombing that killed Salim

    Izz al-Din Salim was born in the southern Iraqi city of Basra in 1943.

    At an early age he began studying politics and religion and at 18

     won acclaim for his first book.

    However, due to his opposition to the ruling Baath Party Salim was

     forced

     to leave Iraq in his early 20s.

    He subsequently worked as a teacher in Kuwait and then went to Iran to build a career as a journalist. During his career he wrote

     more than 40 books on political science and religion.

    Salim broke away from the main branch of the Daawa Party (Iraq'

    s oldest Shia Muslim organisation) in the early 80s to form

    his own faction of the party in Basra.

    Anti-Saddam campaign

    Throughout the 80s, the Daawa Party mounted a campaign against Saddam Hussein and

    was blamed by Iraqi leaders for provoking the Iraqi

     attack on Iran in 1980.

    During that conflict, most Daawa members either joined Iranian military units or refrained from political activity altogether.

    Salim (R) was the president of the
    rotating Iraqi Governing Council

    But in July 1982, Daawa members staged a major assassination attempt on Saddam Hussein, bombed the Ministry of Planning in August 1982, and attacked Saddam's motorcade in April 1987.

    Following these attacks, the group was harshly suppressed and eventually split into several factions.

    Salim claimed to have survived

    numerous assassination attempts from Saddam's followers.

    Unknown

    Shortly after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, he

     was appointed a member of the Iraqi Governing Council - one of two

    Daawa members on the body.

    However, when he took his post Salim was one of the lesser known members of the council and was unknown in many parts of Iraq.

    He instead drew most of his support from his hometown of Basra

    .

    Nevertheless, as the current incumbent of the rotating council presidency, Salim will be considered a significant scalp in the struggle to undermine the foreign occupation.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


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