Some familiar faces have returned to the former extremist stronghold of Dora in southern Baghdad, instilling residents with new fears for the security of their district, even as raiding operations by Iraqi forces continue in the notorious Baghdad area.
On Saturday morning, police conducted house-to-house searching in the al-Wadi area of Dora, apparently searching for weapons and wanted persons. Locals say that the area remains a site of frequent attacks by IED and flash-bang grenades, which lead some to fear that armed activity has returned to the district after a period of relative stabilization in the notorious southern district, which was a stronghold of armed extremist groups up until 2007.
Sources in the al-Wadi area say that the raiding police forces also disconnected some homes that had illegally spliced into the public electricity grid.
Dora residents told Slogger that the some of the locals who are known to locals to have participated in the violence in the district before 2007 have returned to the area, and are said to have been “guaranteed” by other residents, who reportedly have vouched for the behavior of the individuals. Locals tell Slogger that many living in the area are upset about the return of these known offenders, but feel powerless to act against them. Details about the so-called “guarantees” are sketchy, but locals suggest that the so-called guarantors who have reportedly arranged for the return may be linked to the locally organized Sahwa forces in the area, and to local tribal leaders.
Residents say that their anxieties about the security situation in Dora is compounded with the release of detainees from American detention centers. Locals fear that some recently released detainees from the American Camp Bucca and other facilities have returned to the area with a more hardened and violent outlook after their time in the detention camps, and express fears that these individuals may be planning criminal enterprises and violent activities. Members of IraqSlogger's network of Iraqi staff contributed to these reports but choose to remain anonymous for security reasons.