Mohammed Younis al-Ahmed al-Muwali (Arabic: محمد يونس الأحمد) aka Khadr al-Sabahi is a former senior member of the Iraqi Ba’ath Party. Ahmed currently has a million dollar bounty placed on his head as one of Iraq’s most wanted men accused of funding and leading resistance operations. He is the leader of al-Awda; an underground Ba’athist movement in Iraq.
Ahmed was born in 1949 in al-Mowall in the Kingdom of Iraq‘s Mosul Province,[lower-alpha 1] and rose in the ranks of the Iraqi Ba’ath Party under the rule of Saddam Hussein. Initially serving in the Iraqi Army‘s Political Guidance Directorate, which was tasked with ensuring Ba’athist control of the military, Ahmed later became a senior member of the party’s Military Bureau.
Though part of the Ba’ath Party’s supreme command by the time of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the United States did not prioritize his capture until months after the fall of the Ba’athist government, inadvertently giving Ahmed enough time to go into hiding.
A former aide to former President of Iraq and leader Saddam Hussein and a regional Baath Party organiser who it appears was trained in Moscow, following the 2003 Iraq War, he was allegedly one of the leading figures among the Iraqi Insurgency and a major rival to Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri. By 2006, the Iraqi government alleged he was an “operational leader”, “financial facilitator” and field commander of the Ba’athist insurgents.
Largely based in Syria since the war, Younis was accused by Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki of having access to substantial funds and that he has been disbursing funds and directing fighting of Sunni insurgents inside Iraq. According to journalists Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad attempted to make al-Ahmed the leader of the Iraqi Baathist insurgents at some point. However, others reported that his organization, al-Awda has many Shi’ites in the middle level and is attractive to some former Ba’athist Shi’ites from southern Iraq, and it is believed that Shi’ite followers of Younis are active in southern Iraq. Furthermore, it is reported that Younis’ organization is focused on securing political rehabilitation, amnesties and the repatriation of Baathist exiles, unlike the Naqshbandi Army which wants to violently overthrow the Iraqi government. According to the United States Department of the Treasury, Younis has lived back and forth between Syria, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates.
On 23 August 2009 the Iraqi government aired a taped of an alleged conversation between two members of the Syria-based Iraqi Ba’athist movement, Sattam Farhan and al-Ahmed, linking them with the August 2009 Baghdad bombings which claimed more than 100 lives. The Syrian foreign ministry denied Syrian involvement in the attack. On 25 August Iraq summoned its ambassador to return from Syria, the Syrian government issued a similar order to its ambassador within hours in retaliation. When the Iraqi government demanded in November 2009 that Syria extradite al-Ahmed, President al-Assad refused to do so, claiming that he had already been expelled from Syria. Despite this, Iraqi and American security forces had reported no signs of Baathists illegally crossing the border in the recent months and responsibility for the August bombings was later claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq.