Al-Qaeda's attacks in Iraq spark outrage

Women mourn during a funeral of a victim who was killed in one of Thursday's bomb attacks before burial in Najaf. [Ali Abu Shish/Reuters]

Women mourn during a funeral of a victim who was killed in one of Thursday's bomb attacks before burial in Najaf. [Ali Abu Shish/Reuters]

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Iraqi officials, religious leaders and citizens denounced the string of terrorist attacks that left 67 Iraqis dead and more than 400 wounded on Thursday (February 23rd).

The al-Qaeda front group Islamic State of Iraq has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Iraqis woke up Thursday morning to a barrage of 29 terrorist attacks, including 16 car bombs, eight improvised explosive devices, five sticky bombs, and armed attacks by masked gunmen on Iraqi police and army checkpoints, according to Col. Hikmat al-Masary, director of media at the Ministry of Interior.

The strikes were reported in Baghdad, Fallujah, Mosul, Tikrit, Kirkuk, and Diyala, according to al-Masary.

"The provinces of our dear country were the target today of a savage, despicable attack by al-Qaeda, which is trying to undermine the democratic experience in Iraq, and throw the country and the people into sectarian, denominational, ethnic infighting," said government spokesperson Ali al-Dabbagh.

"But we are relying on the culture and endurance of the Iraqi people, as well as their awareness of the scope of the terrorist conspiracy targeting the country," he told mawtani.com.

Al-Dabbagh said the government "has started a comprehensive investigation, and shall strike back without mercy against the al-Qaeda attacks within a few days".

He said the government has drafted a fast-paced security plan for the capital as a precaution against any other attacks that might happen.

On Friday (February 24th), Iraqi forces in Baghdad province raided al-Qaeda hideouts in al-Yousufiya, al-Radhwaniya and al-Taji, and arrested 19 individuals suspected of involvement in Thursday's attacks, according to the Iraqi Ministry of Defense. In Ninawa province, Iraqi army forces arrested eight individuals who "confessed to involvement in the attacks", provincial spokesperson Lt. Col. Abdul Rahim al-Atwani said.

'No one will be immune from accountability'

Osama al-Nujaify, speaker of parliament, called on the parliamentary defence and security committee to prepare a detailed report on the attacks, pinpointing the flaws in order to discuss them at the next parliamentary session.

Al-Nujaify said that the attacks aimed at "undermining the national reconciliation conference of the blocs' leaders, and kill the chances for Iraq's hosting the Arab summit meeting in Baghdad next month".

He called on "the security services to take responsible measures to curb these terrorist actions".

Ahmad al-Alwany, member of the parliamentary defence and security committee, denounced the attacks and said "they reconfirm the need to review the work of the security and intelligence network in Iraq, and hold the derelict ones to account".

He said parliament "will question the government on the security breaches that have taken place, and no one shall be immune against accountability".

"The terrorists will pick out any chance to inflict harm on our people. Therefore, security must be maintained for the citizens, as well as confronting al-Qaeda plans and those who are behind it, and this is the simplest right of citizens, which must be upheld," al-Alwany said

Citizens and religious leaders outraged

Sheikh Ayham al-Saadi, deputy head of the Council of Iraqi Scholars, described the attacks as "a savage, despicable action unrelated to any religion".

Al-Saadi called on all Iraqis to "help the security forces by informing on the perpetrators," and described the failure to inform on them as "religiously forbidden, and would amount to partaking in the bloodbath".

"What happened is a serious indication that the terrorist groups are still carrying out painful attacks, and they must be confronted through unity by the components of the Iraqi people and collaboration with the security forces," he said.

Hasnain Ali, 43, a resident of Karrada neighbourhood in Baghdad where one of the attacks had taken place, said, "It was a big tragedy that happened today. This is the language of perfidy and malice that the terrorists are used to."

"We will remain united and will undo their plans that aim at sparking off the sectarian crisis again," he said, calling security forces to inflict losses on the terrorists.

