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ISIS suicide bomb trainer kills class in 'work accident'

In Iraq, a suicide bomb trainer for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham accidentally killed most of his class today in what US military officers often describe tongue-in-cheek as a "work accident" or a "premature detonation." The New York Times has the details of the ISIS mishap:

Twenty-two ISIS members were killed, and 15 were wounded, in the explosion at the camp, which is in a farming area in the northeastern province of Samara, according to the police and army officials. Stores of other explosive devices and heavy weapons were also kept there, the officials said.

Eight militants were arrested when they tried to escape, the officials said.

The militant conducting the training was not identified by name, but he was described by an Iraqi Army officer as a prolific recruiter who was "able to kill the bad guys for once."

While the thinning of the herd of ISIS suicide bombers is certainly a good thing for the Iraqis and Syrians who are to face their wrath, the missing subcontext of this story is a bit more disturbing. The fact that the ISIS is able to recruit such a large number of suicide bombers and then train them all in one place should be of great concern.

Additionally, how many more ISIS suicide camps are out there? Given the steady stream of suicide attacks the ISIS carries out in Iraq and Syria (the ISIS has enough capacity that it even uses suicide bombers against its Islamist rivals in the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic Front in Syria), the answer is likely enough that today's work accident won't make much of a dent in ISIS operations.

READER COMMENTS: "ISIS suicide bomb trainer kills class in 'work accident'"

Posted by JimBo at February 10, 2014 5:34 PM ET:

I think is my favorite story of 2014. Definitely a candidate for top spot in the Darwin Awards.

Shall we call it "involuntary-self- martyrdom"?

Should give pause to wannabe Jihadis. All pain, no gain.

Posted by Joseph at February 10, 2014 6:12 PM ET:

No doubt a steady stream of funding and assistance from the oil monarchies assists in maintaining an organization that can recruit like that.

Posted by My2Cents at February 10, 2014 9:22 PM ET:

I wonder if he had time to say "Oops"?

Posted by David at February 10, 2014 10:35 PM ET:


How come they couldn't capture all the wounded?

How did they get a body count unless they had boots in the ground? If they were close enough to the dead and wounded to get body counts, why weren't they' close enough to arrest these guys.

Posted by gb at February 10, 2014 11:05 PM ET:

Prisoners...hmmmm..prisoners?...Why are they taking prisoners?

Posted by Scott J at February 11, 2014 12:09 AM ET:

"Feel good" story of the month.

Posted by Cindy at February 11, 2014 3:23 AM ET:

The topic of other jihad/suicide bomber training camps and their locations should be seriously explored by the military and the intelligence community.

Also worth reading:

"The Continuing Appeal of Suicide Attacks"
by Lisa Lundquist (May 3, 2013)


Posted by AndrewC at February 11, 2014 5:59 AM ET:

Best schadenfreude ever!

Posted by stryker555 at February 11, 2014 9:17 AM ET:

Rest in pieces scums of the earth. Good riddance! Excellent work by the bomb instructor.

Posted by Marc Parker at February 11, 2014 10:10 AM ET:

Conducting a live demo for potential suicide operatives seems unnecessary and unprofessional. However much we might like to believe that it is not the case, individuals with these skills tend to be fairly competent.

It would also be unusual and nugatory to be demonstrating devices to suicide operatives who could be deployed anywhere and may end up with a completely different device.

Operatives tend to be isolated before a mission and given instructions (not generally that complicated - drive/walk to target, press button...) at the last minute. Much more prep is put into the psychological/ideological than the technical/physical side.

Seems more likely then that this was a 'train the trainers' camp devoted to teaching others to construct suicide IEDs, in which case it's an even more welcome own-goal.

Whilst ISIS appears capable of dredging up almost unlimited numbers of lunatics willing to blow themselves up, identifying individuals with the skills to construct devices is much more challenging. Any thinning of the limited pool of capable (or potential) experts is nothing but good news.

Posted by GrassHopper at February 11, 2014 11:29 AM ET:

Rest in Pieces!!

Posted by David at February 11, 2014 5:33 PM ET:

Can't we arrange to sell these guys some more unstable explosives?

Posted by Jack at February 11, 2014 7:56 PM ET:

Allahu Akbar

Posted by Mahesh at February 15, 2014 9:12 PM ET:

I wonder why Iraq and the US can't co-operate to have several surveillance drones flying around Baghdad for 24 hours or more to try and trace back where these bombers originate from, once an explosion does happen and then hunt down and destroy their camps and 'nests'. Maybe all farmsteads and settlements within a 100 mile radius of the city should be on 'high' watch list.