Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri

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Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri
(عزة ابراهيم الدوري)
Regional Secretary of the Regional Command of the Iraqi Regional Branch
Assumed office
3 January 2007
Preceded by Saddam Hussein
Chairman of the Supreme Command for Jihad and Liberation
Assumed office
3 October 2007
Deputy Secretary of the Regional Command of the Iraqi Regional Branch
In office
September 1991 – 3 January 2007
Preceded by Taha Yassin Ramadan
Succeeded by Unknown
Deputy Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council
In office
16 July 1979 – 9 April 2003
President Saddam Hussein
Preceded by Saddam Hussein
Succeeded by Post abolished
Member of the Regional Command of the Iraqi Regional Branch
Assumed office
October 1966
Personal details
Born (1942-07-01) July 1, 1942 (age 71)
Tikrit, Kingdom of Iraq
Nationality Iraqi
Political party Iraqi Ba'ath Party
Religion Sunni Islam

(Naqshbandi Sufi Islam)1

Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri (Arabic: عزة ابراهيم الدوري‎),("Al-Douri" is the written form and "Addouri" is how it is pronounced) (born 1 July 1942) is an Iraqi military commander and was vice-president and Deputy Chairman of the Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council, until the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.23 Following the execution of former President Saddam Hussein on 30 December 2006, Al-Douri was confirmed as the new leader of the banned Iraqi Ba'ath Party on 3 January 2007.4


During the Saddam years

Izzat Ibrahim ad-Duri (right) with a foreign guest, 1988.

At the time of the invasion, al-Douri, along with President Saddam Hussein and Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan, was among the three surviving plotters who had brought the Ba'ath Party to power in a coup in 1968.3 Saddam's eldest son Uday Hussein was once married to Al-Douri's daughter, but he later divorced her.3 On 22 November 1998 Izzat Ibrahim Al-Douri escaped an assassination attempt when visiting Karbala.

Iraqi and Syrian Ba'athist leaders during the funeral of Michel Aflaq, 1989.

Al-Douri is also believed to be suffering from leukemia and is said to undergo blood transfusions every six months. In 1999, he visited Vienna, Austria for treatment. The Austrian opposition demanded that he be arrested for war crimes, but the government allowed him to leave the country.

After the 2003 invasion

On 20 March 2003, U.S.-led coalition forces invaded Iraq, leading to the toppling of the regime of President Saddam Hussein on 9 April 2003. Following the fall of Baghdad, Al-Douri went into hiding. U.S. officials claimed that he was involved in the subsequent Iraqi insurgency against U.S. forces, directing and funding attacks, as well as brokering an alliance between Ba'athist insurgents and militant Islamists. In a June 2008 interview, Al-Douri detailed his strategy, indicating that "any negotiations with the invaders without it represents a desertion and treason, and is refused by all national, Pan-Arab and Islamic factions of the resistance."5

  1. An official pronounced recognition of the armed and unarmed national resistance, including all its factions and (political) parties, as the sole legitimate representative of the people of Iraq.
  2. An official declaration of unconditional withdrawal from Iraq by the U.S. leadership.
  3. Declaring null and void all the political and legislative institutions, as well as all the laws and legislations issued by them, since the occupation, with the de-Ba'athfication law in the forefront, and compensating all who were adversely affected by them.
  4. A stop to raids, prosecutions, arrests, killings and displacement.
  5. Release of all prisoners of war (POWs), prisoners and detainees without exception and compensating all for their physical and psychological damage.
  6. Reinstating the army and the national security forces in service in accordance with their pre-occupation laws and regulations, and compensating all who were adversely affected by dissolving them.
  7. A pledge to compensate Iraq for all the material and moral losses it incurred because of the occupation.

Al-Douri is reportedly the head of the Iraqi rebel group Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Order as well as the Supreme Command for Jihad and Liberation based on his longstanding positions of leadership in the Naqshbandi sect in Iraq.1 In 2009 General David Petraeus, who was at the time heading the United States Central Command, told reporters from Al Arabiya that al-Douri was residing in Syria.6

Resurfacing and video evidence

On November 10, 2011, a man claiming to be Izzat Ibrahim Al-Douri released an audio tape condemning a recent arrest campaign targeting suspected Ba'ath Party members.

The first visual evidence of his survival surfaced on April 7, 2012 when a video posted online 7 showed him giving a speech. In the shots he is seen wearing an olive military uniform and glasses, denouncing the Shiite-led government in Baghdad and interference in Iraqi politics by regional Shia powerhouse Iran. "Everyone can hear the sounds of danger echoing daily and threatening this country," Al-Douri says during the hour-long broadcast. Prime Minister Maliki's personal adviser Ali al-Moussawi said the tape had a propaganda function, but that he doubted al-Douri was still in Iraq as he required extensive medical care for a number of illnesses.8

One Iraqi MP has stated that he believes al-Douri is residing in Qatar.9

On January 5, 2013, a 53-minute video was released on Youtube in which Al-Douri encouraged recent Sunni protests in Nineveh and Anbar provinces against Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, saying that "the people of Iraq and all its nationalist and Islamic forces support you until the realization of your just demands for the fall of the Safavid-Persian alliance". The message, which showed the 70 year-old sitting behind a desk with a small Saddam era flag on it, was partially broadcast on the Al Arabiya news channel. In the video, released just before the Iraqi Army Day on January 6, Douri claimed to be somewhere in Iraq's Babil Province.1011 Hours after the tape was released, Iraqi military intelligence arrested Abdul Rahman Mohammed Ibrahim, the nephew of al-Douri, in Saladin Province.12

In April 2013 the Iraqi Government claimed to be closing in on al-Douri, who they claimed was moving between Tikrit and the towns of Hawija and Dour, which is alleged to be an area of strong support for al-Douri, and also where he is also claimed to own a villa.13


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