A prominent Iraqi expert on jihadi groups in the Middle East, including ISIS, was shot dead by unknown gunmen late Monday in front of his home in central Baghdad, media director of the Iraqi Ministry of Interior, Major General Saad Maan, told CNN.
Hisham al-Hashimi, 47, appeared frequently on local and foreign media outlets as an analyst, especially during Iraq’s battle against ISIS.
He was also an expert voice on Iraqi politics and Shiite extremist groups and had served as an adviser to previous Iraqi governments
Al-Hashimi died in Ibn Al-Nafees Hospital in Baghdad after he was seriously wounded during the attack, Maan said.
The motive behind his assassination is so far unclear, but similar targeted killings were frequent during the height of Iraq’s sectarian war.
Al-Hashimi was a vocal critic of Iraq’s political elite and discussed corruption in the country on his social media accounts. He appeared to have tweeted moments before he was killed, in a post about the sectarian and ethnic divisions in Iraqi politics.
News of his death shocked many in the Middle East and beyond.
The European Union’s Ambassador to Iraq Martin Huth tweeted: “Together with his family and friends, we mourn the death of Dr Husham Al-Hashimi. The perpetrators of this heinous crime must be brought to justice!”
The UK’s Ambassador to Iraq Stephen Hickey tweeted “Devastated and deeply saddened by the news of the killing of Husham Al Hashimi. Iraq has lost one of its very best- a thoughtful and brave man. These attacks cannot continue. The government – supported by the international community – must hold the perpetrators to account.”