wondering who’s abu dira?

From Nir Rosen’s anatomy of a civil war:

In the summer of 2006 rumors began spreading through Baghdad of a shadowy killer known as Abu Dira, a nickname meaning “the armor bearer.” In the Shia uprisings of 2004 he was said to have held off the Americans in southern Sadr City. He earned his name either by destroying American armored vehicles or by killing an American soldier and stealing his body armor, which (some say) he wears at all times. Another story claims that he took his name out of irony: a Sunni prison guard under Saddam called Abu Dira was notorious for his brutality. Hailed by Shias as a hero, he is known by Sunnis as the “Shia Zarqawi” and the “Rusafa Butcher,” a reference to the primarily Shia eastern half of Baghdad.

Stagolee he’s a big bad man and he’s gonna do you wrong
Now they say he shot his own sweet wife ’cause she cooked his eggs too long
Then Stagolee he gave the devil his soul and the devil he gave him his hat
He said “Ain’t no-one can do you no harm just as long as you’re wearing that”
Stagolee went to the police station he told that deal that’d gone down
He gave the police a dollar a piece and an hour to get out of town

All information about this man is based on rumor, but he is said to be in his 30s and called either Salim or Ismail. It is said that he lives in Sadr City but was born in the southern Shia town of Amara. Some say that he is a member of the Mahdi Army and commands hundreds of fighters, but others say that he is a renegade militiaman, out of Muqtada’s control. Some say he was a bodyguard in the former regime but later fled to Iran. Or that he was a guard and torturer in one of Saddam’s prisons. One Web site claims that he controlled the ministry of the interior’s Falcon Brigade, which kidnapped Sunnis from Baghdad’s Zafraniya district. Some say that every time there is an attack on Shias he counts the dead and kills an equal number of Sunnis. Others say he kills a greater number of Sunnis. He is said to kill dozens of Sunnis every day in a remote part of Sadr City by a dam, and he is said to have threatened to fill the craters left from car bombs in Sadr City with the bodies of Sunnis.

What you gonna do about Stagolee, what you gonna do about that
You know that boy won’t never die just as long as he’s wearing that hat
Stagolee does any damn thing he choose
If you go against him you know you’ve got to lose
Get out of the way you chippies and chumps the devil is on my side
Stagolee put on his brand new hat, took his gal for a ride
Stagolee went to the sporting house locked it with a key
Said “All you whores don’t you open your doors by nobody else but me”

Some Sunni sources believe he is obeying a fatwa issued by Ayatollah Kadhim al Hairi in Iran, who was Muqtada’s supporter once. One Sunni Web site claims that he took an oath to slaughter a camel and feed the poor people of Sadr City after killing the Sunni politician Adnan al Duleimi.

Stagolee does any damn thing he choose
If you go against him you know you gotta lose
In everybody’s pocket, in every ladies bed
With that spooky old devil’s hat sittin’ right up on the top of his head


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