Mohammad Khider, 52, a resident of Abu Dsheer in Baghdad, said, "This is al-Qaeda: wherever it goes, there is destruction. They are trying to take away the liberty to live in peace."

Civil society organisations help the wounded

The Iraqi Ministry of Health called on citizens through the local media to donate blood to save the wounded.

In response to the ministry's call, civilian organisations and offices of religious leaders of both Sunnis and Shias started a national drive to donate blood for the victims of the attacks.

Bilal Shallal, head of the civil society organisations network in Iraq, said 54 civil organisations in Iraq were able to collect 21,000 vials of blood during the first hour of the drive in Baghdad, Dhiqar, Basra, Mosul, Falluja, Diyala, and Salah al-Din.

Shallal said the organisations also collected donations in all parts of Iraq and will be distributed to the victims.

He said a number of Iraqi businessmen have pledged to cover the treatment of some of the wounded at their own expense outside Iraq.

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  • READER COMMENTS

    مسعود

    2012-7-25

    Everything in its right time is a beautiful thing, and it has an effective impact. This is what we are talking about with regard to terrorist groups in Iraq and the way the Iraqi government deals with them. Tolerance and forbearance are the best and noblest traits of all, and regardless of religions, these remain the noblest human attributes and traits, but if these traits are misplaced, they will definitely be interpreted as clear weakness and impotence on the part of the Iraqi citizens and the members and soldiers of the Iraqi government. As such, one of the most sacred duties of the Iraqi government at the present moment is for the Iraqi government to deal with the terrorists with all firmness and strictness until the day that the Iraqi government is able to remove these terrorist forces from the land of Iraq.

  • محمد ناجي

    2012-5-19

    How can they easily kill and claim the lives of the innocent people; did the Islam religion order them to do so? They disbelieve those whom they want and consider themselves as the reformers on the ground, but they are only corrupters that are the main reasons for the instability and destabilization of the security and stability of the citizen; They are the reasons why everyone loses everything that is close to his heart whether his family or one of his relatives or friends. How many children became orphans as a result of their acts and how many mothers lost their child? The security forces must stand against them with all the forces they have and cooperate with all sects of people in order to get rid of those terrorist movements, which receive their funding from abroad, paying no attention to the bloodshed, and they do not apply God’s Sharia; all they care about is their interests and the money which they obtain from external funding entities so as to destroy the future of any country they put their hands into. Those movements committed a lot of the crimes, which make us, Muslims, rejected by many of the western countries and make them think that the Islam religion and the Muslims are the basis of terrorism. May God curse those movements, which caused a lot of harm to every Muslim and Arabs in general; may God save all the world countries from any evil, so we call upon God to save us from those criminal movements.

  • adham

    2012-5-18

    I am upset

  • احمد

    2012-3-24

    I ask God for him to be sentenced to death!

  • ياسين محمد

    2012-3-20

    Shame on the criminal organization of al-Qaeda and shame on these actions that increase our anger, hate and resentment towards this organization and its dishonest followers! The conscience of those killers and lowlifes are dead. This extreme organization is the enemy of every Iraqi without any exception because it is known for its brutality and unhidden animosity towards humanity and the Iraqi people. Iraqis stand united against the terrorists and the scumbags working with them. Iraqis made all the conspiracies of evil and terrorism that the terrorists were trying to apply in Iraq fail. Shame and disgrace on the terrorist organization of al-Qaeda and its ugly actions that target the innocent Iraqis and civilians. We ask Allah to have mercy on the righteous martyrs of Iraq. Shame on the followers of the al-Qaeda organization.

