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“Extortion Network” within Iraqi Security Establishment

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The Iraqi authorities announced the discovery of a network that uses social media sites to blackmail and bargain with the security establishment, officers, and affiliates.

Yahya Rasoul, the military spokesman for Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani, said in a statement, “Investigations led to the identification of members of a network within the institution that works to use social networking sites (pages under pseudonyms) to blackmail the security institution and insult its symbols.”

Rasoul added that an investigative committee headed by the Minister of Interior and the membership of the head of the National Security Service and the military inspector of the Ministry of Defense decided to “refer the officers involved in this illegal act to command, continue the necessary legal procedures, and complete investigations against them.”

The statement did not reveal the names of the officers involved or their ranks at the time of preparing this report.

Almost daily, the Ministry of Interior announces the arrest of people who engage in electronic blackmail, as well as saving blackmail victims from paying sums of money, but nevertheless blackmail operations are still remarkably widespread in Iraq.

The incident comes in conjunction with activists circulating on social networking sites pictures of “obscene” clips of the Dean of the College of Computer and Information Technology at the University of Basra, in which he appears in “obscene” situations with a female student inside his office at the college.

Sources confirmed to The Eastern Herald that the incident revealed blackmail operations against female students and exploitation of their position.

Commenting on this, the Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education confirmed that it had taken a decision to “withdraw the hand” of the dean accused of harassing female students and photographing them at a university in Basra.

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