Islamic State utilizes 7 foreigners in Baiji suicide assaults

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Four of the seven suicide bombers who executed the June 13 suicide assault in Baiji are photographed with their vehicles.

The Islamic State has publicized a number of photos that show suicide bombers that were used against Iraqi forces in and around the central city of Baiji on June 13. The foreign suicide bombers are part of what the jihadist group is dubbing “The Battle of Abdul Razzaq al Mashadani,” which is its name for the ongoing fight against Iraqi troops and Shiite militias for control of the city.

The Islamic State deployed seven suicide bombers, including jihadists from England, Germany, the Russian Republic of Daghestan, Kuwait, Palestine, and an Uighur, which is an ethnic group native to China’s western Xinjiang province. One suicide bomber, identified as Usama al Daghestani, detonated near the barracks of Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Shiite militias.

According to the Islamic State’s Al Bayan radio news service, four suicide bombers were deployed against “Safawi army,” or Shiites, and Asaib al Haq “militia bases” in the Al Hajjaj area in Salahaddin Province. Abu Hafs al Kuwaiti attacked the “Zawra checkpoint near the village of al-Mazra’ah;” Abu Abdul Azīz al Falastini targeted “the Safawi SWAT forces base;” Abū Ibrahim al Almani struck “the Safawi operations base;” and Abu Yusuf al Britani hit another base belonging to the Iranian-backed Asaib al Haq militia.

Another three suicide bombers, identified as Abū Sa’d al Daghestani, Abu Siddiq al Turkistani, and Usama al Daghestani, attacked “Safawi army” and “Rafidi [Iranian] militia barracks” west of Baiji.

The Islamic State claimed that the coordinated suicide assaults “succeeded in killing and wounding dozens of Safawi soldiers” and Asaib al Haq fighters.

Reuters Arabic reported that the suicide bombings, which took place near the Baiji oil refinery complex, killed 11 people. Reuters said that four of the suicide bombers used in in the assault detonated near the refinery.

Iraqi troops and several Iranian-supported Shiite militias have entered Baiji and are vying for control of the central Iraqi city with the Islamic State. Al Jazeera Arabic has reported that Iraqi forces are in control of the southern portion of the city and are advancing to the eastern and western portions. Several Shiite militias, including Asaib al Haq, Kata’ib Imam Ali, Saraya al Khorasani, Kata’ib Saeed al Shuhada, and the Hezbollah Brigades are taking part in the fighting for Baiji. [For more on the current offensive in Baiji, see LWJ report, Iraqi Security Forces, Shiite militias make gains in Baiji.]

The Islamic State made significant gains at the Baiji refinery last month after a renewed offensive. The jihadist group was able to take control of several sub-refineries, as well as the northern and southern portion of the refinery. Al Jazeera has reported that the fighting at the refinery has “improved” but did not go into detail of what percentage the Iraqi forces have been able to take back. Last month, it was estimated that the Islamic State controlled more than 80 percent of the refinery. Much of the infrastructure is said to have been destroyed in the fighting. [See LWJ report, Fighting at Iraq’s Baiji oil refinery is ‘flowing in the wrong direction’.]

Foreign fighters lead Islamic State’s suicide operations

The Islamic State has touted its foreign suicide bombers that have executed attacks in Iraq. Suicide bombers from Western countries such as France, England, Germany, Belgium, and Denmark, and Australia, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Syria, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, China, and Russia have carried out numerous attacks for the jihadist group in Iraq.

The suicide assault, or coordinated attack using one or more suicide bombers and an assault team, is a tactic frequently used by the Islamic State, al Qaeda and its branches, as well as allied groups such as the Afghan Taliban, the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. Suicide assaults are commonly executed by jihadist groups in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Nigeria.

The Islamic State has used the suicide assault to demoralize and strike fear into the hearts of Iraqi troops, and often uses five or more suicide bombers during a single attack. This tactic has allowed the Islamic State to overwhelm Iraqi forces. Between May 15 and May 17, the Islamic State deployed 30 suicide bombers during its operation to take control of Ramadi, the provincial capital of Anbar. Two month prior, the Islamic State deployed 13 suicide bombers in Ramadi in a single day. Many of the suicide bombers were foreigners, and included a Belgian, an Australian, a Chechen, an Uzbek, a Moroccan, a Tunisian, an Egyptian, and two Syrians. [See LWJ report, Foreign suicide bombers launch assault on Ramadi.]

Photos of the suicide bombers:

Abu Yusuf al Britani:

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Abu Hafas al Kuwaiti:

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Abu Ibrahim al Almani (German):

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Abu Sadiq al Turkistani (Uighur):

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Abu Abdul Aziz al Filistiini (Palestinian):

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Usama al Daghestani:

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Abu Saad al Daghestani:

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Suicide bombers going over the battleplan:

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Detonations:

12

 

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of The Long War Journal. Caleb Weiss is an intern at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a contributor to The Long War Journal.

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20 Comments

  • mike merlo says:

    great news & good information

  • Oberron says:

    March? Don’t you mean May for Ramadi?

    That said, IS won’t be short of SVBIEDs anytime soon. If they start mass producing remote controlled drones with 50kg warheads or larger and this war will really start going places.

    Smash those into electrical substations deep into the enemy rear or into base defenses, and they can free up ATGMs for other uses.

    That said, anyone see their latest Kwheres Video?

  • Birbal Dhar says:

    Abu Yusuf al Britani has been confirmed as Talha Asmal of age 17 from Dewsbury, Yorkshire, England, Britain.

  • Feral Jundi says:

    Interesting. Anyone translate the briefing in the video? Also, were armored bulldozers used or any kind of fire support used as they maneuvered? It looks like those VBIED’s were not armored which is interesting, because usually they have one or two armored VBIED’s for the assault.

