5,741. 4/3/2004

On April 3, 2004, “Special Forces executed the predawn raid in Najaf at the home of [Iraqi theologian and political leader Muqtada] al-Sadr[‘s] lieutenant Mustafa al-Yaqoubi, arrested him, and spirited him off to a prison in northern Iraq. Everything went according to plan. But with this action coming on the heels of [weekly newspaper] Hawza‘s shutdown, Muqtada al-Sadr immediately rose up and put out a call to arms. ‘I and my followers of the believers have come under attack from the occupiers, imperialism, and the appointees,’ he said publicly. ‘Be on the utmost readiness, and strike them where you meet them.’ All hell broke loose over the next two days, as al-Sadr put out more direct calls for his followers to attack coalition troops and government buildings across the country.”

 – Ricardo S. Sanchez with Donald T. Phillips, Wiser in Battle, Pages 334-335

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