Egyptian, Yemeni al Qaeda fighters involved in Baghdad church massacre

The Washington Post reported that Yemenis and Egyptians were involved in the deadly massacre at a Christian church in Baghdad that resulted in the deaths of at least 52 people:

An Iraqi official said Monday that investigators had found at the scene three Yemeni and two Egyptian passports thought to have belonged to the suicide bombers.

A survivor said they were methodical and well trained:

Once they penetrated the church building, the silent assailants began executing people. “They were well trained,” Sami said. “They didn’t say anything. It was like someone had cut out their tongues.”

The New York Times reported that some witnesses who survived the deadly al Qaeda assault heard the assassins speak, and that it was in a dialect indicating they were not from Iraq:

Several survivors said that many of the casualties occurred when the gunmen entered and began firing randomly – at people, church icons and even windows. They described a ferocity on the part of the gunmen, some of them speaking in dialects from other Arab countries, as though the very sight of the church’s interior had enraged them.

“They seemed insane,” said Ban Abdullah, a 50-year-old survivor.

The Christian Science Monitor has more information on how well trained and organized the attackers appeared to one witness:

“The men who carried out the attack were very organized – the way they entered   how well prepared and armed with machine guns, explosive belts, and everything they could need . How they quickly closed the doors and shut in the faithful. Then the security forces came and   It was a real tragedy – so many lives lost …” says Monsignor Kasha.

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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  • Charu says:

    Hindus, Jews and Christians were specifically targeted by the Pakistani assassins in Mumbai. Acknowledged Muslims were specifically spared. Most of AQ’s early threats named Hindus, Jews and “Crusaders” aka Christians as targets. But all of this, including the Baghdad church massacre is nothing new under the sun. Such attacks have existed in a continuum from the earliest days of Islam; see Bat Ye’or’s works on dhimmis and dhimmitude.

  • My2Cents says:

    It is probably a safe bet that the retreat to and massacre in the church were preplanned. This was a 2nd Mumbai.

  • James says:

    No doubt a “Mumbai” style attack trained for and provided for courtesy of the jihad camps in Pakistan.


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