  • RanaSahib says:

    Portraits of smiling young men going to their deaths are too painful to look at.

  • zainol abuamar says:

    The US could have persuaded the mannic depressed Iraqi veterens to become suicide bombers. I guarantee US can easily wipe out ISIS from the surface of this earth….ha ha…..in your dream..LOL

  • Oberron says:

    OT: Glad to see you guys kick that hacker out. Hopefully you guys can press charges of some sort against him/her. Long War Journal forever! Glory to Comrade Roggio, and the Comrade Editors!

    Back to the topic:

    Ramadan is starts at 11:53 EST on Wednesday.

    Question is where will IS hit?

    Obvious places:

    1. Counter-attack at Tel Abyad? Logical, but not likely as they told civilians there to evacuate unlike Sarrin which means IS has no intentions of holding it though they are fighting tooth and nail for it at the moment while Ayn Isa is being reinforced and fortified. But so far they are doing local counter attacks rather than concentrated blows against the largely FSA led offensive there. For those who say Turkey supports IS, please explain why he allows PKK militants to freely cross into Syria or FSA to enter to reinforce YPG who gutted themselves launching Human Wave Assaults into pre-registered killing fields at Sarrin?

    If Burkan Furat seriously threatens Raqqah, all bets are off and IS will throw everything it has, abandoning other fronts like it did in early 2014 to push Burkan Furat back until they are utterly destroyed.

    2. Reinforce Palmyra region? Possible, and likely with their actions in the central corridor, taking Homs would put Assad up a creek without a paddle.

    3. Renew the fight for Deir Ezzor? Possible, they got 20,000 troops tied down there keeping SAA under siege going by unpublished satellite feeds. The Snake and his merry band of Druze ne’er-do-wells know there is no surrender, no retreat. Its victory or Shuhada. If it weren’t for the fact the Snake was involved in the rape and torture of those schoolboys that started this Civil War, he would be admirable, but he is scum and I’ll shed no tears if IS cuts his head off.

    4. Baghdad? IS is launching a lot of aggressive recons in force in North Baghdad and Diyala, and raiding in North Babil.

    5. Kirkuk? IS did push closer to the city recently and secure Bayshir for the 6th or 7th time now(?) after routing KDP and the PMUs out. Currently Kirkuk is a powder keg. KDP and PUK don’t coordinate and get into shoving matches over checkpoints. The Turkmen to whom the city historically belongs to are shoving back at the Kurd’s blatant attempts to usurp their city and their failures to assist them in the fight against IS. They had to be rescued by the PMUs in Amirli because the Peshmerga kept screwing up and getting routed. There is also a substantial PMU presence in Kirkuk as well. All thse groups work at cross purposes to each other.

    6. Finish clearing the Anbar Euphrates Valley? Finishing this sector up wipes out substantial ISF logistical bases and gets them Haditha Dam, plus it makes Baghdad indefensible.

    Less obvvious:

    Lebanon. Overruning Hezbollah Heartland and sacking their villages, taking their women, and broadcasting it to social media would be a heavy blow to Hezbollah and likely plunge Lebanon back into a sectarian civil war.

    • jay says:

      The YPG is now in control of Tel Abyad. And the main supply route is cut off. How will IS survive this?

      • Oberron says:

        Tell Abyad is not the MSR, that is Jarabulus in Aleppo Province and supplemented by al Ra’i.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Syrian,_Iraqi,_and_Lebanese_insurgencies_detailed_map

        As seen here, IS MSR runs from Jarabulus to Manbij with two parallel branch roads diverging to Raqqah (Use google maps to follow) one crosses Tishrin Canal directly to Raqqah. Tishrin Dam is off limits to coalition bombers.

        The other one goes to Al-Tawrah and crosses Tabqa Dam which is also off limits to coalition bombers.

        Tel Abyad is a supplemental supply line and IS has lost it before only to retake it later.

    • jay says:

      ”to reinforce YPG who gutted themselves launching Human Wave Assaults into pre-registered killing fields at Sarrin?”

      Where is your proof of that occuring?

  • jayc says:

    Hell of a waste of perfectly good Toyotas.

  • phil says:

    Delusional. We may have passed them on the street. Time bombs.

  • rtloder says:

    I don’t see the suicide attack as a long term military strategy, its part and parcel of this new wave of huminatiarian warfare, when it passes which inevitably it must suicide attack will be equated with home base assult.
    Seen as unfair it will be responded to as such, not that it is, mind you, but deploying suicide attack embobyies desperation and will attract hostage executions and home defenceless properties will be decimated, its happening already in Yemen, not that Houthi uses suicide attacks, they don’t, but the outcome is still the same.

  • Verneoz says:

    We should be enabling more of these heathens to kill themselves. Lack of intelligence, and the will to win prevent the US from ever throwing a knockout punch on this movement. They easily and deftly exploit our weaknesses…such as fear of any civilian casualties, or any friendly casualties. Timidity always is exploited by the enemy.

  • Pendraig says:

    Can someone pls explain the finger up in this pics? It looks like they are saying “Hey wait, I have an idea”…

    • Bill Roggio says:

      “One god,” or unity, or oneness with god, or monotheism.

    • Magnus Atheos says:

      Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe it is a sign in support of the Islamic State.

      • Mojo says:

        It comes from what was once Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn · Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, borrowed from Rosicrucianism and the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, now known as the Muslim Brotherhood (Egyptian chapter – loosely speaking.) The brotherhood is nothing but al Qaeda in suits. Monotheism indeed.

        • Dan Parker says:

          Pointing the finger up is often used by Jihadists to silently state a “Takbir” and “Allahu Akbar” – a common Islamic Arabic expression, used in various contexts by Muslims meaning “God is great”.

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