Suicide bomber detonates inside Iraqi Shia mosque

Al Qaeda in Iraq conducted yet another suicide bombing today, the 14th such attack since mid-June. From Reuters:

A suicide bomber blew himself up at a mourning ceremony inside a Shi’ite mosque in Iraq late on Monday, killing at least 22 people, police said.

The explosion brought down the ceiling of the mosque in the town of Muqdadiya, 80 km (50 miles) northeast of the capital Baghdad, crushing Shi’ites who were mourning the death of a police officer in a recent roadside bombing.

Police said the death toll could rise because people remained trapped beneath the rubble.

While most of the current focus in the Middle East is on the Syrian civil war, al Qaeda in Iraq has been flexing its muscle and has stepped up its suicide campaign as well as IED and more conventional attacks. At this time, al Qaeda in Iraq is evidently having no problem cranking out recruits to conduct suicide bombings. In the past 16 days, al Qaeda in Iraq has executed 14 suicide attacks, according to a count by The Long War Journal.

Some of the attacks have targeted security forces and government officials, as well as politicians. But others are clearly directed at Iraqi Shia and Turkmen. Al Qaeda in Iraq has been openly trying to reignite sectarian strife since February 2012, when spokesman Abu Muhammad al ‘Adnani berated Iraqi Shia in a lengthy speech [see Threat Matrix report, Al Qaeda in Iraq rails at Shias, claims deadly attacks].

Suicide attacks in Iraq since mid-June

July 1, 2013:

A suicide bomber killed 22 Iraqis in an attack inside a Shia mosque in Muqdadiyah.

June 28, 2013:

A suicide bomber killed four people at a funeral in Dujail.

June 25, 2013:

A pair of al Qaeda in Iraq suicide bombers killed 16 people in an attack that targeted Turkmen in Tuz Khurmatu. Another suicide bomber killed 10 Iraqis in Mosul.

June 24, 2013:

A suicide bomber killed a soldier and a police officer in Mosul. Another suicide bomber killed a policeman at a university campus in Tikrit.

June 23, 2013:

A suicide assault team killed three policemen in Hawija.

June 22, 2013:

A suicide bomber killed 12 people in an attack at a mosque near Taji. Four more Iraqis were killed in a suicide attack in Azba.

June 20, 2013:

A suicide bomber killed seven people in an attack at a vote-counting center in Ramadi.

June 19, 2013:

A suicide bomber killed a political leader and four of his family members in an attack at a gathering at the politician’s home in Ninewa province.

June 18, 2013:

A suicide bomber killed 15 Iraqis in an attack on a Shia mosque in Baghdad.

June 17, 2013:

A suicide bomber killed three Iraqi policemen in Fallujah.

June 16, 2013:

A suicide bomber killed 11 Iraqis in an attack inside a cafe in a Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad.

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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  • mike merlo says:

    “At this time, al Qaeda in Iraq clearly is not having a problem cranking out recruits to conduct suicide bombings.” And yet we’ve still haven’t read or ‘seen’ anything comprehensive on ‘The Profile Of The Suicide Bomber.’
    One would think that either an individual or group well versed in Psychiatric and or Psychological ‘Sciences’ would have by now had something published on this subject.

  • @ mike merlo
    Check out Robert A. Pape’s book ‘Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism’. This book might answer some of the questions you might have.

  • rayznack says:

    Hi Bill,
    A suicide tracker, while morbid, would be an invaluable information tool. I’ve briefly tried finding a comprehensive database after discovering CPOST’s was incomplete, but with no luck.

  • mike merlo says:

    @Academic Guerrilla82
    Thank you very much for the information. I’ll be sure to ‘check out’ the book ASAP. I find incredibly frustrating that a tactic so heavily ’employed’ is very rarely commented upon let alone expanded upon with significant ‘depth’ such crimes deserve. Usually something that results in death or injury particularly when said act(ion) is premeditated or part of a broader strategy or societal calamity ‘it’ receives ‘a like’ proportional level of attention

  • mike merlo says:

    Excellent idea. Drone strikes, depending on the “W’s”(who, what, why, where, when), are commented on with a type of precision that doesn’t seem to accompany the Suicide Bomber. For example I believe many of these Suiciders’ are under the influence of narcotics, other drugs or a combination thereof. I liked to forensics information on these people.
    I’ve often wondered whether or not it would be possible to design a bio-metric device that could detect a person under the influence of some ‘foreign substance’ & if so could said device perform detection & confirm from a distance.

  • rayznack says:

    Indeed. I completely forgot about LW’s drone strike database.
    I’d be happy to volunteer time collecting data on suicide bombings.
    It’s surprising a comprehensive list is not readily available online.

  • mike merlo says:

    Thank you for info. I’ll be sure to check it out

  • M.H says:

    Interesting to see attacks are spreading to southern cities including Basra. With more than 1000 killed during May and 761 in June, this is a return to 2006/2007.


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