German, Saudi, and Turkish Islamic State fighters launch complex suicide attack

The Islamic State has claimed a deadly, complex suicide attack in a town north of Baqubah in Iraq’s Diyala province that killed at least 25 people.

The suicide attack in Diyala took place today in the town of Qara Qubah, and targeted a government complex. Reuters reported that the attack was executed using three car bombs driven by suicide bombers, and 25 people, including civilians and troops, were killed and more than 60 were wounded.

The Islamic State claimed that the attack was carried out by three foreign fighters: Abu Sarah al Almani, from Germany; Abu Muhammad al Jazrawi, from Saudi Arabia; and Abu Turab al Turki, from Turkey, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which obtained and translated three statements from the group that were released on Twitter.

According to the Islamic State, the German and Saudi jihadists targeted buildings housing Kurdish Peshmerga fighters. The Turkish suicide bomber then detonated his suicide vest among a crowd of people who were attempting to give aid to the wounded from the first two attacks.

In the past, the Islamic State has publicized foreign fighters’ roles in launching suicide attacks in Iraq. During the winter and spring of 2014, the Islamic State released numerous statements touting suicide attacks carried out by jihadists from Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Iran, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan or Pakistan, Tajikistan, the Russian Republic of Chechnya, France, and Denmark. [For examples, see LWJ report, ISIS names Danish, French suicide bombers killed in ‘Ninewa Division,’ and Threat Matrix report, ISIS again touts French and other foreign suicide bombers .]

The involvement of foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria is being promoted by the Islamic State as part of its effort to draw jihadists from across the globe as well as for fundraising purposes. The Islamic State is in competition with the rival Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, and other al Qaeda groups worldwide for resources. Although it was once al Qaeda’s official branch in Iraq, the Islamic State is now competing with al Qaeda itself for the mantle of leadership in the global jihad.

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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