CAMPBELL ROBERTSON and TARIQ MAHER
Thursday, Dec 18, 2008
The involvement of the counterterrorism unit speaks to the seriousness of the accusations, and several officials from the Ministries of the Interior and National Security said that some of those arrested were in the early stages of planning a coup.
None of the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the delicate nature of the subject, provided details about that allegation.
But the arrests reflect a new set of political challenges for Iraq. Mr. Maliki, who has gained popularity as a strong leader but has few reliable political allies, has scrambled to protect himself from domestic rivals as the domineering influence of the United States, his leading backer, begins to fade.
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Rumors of coups, conspiracies and new alliances abound in the Iraqi capital a month before provincial elections. Critics of Mr. Maliki say he has been using arrests to consolidate power.
This article was posted: Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 5:32 am