  • حامد وليد

    2012-3-20

    What the groups and elements of the al-Qaeda organization do is counted as the height of criminality, ugliness, brutality, atrocity, and terror to the innocent people. They were the first and last victims. They are targeted throughout all this period by members, elements and gangs of the al-Qaeda terrorist organization. That is why we see that the Iraqi citizens have lived in a very long period of terror, fear and loss. As a result of the long history of harsh, bitter, painful, sad, and chilling conditions, Iraq has witnessed and lived in true suffering. The Iraqi citizens kept being the victim until this day. The groups of the al-Qaeda organization did not leave anyone safe. They did not spare the young, elderly, children, or women. They targeted everyone without any exception for any sect, group, religion, or province. Everyone was a victim of the al-Qaeda terrorist organization, which scattered the sons of the Iraqi people, exploiting the multiplicity of sects that exist between its people as well as the different religions. This is what contributed to the spread of murder, death and terror everywhere. They started to assault even mosques and churches in spite of their claim to be religious, Muslims and fighting corruption. In fact, they are corrupt. The Iraqi people cannot forget what happened such as the explosions, bomb attacks, suicide bombings, kidnappings, assassinations, looting, robbery, displacement, discrimination, killing, and the attack on the rights of the citizens. They took all of what they have of homes and money. They targeted everyone without any exception and this, of course, was happening also at the hands of many young people of the Iraqi nation, those who were exploited in the name of religion, deceit and money. God curse anyone who caused harm and damage on the sons of the Iraqi people, all without any exception.

  • امين يونس

    2012-3-19

    Crimes committed by terrorist al-Qaeda organization are acts incompatible with human rights principles that call for respect of people’s humanity and sparing their lives or their legitimate rights because of what this criminal organization bears of deviation in thinking and behavior; they are committing the most heinous criminal acts against innocent people, Muslims and non- Muslims, for the purpose of spreading fear and terror among the people, The leaders of al-Qaeda are relying on people who have criminal tendencies, where they provide care for them and embrace them for the purpose of developing a spirit of evil and crime in them by brainwashing their minds and directing them toward faith in ideas of al-Qaeda based on laying hatred and grudges in the hearts of those delinquents for committing criminal atrocities every place they go. In order to satisfy their diseased souls, they used to commit various crimes; these heinous acts are contrary completely to revealed religions, other religions, customs and social traditions, where all these ideas do not give a right to any other person to take these actions in order to spread fear and terror among the people, where dealing with others should be through high morals and kindness to others and staying away from the use of force whatever the pretext is of defending against others for belief or dignity.

  • سجاد محمد

    2012-3-15

    All the horrible crimes of al-Qaeda are considered violations of human and Islamic laws. Those terrorists cause chaos and confusion and they spread terrorism, violence, criminality, and disputes among the Muslims to the extent that they kill each other. The terrorist organizations are brutal gangs and we have to get rid of them to make them an example to others who may think about adopting the same ideology or even supporting these terrorist groups. They should be an example to anyone who may think about committing these malicious, dirty and violent acts against the innocent Muslims, who are not guilty of anything. The Muslim nation has offered the souls of many innocent people as sacrifices after they were killed under the name of jihad and liberation, as seen by Al-Qaeda terrorist organization. May God curse all those responsible for shedding the blood of the Muslims and the innocents. We ask God to curse them in this world and in the hereafter. O God! Save us and destroy them forever.

  • فالح غانم

    2012-3-15

    The horrible, mean crimes of Al-Qaeda against the innocent Muslims are unimaginably filthy and brutal. They are mere useless insects and we have to eliminate and get rid of them, so that the Muslims can live freely and quietly. They spread fear and terror because of their terrorist criminal acts, such as murder, assassination, kidnapping, torture, slaughter and robberies of the Muslims, despite the fact that these terrorist groups claim that they are defending Islam and Muslims. However, their malicious acts have uncovered their deception and dirty and terrorist acts. They are mere gangs that instigate the people and create turbulence and sectarian strife, so that the people kill each other. These terrorist organizations seek to earn money and to tarnish the pure image of Islam.

