The Associated Press’ Susannah George confirmed dark suspicions today, reporting that the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has taken responsibility for the attack on a mall in Baghdad, Iraq’s capital.
“The Islamic State group is claiming responsibility for the Baghdad mall attack that killed 18 people on Monday,” George reported. “Gunmen stormed into a Baghdad mall after setting off a car bomb and launching a suicide attack at its entrance.”
The attack may be seen as a move of desperation—as ISIS has been on the retreat on the ground in Iraq recently. The Iraqi central government declared a major victory in pushing ISIS forces back from key parts of the city of Ramadi in late December.
After the harrowing attacks in Paris and San Bernardino late last year, ISIS may have turned its engine of terror back to Iraq to change the war’s local dynamic. George reported that Iraqi officials estimate Monday’s attack lasted over an hour and killed at least 18 people, wounding 50 in Baghdad’s mostly Shi’ite eastern portion.
ISIS’s statement said four fighters carried out the attack and warned of “worse” to come.