Two security guards with al-Dhari were also arrested
US occupation forces in Iraq have arrested Dr Muthana Harith al-Dhari
the editor of al-Basaer newspaper (Insight)
and media officer for the influential Association of Muslim Scholars.
forces arrested Muthana Harith al-Dhari this morning [8/2/04]
he turned up at the Um al-Quraa mosque,
headquarters of the committee,"
Abd Al-Ghafur al-Sammarai of the AMS,
leading Sunni authority, said.
"This is the work of the occupation forces. They're here to intimidate and
terrorise people not to rebuild our country," he added.
Al-Sammarai said he had no idea why al-Dhari had been arrested and called
for all detainees of the occupation forces in Iraq
to be released.
Witness speaks out
Aljazeera interviewed Amar Abd Al-Karim, who was accompanying al-Dhari when
he was arrested, and he says the US forces stopped Dr al-Dhari's convoy and took him into custody.
"We were on our
way to the headquarters of the AMS, going out from the studio of the LBC (Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation),
where Dr al-Dhari had given an interview.
"A US patrol emerged suddenly and stopped our convoy.
They searched the cars, and then asked us to step aside
and called for reinforcements.
"A number of Humvees arrived with detecting devices.
They gave us body scans,
and told us that Dr Muthana and two of his companions
were to be arrested because the device detected
remains of explosives on Dr al-Dhari's hands."
Abd Al-Karim said the group was enraged
at the US's allegations and stressed that Dr al-Dhari was a guest in a TV interview.
"The US soldiers at the scene told us either we shut up,
or we would be arrested with Dr al-Dhari," he said.