  • هاشم كامل

    2012-3-14

    The description of the acts of al-Qaeda exceeded all limits. The actions of al-Qaeda in Iraq are considered a crime beyond all standards against the people of Iraq of all sects. It is a crime against humanity as a whole. There is nothing more precious than human life. It is wasted as a result of their atrocities and crimes against the noble people. There is no justification that gives them the right to shed blood and claim lives in the name of religion and jihad. They have nothing to do with Jihad. Jihad does not give them the right to kill innocent women, children, men, and the elderly. Jihad would not lead them to sabotage the public or private facilities, or destroy the country that has suffered the scourge over the decades, putting a building block for a better future. Al-Qaeda's presence in Iraq and committing the most heinous crimes that could not be described are only an attempt to destroy Iraq and impose their influence upon it to have control over the country in order to achieve their goals and their permanent quest for power as well as the implementation of schemes for people. All they care about is the destruction of the image of Iraq in the region, which has always been a force to be reckoned with. Iraq is rich in wealth but needs security and stability to stand up and follow the march of the future. Al-Qaeda is an obstacle standing in the way towards a better future.

  • رائد عادل

    2012-3-14

    The defenders of al-Qaeda are the ones who need arguments to justify the crimes of al-Qaeda and their departure from the consensus of leaders of the Muslims completely forbidding the targeting of civilians. There are no opinions that justify the targeting of civilians apart from the usurpers of the land. Since the emergence of al-Qaeda, there is the occurrence of the disease of harvesting. It did not bring Muslims their freedom, dignity, stability, security, pride, and esteem. It is a harvest that opens the door to the settlers to enter in the guise of the savior and justify all the murders that accrue against the civilians and unarmed. It is a harvest that divided the Arab and Islamic countries from states to scattered Emirates. It is a harvest that gave the wealth of the Islamic people on a plate of blood and skulls of Muslims to this odious colonial power. It is a harvest that distorts the reputation of the honorable jihad and the Mujahideen through the bomb attacks in markets and public places where innocent Muslims congregate and the children's schools are not spared.

  • اسعد وحيد

    2012-3-14

    The targeting of innocent civilians, whether at the hands of ordinary people, extremist organizations and terrorists or regular armies is rejected by sound human nature, and the law and sharia prohibit it. Killing the innocents outside of the course of justice is a prohibited and flagrant violation. What is an innocent person guilty of, to deserve to be killed? What did he do to end his life in this horrible way? I reiterate that targeting civilians for any reason whatsoever is a horrible act that can never be acceptable under the law, sharia and the sound human nature. I believe that targeting the civilians in the acts of sabotage and using them to deliver a political or economic message to cause unrest or disputes is unjustifiable. Killing an innocent soul deliberately or by mistake is a horrible crime, and whoever uses this method to achieve his purposes is a criminal too.

  • علي

    2012-3-14

    There is no way that God’s revenge is not coming to al-Qaeda

  • ئئ

    2012-3-12

    The Americans did it to all the Arabs.

  • احمد

    2012-3-12

    Events of the end

  • sad

    2012-3-12

    May God grant victory to those who support the right, and eliminate those who stand behind falsehood.

  • همام

    2012-3-12

    This is totally unacceptable and is considered a violation of human rights. It is the most criminal, violent, barbaric and hideous act, and caused the deaths of so many people. It did not distinguish between a child, a woman, an old man, or a youth. They have contributed to the creation of chaos, strife, hatred, violence and infighting among the Iraqi people. Thus, what al-Qaeda has been doing, such as bombing, suicide bombing, kidnapping, assassinations, thefts, forced expulsion, killing over identity, promoting division among people using religious and sectarian reasons, as well as using the spread of poverty, hunger and unemployment among a lot of youth is the reason that helped them spread and do whatever they wanted, through tempting people using money, in order to recruit as many people as possible to carry out terrorist attacks against the Iraqi people. These acts highlight their criminality, lack of humanity and mercy. They are heartless worms that should be crushed because they have caused so much damage to a lot of innocent people.

