Assassins in Baghdad shot dead a prominent political analyst and one-time government adviser late Monday night. Hisham al-Hashemi, 47, was killed by one of two gunmen on a motorcycle as he parked his car near his home in the city’s eastern Zayouna district. Hashemi often wrote pieces that were critical of Islamic State and the Popular Mobilization Forces, a series of Iraqi Shi’ite militias known to look to Iran for their marching orders. He was also a critic of national policies, which in recent months have become deeply divided over Iranian influence, but also the presence of foreign forces on Iraqi soil, especially US troops. Most recently he was a vocal supporter of ongoing anti-government protests targeting corruption, cronyism and sectarianism. He was a favorite target of critics posting on social media, and more than once was accused of collaborating with Israel. His research on Middle Eastern matters brought him prominence and positions at top-tier think tanks like London’s Chatham House and the Center for Global Policy in Washington. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the shooting.
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