Suicide attacks killed more than 120 Iraqis in Baghdad

Al Qaeda in Iraq carried out another coordinated mass-casualty terror attack in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.

More than 120 Iraqis were killed and more than 200 were wounded when three suicide bombers and two car bombs were detonated in locations throughout Baghdad. The targets of the attacks were a bank, a police patrol, a court complex, a mosque, and a market neighborhood near the Interior Ministry.

A police patrol was the first target hit in the attack, which began around 10:00 a.m. local time, The New York Times reported. Three police and six civilians were killed in the blast, which took place near a technical college in Baghdad.

Another blast targeted the headquarters of the Rafaidyan Bank. Many employees from the Interior Ministry were based there, following the al Qaeda hit at the ministry headquarters in an August attack.

The bombing at the federal appeals court complex killed dozens of Iraqis, including several judges. “The building was 100 percent devastated,” Judge Abdulsattar al Berqdar told Voices of Iraq.

Today’s attack in Baghdad was the third major terrorist event in the capital since August. Al Qaeda in Iraq took credit for the Aug. 19 attack outside of Iraqi government buildings that killed more than 120 Iraqis, and the Oct. 25 attack on foreign and finance ministry buildings that killed more than 130.

The Iraqi government has blamed al Qaeda in Iraq and former Baathists based in Syria for the previous attacks.

Recently, the top US military commander in Iraq said that al Qaeda in Iraq has “transformed significantly” and has begun to work more closely with former Baathist groups that still are fighting the Iraqi government and US forces.

“Al Qaeda in Iraq has transformed significantly in the last two years,” General Raymond Odierno told reporters in Baghdad last week. “What once was dominated by foreign individuals has now become more and more dominated by Iraqi citizens.”

Al Qaeda in Iraq is thought to be carving out a haven in eastern Syria. Earlier this year, the central leadership in Pakistan dispatched Sheikh Issa al Masri to Syria to help Abu Khalaf to reorganize the network and conduct strikes against US and Iraqi forces.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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8 Comments

  • C. Jordan says:

    This makes my blood boil.
    Outside fingers are once again at work in Baghdad.
    Doesn’t feel like an inside job

  • Monica says:

    So much of blood shed. I wonder what can put an end to it

  • Andrew R. says:

    The IP’s and Iraqi Army S-2’s have *got* to get serious about forensics. Simply grabbing someone, beating a confession out of him, and declaring you’ve got the perp is a tactic that’s going to mean that a massive bombing every other month is going to be the pattern for a while to come.

  • David M says:

    The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 12/09/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

  • Bungo says:

    Yea, but you may as well get used to it. It’s all AlQueda knows how to do. The good news is that in the long term it accomplishes nothing.

  • Joel says:

    It is very frustrating that we can’t get better intelligence on whoever is behind these lastest bombings. Wherever they are emanating from, the leadership needs to be taken out. My gut tells me this is the Baathists operating out of Syria with help from Jihadists inside Iraq. I sincerely hope we have covert assets inside Syria right now looking for them. But the Iraqis clearly need to get better in regards to their own intel.

  • Alex says:

    Expanding forensics (as well as foreign intelligence) as Andrew R said is necessary, but also necessary is border security. As Bill Roggio noted earlier, eastern Syria is becoming a haven for al-Qaeda and Baathists. The Iraqi-Syrian border needs to more resemble the Israeli-Syrian border.
    There are border checkpoints along the main roads, but there are still huge swaths of desert where a fleet of SUV’s can go through unnoticed.

  • C.H. says:

    “The Iraqi-Syrian border needs to more resemble the Israeli-Syrian border.”
    Very well said.

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