  • قاسم

    2012-3-12

    This criminal organization, those who helped and give them a hand and participated in his crimes bear the responsibility in front of God for each blood drop spilled on the land of Iraq and every person has been killed under the pretext of supporting of Iraq against enemies. Iraq nor his citizens needn’t these retarded minds in understanding of the religion of God the obnoxious era of Al-Baath and its failed experiment has spawned a lot of Iraqi factions which are thinkers and leading the policy ,so when you involved into the fabric of Iraqi society, you find the finest communities in the east where the sick, retarded corrupt minds in the name of Islam must leave

  • العراقي الشرس

    2012-3-12

    Terrorism is a blight which lives everywhere. It must be eliminated in its nests. To do this, we must overcome foreign terrorism and we must have strict and independent justice in carrying out sentences.

  • احمدمحمد

    2012-3-11

    Oh God!

  • احمد رستم

    2012-3-11

    I am Egyptian; I am with you, God willing.

  • عيدالمنوفي

    2012-3-11

    Be with God; God will grant you victory and support you.

  • سوسو

    2012-3-11

    May God grant victory to the resistance!

  • منار الطورجاوي

    2012-3-11

    May God protect every Iraqi, amen, protect Mohamed's nation from this sorrow and distress soon, God. You are victorious, our beloved, sweet country. Greetings. Manar Altoorjawy,

  • محمد الجنزورى

    2012-3-10

    May God punish those who sabotage their country.

  • احمداسماعيل

    2012-3-10

    May God give victory to Iraq and defeat anyone who aims to cause disunity among the people of our dear nation!

  • azoz

    2012-3-10

    I don't like the people of the streets!

  • zaudykadum

    2012-3-10

    In the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful! In the name of the brave Iraq, we will destroy terrorism. God willing, it will be wiped out along with all its followers, who have been an obstacle in the journey towards democracy. Those unfaithful mercenaries!

  • zaudykadum

    2012-3-10

    In the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful! In the name of the brave Iraq, we will destroy terrorism. God willing, it will be wiped out along with all its followers who have been an obstacle in the journey towards democracy. Those unfaithful mercenaries!

  • حنين

    2012-3-10

    There is no deity worthy of worship except God and Muhammad is His Messenger!

  • Mesho

    2012-3-9

    Do you believe these words?

  • ساره

    2012-3-9

    May God punish the oppressors and tyrants!

  • عمار الاوسي

    2012-3-9

    The terrorist actions in Iraq are cowardly practices that target innocent civilians. The aim of these cowardly operations is to destabilize the country and cause sectarian feuds. Yet, they will never achieve their aims; we will remain united brothers against the corrupt agents or what is called the neighboring countries. They are brainwashed and ignorant.

  • ربيع عبدالعليم

    2012-3-9

    Jihad, which is adopted by al-Qaeda, does not relate to Islam at all, but rather it is terror for the soul and thought, and subjection of society to a bloody ideology based on violence and blood. Also, it demonstrates weakness and an inability to spread its distorted ideas, which grow in a chaotic environment. Al-Qaeda’s belief that it is the protector of Islam is a wrong belief because it does not distinguish between an unarmed pacifist and someone who is armed to the teeth. Al-Qaeda was one of the reasons behind the closure of associations and charities under the pretext that they were funding terrorist activities. As a result, a lot of people have been dragged to prisons and detention facilities because of their religiosity, and huge amounts of money have been spent on facilities and institutions to protect them from vandalism. To preach Islam has become difficult because it represents terrorism. Still there are many other examples. That is because of al-Qaeda’s ideology and the understanding of Islam wrongly.

  • [email protected]

    2012-3-9

    God is always with us and we ask him to protect Iraq.

  • مانو طارق

    2012-3-7

    God be with them.

  • arafat

    2012-3-7

    No one can accept the killing of innocent people, regardless of their gender, nationality, their religion or their color. Our religion forbids the killing of innocent people, as is evidenced by the commandment of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, to the leaders of the army, not to kill a child a woman, old people, ill, injured, or worshipers in the temple. This is our religion; it does not know that terrorism and cannot be considered as a part of the sacred religion of Islam.

