Hours before his assassination, security expert and political researcher Hisham al-Hashemi appeared in a televised interview on a local station, criticizing what he called "Katyusha cells", which fire rockets and attack diplomatic missions in Iraq, most notably the US embassy building (central Baghdad).
Al-Hashemi ended his televised interview and returned to his home in the Zayouna area (east of the capital Baghdad), where unknown gunmen were waiting for him to ride two motorcycles, so they fired with silencer weapons upon his arrival in front of the house.
And his exciting life started from the years of his arrest and his imprisonment during the regime of the late President Saddam Hussein, on charges of belonging to an opposition organization, until he was released from prison in 2002, one year before the American invasion of the country.
Those close to al-Hashemi say that it was a puzzle, even to those close to it. He may declare something and deny it after a few days, or touch on political and other issues and issues with contradictory information.
He was closely related to politicians, activists, and officials of armed groups, and he was a distinguished strategic and security analyst, providing security studies and analyzes for Iraqi security and intelligence institutions and strategic research centers, especially with regard to armed groups and ISIS.
He was able to dismantle the organization’s structure, and to disclose information about the organization’s most prominent leaders, especially those who were held in Bucca prison, such as former Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Samir al-Khulaifawi known as “Haji Bakr” the organization’s strategic planner, and Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Bilawi, Which is one of the most important founders of the organization, Abu Muhannad Al-Suwaidawi, a leader described as the hardliner and one of the founders of the organization, Abu Ahmed Al-Alwani, who is the most important security leader for the organization, Abu Muslim Al-Turkmani, Senior Assistant to Al-Baghdadi, and Ismail Alwan Al-Ithawi known as Abu Zaid Al-Iraqi, and Abu Yahya Al-Iraqi Musaed Al-Baghdadi and Abdul-Nasser Qirdash, Al-Baghdadi's deputy.
As a result of the abundance of information about the personalities and leadership names that formed the nucleus of the Islamic State, Al-Hashemi is the first to unveil the leadership of the organization in both Iraq and Syria, where he disclosed names and information related to the leaders of the organization and their work mechanism.
Hashemi has many books, including "The World of ISIS", "A Brief History of Al-Qaeda in Iraq", and "ISIS from Within". He also has more than 500 articles and research published in Iraqi, Arab and foreign newspapers and magazines, and all these books talk about extremist groups and their secret worlds.
Al-Hashemi has emerged strongly in the years of fighting the Iraqi security forces and factions of the popular crowd of ISIS operatives in Iraq, and at that time he began occupying several positions, including the director of the National Security and Counter-Terrorism Program at the Akad Center for Strategic Studies and Research, a security consultant to the Iraqi Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, and a consultant to the Iraqi Observatory For human rights between 2016 and 2018, a member of the Scientific Committee of the Baghdad Conference on Combating Terrorism, a lecturer for counter-terrorism in security academies, and a visiting researcher at the Al-Nahrain Center for Strategic Studies, and collaborated on research with the Carnegie Middle East Center and the Chatham House Institute ( Chatham House), also worked as a collaborator with the Crisis Group, and was a primary source for reports by international human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch.
Al-Hashemi appeared in a newly published picture at a meeting of the PMF leaders, taking a seat near Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the PMF, who was killed in an American raid with Quds Force commander Qasim Soleimani, on the road to Baghdad airport earlier this year.
Al-Hashemi gained a great reputation on social media during the Iraqi security forces fighting the elements of the organization, and a semi-permanent guest appeared as well as a security expert and knowledgeable about armed groups, on TV screens. Al-Hashemi then detailed the organization's control areas, and reviewed information pertaining to the organization's leaders, their beginnings, their operational sectors, their names, and their nickname.
After Iraq declared victory over the Islamic State, al-Hashemi became known for his abundant information about the armed Shiite factions.
Days before his assassination, al-Hashemi published a detailed research on the organizational structure of the popular crowd, the number of armed factions and brigades within it, and through it he touched on the intersections between what are known as resistance factions and volunteers who formed the popular crowd after their fighting among the major factions in Iraq, and the motives of the religious thresholds to break away from Popular crowd and join the Ministry of Defense, which is opposed by some Shiite factions and their political wings.