In northern Iraq, Adil al-Hadadi, a lawyer with links to the US-led coalition, was assassinated on 28 December by masked gunmen outside his home in Mosul, US officials said on 1 January. Al-Hadadi’s killing was the third assassination in late December. ‘It is always the same thing: a drive-by shooting by masked men in a particular make of car,’ said a local police officer, linking the three shootings. A US official in the city said that the dead man had had regular contact with coalition authorities in Mosul ‘He had to visit our offices frequently for this,’ said a coalition official. ‘If you look at the killings of all three men, the common denominator between them all is that they were part of the governing body in some form – but there is a wider programme of intimidation going on.’