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"The Mahdi Army, also known as the Jaysh al-Mahdi (JAM), is a Shiite militia led by Muqtada al-Sadr. The group was founded in 2003, and it was considered one of the most dangerous groups in Iraq until early 2008. In March 2008, the Iraqi Security Forces and coalition troops launched a major offensive against the Mahdi Army in Basra, which significantly undermined its capacity. After signing a ceasefire agreement with the coalition forces in 2008, Sadr reoriented the Mahdi Army to focus on social services provision for the Shiite community. In 2010, Sadr again redirected the focus of many members of the Mahdi army, this time to the upcoming parliamentary elections, before stepping out of the public eye in 2013." Mapping Militant Organizations-Stanford


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