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.
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