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The New Arab Staff

US blocks Iraq militia websites following Baghdad parade

Kataib Hezbollah has previously stormed the US embassy in Iraq [Getty]

Date of publication: 26 March, 2021

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The US Department of Justice has blocked two websites belonging to the pro-Iran Iraqi militia Kataib Hezbollah, following a parade by an affiliated group through Baghdad.
The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday blocked two websites belonging to the Iran-backed Iraqi group Kataib Hezbollah less that 24 hours a militia parade through Baghdad.

The Department released a statement on Thursday announcing that it had blocked the "r-m-n.net" and "Almaalomah.com" websites on Thursday via a seizure warrant in the Eastern District of Virginia.

"The internet must not be used as a recruitment tool for terrorist organizations to promote violent extremism and spread their hateful rhetoric," said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

An Iraqi Shia militia known as Rubu' Allah, which is considered to be a Kataib Hezbollah front group held the parade in Baghdad on Thursday, displaying heavy vehicles carrying rocket launchers among other military equipment.

Shops were not able to open and businesses were halted.

The group made speeches honouring "martyrs" and threatening the state.

"We salute the arms of the mujahideen and their rifles that roamed the land of the capital, Baghdad, this day in a message of threat to America and their regional agents," Rubu' Allah said in a statement, as circulated by local media. 

Kevin Kurland,  the US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement said, "We will continue to aggressively disrupt Foreign Terrorist Organizations such as Kata'ib Hezbollah and their efforts to utilize US cyber infrastructure to harm US national security." 

The US Department of Justice has previously shut down other Kataib Hezbollah linked sites including "Aletejahtv.com" and "Aletejahtv.org" in August 2020 and "Aletejah.tv" and "kataibhezbollah.com" in October 2020.
The sites were registered in Virginia and Arizona. 

The Iran-backed group has been designated as a terrorist organisation by the US Department of the Treasury since 2009, which claimed that Kata'ib Hezbollah was a threat to Iraqi national security

The group stormed the US Embassy in Baghdad in December 2019 following deadly US airstrikes on one of its bases in Syria, as tensions flared between the Trump administration and Iran. Tehran has backed other militias in Iraq and played a key role in the creation of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) militia coalition

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