ISIS suicide bomb trainer kills class in ‘work accident’

In Iraq, a suicide bomb trainer for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham accidentally killed most of his class today in what US military officers often describe tongue-in-cheek as a “work accident” or a “premature detonation.” The New York Times has the details of the ISIS mishap:

Twenty-two ISIS members were killed, and 15 were wounded, in the explosion at the camp, which is in a farming area in the northeastern province of Samara, according to the police and army officials. Stores of other explosive devices and heavy weapons were also kept there, the officials said.

Eight militants were arrested when they tried to escape, the officials said.

The militant conducting the training was not identified by name, but he was described by an Iraqi Army officer as a prolific recruiter who was “able to kill the bad guys for once.”

While the thinning of the herd of ISIS suicide bombers is certainly a good thing for the Iraqis and Syrians who are to face their wrath, the missing subcontext of this story is a bit more disturbing. The fact that the ISIS is able to recruit such a large number of suicide bombers and then train them all in one place should be of great concern.

Additionally, how many more ISIS suicide camps are out there? Given the steady stream of suicide attacks the ISIS carries out in Iraq and Syria (the ISIS has enough capacity that it even uses suicide bombers against its Islamist rivals in the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic Front in Syria), the answer is likely enough that today’s work accident won’t make much of a dent in ISIS operations.

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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  • JimBo says:

    I think is my favorite story of 2014. Definitely a candidate for top spot in the Darwin Awards.
    Shall we call it “involuntary-self- martyrdom”?
    Should give pause to wannabe Jihadis. All pain, no gain.

  • Joseph says:

    No doubt a steady stream of funding and assistance from the oil monarchies assists in maintaining an organization that can recruit like that.

  • My2Cents says:

    I wonder if he had time to say “Oops”?

  • David says:

    How come they couldn’t capture all the wounded?
    How did they get a body count unless they had boots in the ground? If they were close enough to the dead and wounded to get body counts, why weren’t they’ close enough to arrest these guys.

  • gb says:

    Prisoners…hmmmm..prisoners?…Why are they taking prisoners?

  • Scott J says:

    “Feel good” story of the month.

  • Cindy says:

    The topic of other jihad/suicide bomber training camps and their locations should be seriously explored by the military and the intelligence community.
    Also worth reading:
    “The Continuing Appeal of Suicide Attacks”
    by Lisa Lundquist (May 3, 2013)

  • AndrewC says:

    Best schadenfreude ever!

  • stryker555 says:

    Rest in pieces scums of the earth. Good riddance! Excellent work by the bomb instructor.

  • Marc Parker says:

    Conducting a live demo for potential suicide operatives seems unnecessary and unprofessional. However much we might like to believe that it is not the case, individuals with these skills tend to be fairly competent.
    It would also be unusual and nugatory to be demonstrating devices to suicide operatives who could be deployed anywhere and may end up with a completely different device.
    Operatives tend to be isolated before a mission and given instructions (not generally that complicated – drive/walk to target, press button…) at the last minute. Much more prep is put into the psychological/ideological than the technical/physical side.
    Seems more likely then that this was a ‘train the trainers’ camp devoted to teaching others to construct suicide IEDs, in which case it’s an even more welcome own-goal.
    Whilst ISIS appears capable of dredging up almost unlimited numbers of lunatics willing to blow themselves up, identifying individuals with the skills to construct devices is much more challenging. Any thinning of the limited pool of capable (or potential) experts is nothing but good news.

  • GrassHopper says:

    Rest in Pieces!!

  • David says:

    Can’t we arrange to sell these guys some more unstable explosives?

  • Jack says:

    Allahu Akbar

  • Mahesh says:

    I wonder why Iraq and the US can’t co-operate to have several surveillance drones flying around Baghdad for 24 hours or more to try and trace back where these bombers originate from, once an explosion does happen and then hunt down and destroy their camps and ‘nests’. Maybe all farmsteads and settlements within a 100 mile radius of the city should be on ‘high’ watch list.


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