Update to this story.
(CNSNews.com) – Iraqi authorities are on the verge of releasing a leading Shi’ite terrorist wanted by the United States for the killing of American soldiers there, but the Obama administration maintains that the U.S. has “a good and robust and strategic partnership” with Baghdad.
The case of Ali Musa Daqduq, one of the most senior Hezbollah figures ever to have been in U.S. custody, threatens to become a heated political issue in the U.S., with Republican critics accusing the administration of botching the affair.
The Lebanese national allegedly was a key link between Hezbollah, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Qods Force, and violent Shi’ite “special groups” held responsible by the Pentagon for numerous deadly attacks targeting American troops.
Counterterrorism specialist Matthew Levitt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy described Daqduq this week as “one of the most senior and dangerous Hezbollah commanders ever apprehended.”
Daqduq, suspected in the 2007 killings of five American soldiers – four of whom were abducted and murdered – was in U.S. hands until late last year when he was handed over the Iraqi authorities shortly before the last troops left Iraq.