FLASHBACK: Obama Hosted Baghdad Embassy Protest Organizer At The White House In 2011

Screenshot Youtube: AP Archive

Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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Former President Barack Obama welcomed one of the men who organized the attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, Iraq to the White House in 2011.

Hadi al-Amiri, then Iraq’s transportation minister, went to the White House with then-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in 2011, according to multiple reports. The visit coincided with the official decrease of America’s military involvement with Iraq, according to a previous report from Fox News.

Al-Amiri helped was at the attack against the U.S. embassy Tuesday, according to Politico. A photograph shared by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shows al-Amiri at the protests as well. Pompeo named him as one of those leading the attack, calling al-Amiri an “Iranian proxy” and referring to those next to him as “terrorists.”

The former transportation minister is the head of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), an umbrella group for the Iran-backed militias, Politico reported. Many of the protesters were members of the PMU, which is largely made up of Shiite militias.

Obama was celebrating the official end to the Iraq War when al-Amiri appeared at the White House. Al-Amiri reportedly used to be a member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The FBI has accused this group of having a hand in the 1996 terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 U.S. airmen.

The militiamen withdrew from the U.S. embassy Wednesday after two days of protests. There were no reported injuries or deaths, but the protesters defaced property, lit fires and smashed windows at the embassy. They did not break into the embassy but managed to scaled the walls of the compound.

The protests came after five American airstrikes in Iraq and Syria on places controlled by Kataeb Hezbollah, an Iran-backed Iraqi Shia paramilitary group. At least 25 people died and 51 were wounded because of the airstrikes, which are a response to Kataeb Hezbollah’s rocket attacks on US-Iraqi targets.

President Donald Trump has blamed Iran for the situation, although the country has denied involvement. (RELATED: ‘The Anti-Benghazi’: Trump Tweets That US Embassy In Baghdad Is Safe, Says Iran Will Pay)