Sex, Fraud and Abuse: Iraqi Defense Minister Implicated in Swedish Scandal Amid Political Unrest

Published November 25th, 2019 - 10:22 GMT
Defense Minister of Iraq Najah al-Shammari
Defense Minister of Iraq Najah al-Shammari

Screenshots of messages have been published in a Swedish publication showing alleged sexual advances by Iraqi Defense Minister Najah al-Shammari to a young Swedish man who repeatedly rejected the invites. The politician has also been implicated in a welfare fraud scandal. 

Despite the 20-year-old’s rejection, the high ranked Iraqi politician and former general, kept pursuing a sex date. His text messages were later discovered by his wife, leading to a marriage crisis, the Swedish news site Nyheter Idag reported.

Screenshots of Arabic text messages were also published on the site supposedly highlighting conversations between al-Shammari and other men, although the quality was too poor to read legibly. 

In the leaked text messages with the young Swedish man, al-Shammari tells the young male how he’s just back from a trip abroad and wants to meet for sex. The male refuses, but al-Shammari keeps insisting.

"You my love”, al-Shammari allegedly writes. "And meet sex sex sex I love you.”

The young Swede tells the Iraqi Defense Minister he’s not interested. "I am not your love," he says and goes on to say he has a girlfriend, but al-Shammari doesn’t budge. 

Al-Shammari is also a Swedish citizen and has been reported for benefits fraud in Sweden after allegedly claiming child and housing support for years. He has been accused of falsely registering his address in Stockholm despite living in Baghdad. 

The allegations against him are especially scandalous as Iraqis have been protesting against government corruption. 

Nyheter Idag also reported claims of domestic abuse by  al-Shammari’s wife. She was the one who discovered the alleged steamy text messages in al-Shammari’s mobile phone, sent to other men. She took photos of the messages and later filed for divorce.

The police reports are said to include statements by his wife. 

“He’s cheating. It’s very obvious, he doesn’t seem to care that I know about his infidelity. He’s having sex with other men, I know it," al-Shammari's wife is quoted as saying. "When I tell him he’s treating me wrong, he yells at me and hits me."

The defense minister denies his family’s claims of his homosexuality.

The Swedish website reports that al-Shammari told police that as an officer in the Iraqi army in 1995 he held a position of great responsibility and that other officers tried to "push him aside in order to man the position themselves, as to make money from bribes." 

He claims he was "set up in a trap" because homosexuality in the Iraqi military is punishable by death penalty.

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