Mishkat Al Moumin | December 31st, 2011 | True Stories About Security | 31 Comments »
I am inviting you to have an “electronic cup of coffee,” and then take off on a little Sherlock Holmes adventure. You and I will examine the statement that the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), Al-Qaeda linked group, issued on December 27. You are right! ISI declares its responsibility for the deadliest bombing of Baghdad on Thursday, December 22.
Since, I am paying for the coffee, then I get to play Holmes. You can be Watson. Are you interested? It is fun (even though, I have not seen the movie yet!). But, let’s start anyway.
Did you notice the statement was released five days after the attack? Yes, five days, rather than immediately afterwards. How do you understand the time gap? To me, it indicates a debate over the wording and the details of the statement. What method do you think was used to initiate that debate? Was it email, phone, in person? I would say, given the time gap, it seems communication was done in person.
Do you think the time gap also reflects the difficulties in communication? I think it does. There were many bombing incidents (the attempt on my life included) where the terrorist organization released a statement immediately afterward, which reflected the strong capacity to communicate.
How did you feel about the introduction? The introduction offers a couple of reasons for carrying out the attack. Among them is revenging the executing of Sunni prisoners. However, according to Amnesty International, Iraq had executed one prisoner in 2010 , Ali Hassan Al Majeed (Chemical Ali), who was executed in January 2010 . It is not likely that the terrorist organization would carry out an attack to revenge an execution that was implemented 12 months ago. Well, maybe they don’t rely on Amnesty International’s report.
I feel the introduction is vague and lacking information. The perpetrators lacked the exact information. Lacking the exact information reflects the difficulty in obtaining it. Don’t you think?
The statement portrayed the attack as being carried out against selective targets, namely security headquarters, army patrols, and groups of army personnel. The reality is all victims were civilians, including some children, since one bombing took place near a children's school . Why do you think that is?
The terrorists are not concerned or ashamed of killing innocent people. According to them, if the dead person was a good person he will go to heaven. However, if he was a bad person, he will go to hell. Either way, it is that person’s behavior that determines his fate. Twisted thinking, I know. However, that is what they think.
I think portraying the bombing as an attack against the army indicates that the concept of the holy war or Jihad is not that popular among followers and support. Thus, the ability of these terrorist organizations to sell themselves as fighting the holy war or Jihad is declining. Moreover, the statement called on supporters not to “believe media lies.”
It seems all the writings and discussions that took place in media forums condemning the terrorist attacks is paying off. If the terrorist organization cannot sell it cause, then it cannot recruit or raise funds.
The statement refers to only one attack out of the fourteen that were carried out. The statement offers details and more information on the attack targeting the Integrity Commission, where many civilian employees were killed. Why do you think that is?
I think mentioning one attack only (with one sentence promising more details to be released later regarding the rest of the thirteen attacks) means this attack is the one that sends a strong message about the capability of the terrorist organization. On the flipside, this attack was the most difficult to implement and it took more time and effort to implement it than the others. As such, it was the only one worth mentioning. On the other hand, referring to one attack targeting a state agency, not a security apparatus, is a clear contradiction with the introduction . Contradictions happen when someone is rushing and does not have a lot of time. Right?
While researching for the original statement in Arabic, I came across a website that suggested the involvement of a female suicide bomber (FSB) in these attacks. The website talked about a female martyred and vowing to avenge her death. I could not confirm nor deny the involvement of the FSB. I thought I would share the finding with you and see what would you think about it. I am enclosing that part of the discussion with the English translation as PDF file.
I hope you enjoyed these investigations over our electronic cups of coffee. Please stay tuned, and let’s look for more connections together. You can drop by any time for another electronic cup of coffee; it is on the house.
 Amnesty International, "Death Sentences and Executions in 2010." March, 2011, P.25 details are in P.30 http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/death-penalty-international-perspective#interexec.
 In the report Amnesty International (AI) states that the number of executed people could be higher, but it could not be confirmed. P.25. However, in Feb. of 2012, AI urged the Iraqi President Jalal Talabani to interfere and prevent the the recent executions that took place after the issuing of the above statement, not before.
 BBC News, "Dozens Killed in Coordinated Baghdad Attacks." December 22, 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16297707.
 See the discussion in the introduction section.