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Smuggling Radical Literature in Cold Trucks
Driver Unwitting Accomplice in Bid to Move Sectarian Writing into Salah al-Din
By SLOGGER NETWORK 05/19/2009 7:37 PM ET
Iraqi security forces uncovered an apparent attempt to smuggle banned sectarian literature into Iraq, according to an account relayed to IraqSlogger by a truck driver in the northern province of Salah al-Din.

The driver told Slogger that he had been engaged to haul a shipment said to contain perishable vegetables and pharmaceutical materials from Abu Ghraib in Anbar Province to Samarra in Salah al-Din Province near Baghdad last week. The driver explained that he had been informed that the cargo had been brought to Anbar Province over the western Iraqi border, from either Syria or Jordan.

The driver said that he hauled the materials to Samarra, as instructed, adding that while the cargo was being unloaded into a cold storage facility, one of the workers opened a box out of curiosity, and found that the boxes did not contain medicines but instead extremist sectarian literature denigrating Shi'a Muslims and urging Sunni Muslims to use violence against the Shi'a.

The worker notified the security forces, who arrested the driver, he said. After investigations satisfied the Iraqi forces that the driver had no link to the literature that he had unknowingly hauled to Samarra, he was released.

The driver also explained that, in his experience, shipments said to contain perishable medicines would have cleared the border control on the Iraqi frontier more quickly with less inspection, saying that in his view this explained why the unknown extremists behind the apparent attempt to bring the literature into Iraq had apparently chosen to disguise the literature as pharmaceutical materials.

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