Al Qaeda in Iraq claims credit for recent bombings

The Islamic State of Iraq, the political front for al Qaeda in Iraq, claimed credit for the series of bombings and attacks on June 13 that targeted Shia pilgrims and security forces nationwide and killed 70 people. Note that the Islamic State of Iraq intentionally launched the attacks as Shia began “their polytheistic visit and their pilgrimage to the graves of their idols.” The statement was translated by the SITE Intelligence group; an excerpt is below:

Then a new wave came on Wednesday in a timed and highly coordinated fashion between the provinces, and the witnessed discipline that is the custom of the soldiers of the Islamic State, after Allah had guided them to rely on Him and had given them success in fulfilling what He had facilitated of material and Shariah-based reasons. Despite the size of the operations and their spread, their variety, and the number of those who knew of them from the mujahideen, and despite the deployment of the flocks of the security apparatus by the Safawi government in preparation for their polytheistic visit and their pilgrimage to the graves of their idols, the enemy was surprised, its body staggered, and its sayings and actions were confused. It was another serious blow to the failed security plans that the enemy brags about and occasionally announces and that the trumpets of the Crusader media will promote.

We noted in February, after al Qaeda in Iraq spokesman Abu Muhammad al ‘Adnani issued a lengthy statement that railed against the Shia, that al Qaeda in Iraq/the Islamic State of Iraq was increasingly seeking to provoke a Sunni vs. Shia sectarian war so that AQI can rally the Sunnis to join their cause.

And it looks as if AQI isn’t finished with its attacks against the Shia. Thirty-two people were killed in a pair of car bombings that again targeted Shia pilgrims in Baghdad. From Al Jazeera:

Two car bomb blasts have killed at least 32 people, and injured dozens more in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

Saturday’s car bombs exploded near Baghdad’s Kadhimiya district, scattering body parts and clothing along a route used by pilgrims marking the anniversary of the death of Shia imam Moussa al-Kadhim, a great-grandson of the Prophet Mohammad.

The first bomb was hidden in a taxi parked among a group of other taxis waiting along the procession route to take pilgrims back to their home cities once the ceremonies were over, the police official said.

With security around Baghdad’s Kadhimiya district extremely tight for the religious festival, the bomber posed as a taxi driver and picked up pilgrims to access the area.

At least 14 people were killed in that initial blast and more than 30 wounded, authorities said.

“We rushed to the scene, there were dismembered bodies, shoes, plastic bags, women’s robes left all around, and people were screaming everywhere,” said Ahmed Maati, a policeman working nearby.

A second car bomb exploded nearby, police and hospital sources said.

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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  • Gerald says:

    AQI has fallen in love with killing. So much so that now they have turned on their fellow Muslims. This is sad fate of all Fundamentalist movements.

  • mike merlo says:

    The situation in Iraq is so ‘disheveled’ one can’t help but wonder if some of the pilgrimage ‘parties’ being targeted are the result of them being linked to Iran. Shia on Shia violence is as much a part of the ‘landscape’ in Iraq as everything else that is playing out in Iraq.

  • fern says:

    Iraq has a religious border town which is Kerbala Sunny/Shiites on one side Iran and the other Mecca, Shiite are a minority in the Muslim world the hatred between the two reminds me of the religion wars that shook Europe and still today there is resentment between the protestants and catholics, think about Ireland. My belief is that if Iran wants an atom bomb it is more to protect itself against the Sunny Muslims rather than attack Israel, which may come later but it’s not a matter of land it’s about religion.
    The US invasion to me looked not as a grab for oil but I believe the Bush administration thought that by freeing Iraq from Saddam Hussein everyone would love them and let them build bases there, from which the US could influence the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. Iran tried to help the Palestinians through Hamas and it didn’t work well, same with the US invasion of Iraq.
    We underestimate the power of religion, French Protestants had to wait for 1789 for the law that sent them to the galleys for life was abolished and still today there are no lost friendships between the two, same in the US.
    I would like to add that I may be wrong and probably am just like I predicted once three weeks before that the Nixon administration would have a diplomatic relationship with China, I was laughed at, till I proved to be right. I was so proud of this till some NSA people told me I was right for all the wrong reasons and the press never warned us of the impeding nuclear holocaust.
    So hence my weird thoughts


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