Ayatollah Sayed Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim ( 1939 - August 29, 2003) was the foremost Shia Muslim leader in Iraq until his assassination in a terrorist bombing that killed him along with nearly 100 worshippers as they were leaving a mosque in Najaf at which he had led prayers. He was the son of Grand Ayatollah Sayed Muhsin al-Hakim Tabatabai, the worldwide leader of Shia Muslims from 1955 to 1970.

Al-Hakim co-founded the modern Islamist political movement in Iraq in the 1960sCenturies: 19th century 20th century 21st century Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s Years: 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 Events and trends The 1960s was a turbulent decade of change around, along with Ayatollah Sayed Mohammed Baqir Al-Sadr, with whom he worked closely until the latter's death in 19801980 is a leap year starting on Tuesday. Events January-February January 1- April 1 National steel strike in United Kingdom January 1 Changes to the Swedish Act of Succession creates Victoria of Sweden, Crown Princess over her younger brother January 5 He. Though not among the most hard-line of Islamists, Al-Hakim was seen as dangerous by the ruling Ba'athThe Baath Parties (also spelled Baath or Bath; Arabic: اﻟﺒﻌﺚ) comprise political parties representing the political face of the Baath movement. The original Ba'ath Party functioned as a pan-Arab party with branches in dif regime, largely because of his agitation on behalf of Iraq's majority Shia population (the ruling regime was comprised mostly of Sunnis). This led to his arrest in 19721972 is a leap year starting on Saturday (click link for calendar). Events January events January 2 the Pierre Hotel Heist Six men rob the safety deposit boxes of the Pierre Hotel in New York City. Loot is at least $4 million January 5 President of the Un, but he was released shortly thereafter.

He was partially blamed for the uprising in Najaf that occurred in February 1977For the album by Ash, see 1977 (album). Events January 1 First woman Episcopal priest ordained January 6 EMI sacks the Sex Pistols January 18 Scientists identify a previously unknown bacterium as the cause of the mysterious " legionnaire's disease" Januar, and so was arrested again, and this time sentenced to life imprisonment. However, his sentence was commuted and he was released in July 1979. The subsequent eruption of war between Iraq and (largely Shia) Iran led to an ever-increasing distrust of Iraq's Shia population by the rulling Baath party; combined with his previous arrests, this convinced Al-Hakim that it was impossible to continue his Shia advocacy in Iraq, and in 1980 he fled to Iran.

Safely in Iran, Al-Hakim became an open enemy of the Baathists, forming the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), a revolutionary group dedicated to overthrowing Saddam Hussein's regime. In 1983, Hussein responded by arresting 125 members of Al-Hakim's family who had remained in Iraq, and executing 18 of them. This further embittered Al-Hakim towards the Baathists, and towards Hussein in particular. With Iranian aid, SCIRI became an armed resistance group, periodically making cross-border attacks on Iraqi facilities, maintaining covert connections with resistance elements within the country, and generally being a perennial thorn in Hussein's side.

Al-Hakim returned to Iraq in May 2003 following the overthrow of Hussein's regime by the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. There he emerged as one of the most influential Iraqi leaders, with his longtime opposition to Hussein gaining him immense credibility, especially among the majority Shia population.

Initially he was very critical of the US-led occupation of Iraq, saying "we do not put confidence in the Americans, they have always acted against the interests of the Iraqi people" and urging Iraqis not to follow the US administration's dictates. However, he did give the US credit for overthrowing the hated Baathist regime, and through the summer of 2003 indicated some willingness to work with the Americans in setting up a civilian government in Iraq. Al-Hakim's brother and fellow Muslim leader, Ahmed al-Barak, was appointed to the Iraq interim governing council and the two worked closely together. By the time of his death, he remained distrustful, but urged Iraqis to abandon violence, at least for the time being, and give the interim government a chance to earn their trust.

It is unclear who was behind the massive bomb attack that killed him. A spokesman for SCIRI in London suggested that supporters of Saddam Hussein may have been behind the attack; others suggested it may have been orchestrated by Sunnis not necessarily connected to Hussein who opposed the increasing Shia influence in the country; still others suggested it may have been carried out by other Shia groups, either as part of an internal power struggle or as a hard-line reaction to his increasingly conciliatory line towards the United States.

The fact that his assassination came in the midst of a pattern of violence against Shia clerics in Najaf in the weeks leading up to his death (Al-Hakim was the fourth to be assassinated) led some to conclude that the attack was most likely motivated by anti-Shia sentiment. On the other hand, the violent history of rivalry between Shia factions and the unexplained circumstances of these attacks has led others to conclude that the attack was most likely carried out by supporters of a rival Shia leader, possibly hardliner Muqtada al-Sadr.

On August 30, 2003, Iraqi authorities arrested four people in connection with the bombing: two former members of the Baathist regime from Basra, and two non-Iraqi Arabs from the puritanical Wahhabi sect (a Sunni sect).