  • محمد

    2012-3-6

    Support Islam; God will grant victory to you.

  • حسام فلسطين

    2012-3-6

    Time after time.

  • mohammed

    2012-3-5

    We seek God's help against the oppressors.

  • سوسو

    2012-3-5

    May God not bless those who disturb the people.

  • ايمي

    2012-3-5

    May God help them.

  • ايمي

    2012-3-5

    We shall wait and see!

  • عبدة

    2012-3-5

    Who are you?

  • نصر فواد

    2012-3-5

    Al-Qaeda is one of the meanest things on earth. They commit horrible crimes and slaughter people and citizens everywhere. The Iraqis are the most affected by these mean terrorist acts, and we cannot remain silent in the face of these violations. The terrorists have killed the Iraqis, who have suffered much because of the malicious terrorist acts. The horrible crimes in Iraq are committed by those spiteful beasts, and I believe that the Iraqi government has to play a significant role in order to save the Iraqis from terrorism and the terrorists. Terrorism has destroyed many Iraqi cities and left its ugly fingerprints everywhere, through harming many people as a result of the accursed terrorist operations. I believe that Al-Qaeda must be stopped and we need to realize that the Iraqis are heroes and that the time has come to eliminate all the mean terrorists who seek to destroy Iraq and the Iraqis. There are many heroes among the Iraqi security forces who have confronted these filthy acts and succeeded in arresting terrorist leaders, and some of them were sentenced to death or are still under arrest. Therefore, I suggest that more intensive actions be carried out on the part of the security forces in order to eliminate these spiteful gangs. God will support the Iraqis and the truth will prevail, no matter what happens. The civilians suffer the most because of these cowardly and mean acts. The terrorists target the civilians to show that they are helpless and defenseless. However, the terrorists are wrong and they will see that the heroic Iraqi security forces will do their best in order to save the people from this serious problem.

  • حسام

    2012-3-5

    This is prohibited and unfair. There is no one worthy of worship except God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God. O God!

  • محمد سمى

    2012-3-4

    Silenced!

  • محمد

    2012-3-4

    We want an investigation.

  • saramosen

    2012-3-4

    Whoever dies while defending his land, money or honor, is a martyr by God’s permission.

  • عبدالله

    2012-3-3

    It is not forgotten!

  • البياع

    2012-3-2

    The acts committed by al-Qaeda in Iraq are undoubtedly terroristic and criminals acts. It is impossible to justify the killing of unarmed innocents, such as old men, children and women, in addition to targeting public markets under the pretext of defending the oppressed Muslims all over the world. But unfortunately, the reality is completely different. Al-Qaeda acts contributed to the spread of sectarian strife in Iraq, leaving hundreds of thousands dead and more than 2 million orphans, not to mention the material damage such as the destruction of public facilities and infrastructure, in addition to the division between Shiites and Sunnis as a result of targeting Shiite religious gatherings, especially in Karbala where the shrine of Imam al-Hussein exists. This stirred the emotions of Muslims all around the world. It also spread the culture of committing suicide among youth, leading many youth to drop out of the institute and join the so-called jihad centers. Therefore, al-Qaeda should reconsider its backward ideology and understand the Prophetic Sunnah again since it claims to follow the ancestors’ path, which is against suicide operations, because according to Islam, whoever kills a person--unless it is for a truthful reason-- it would be as if he killed the whole people.

  • ايمان

    2012-2-28

    May God support all those who protect their land, honor and religion.

  • عزمي رشيد

    2012-2-28

    We will be patient and steadfast until the end of the terrorist organization of Al-Qaeda. Thus, I ask the government to fight Al-Qaeda through targeting this Takfiri and hateful organization. This is in order to get rid of Al-Qaeda and to execute all its leaders and members. In fact, it is important to get rid of all those who have a relationship with Al-Qaeda, because they have committed many crimes.

  • sief[email protected]

    2012-2-27

    We ask God to help them.