News & Politics

ISIS Responsible for Worst Iraq Bombing in Years

People light candles at the scene of a massive car bomb attack in Karada, a busy shopping district where people were shopping for the upcoming Eid al-Fitr holiday, in the center of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, July 3, 2016. More than 100 people died Sunday in a car bombing that Islamic State said it carried out, an official of the Iraqi Interior Ministry said. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Make note that the Islamic State is making good on its threat to up its terror attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Today’s carnage in Iraq tops them all. At least 125 dead and 150 injured as a truck bomb plowed into a busy market and detonated. Among the dead were 25 children.


Families had been gathering hours after they broke the fast for the holy Muslim month of Ramadan and prepared for Eid al-Fitr — the day that marks the end of the holiday this week.

As people congregated, shopped and watched soccer matches, the bomb-laden truck plowed into a building housing a coffee shop, stores and a gym. Firefighters rescued wounded and trapped people in adjacent buildings.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. It was the latest in a string of assaults during Ramadan, a period of fasting and prayer for Muslims and also a time when jihadists launch operations against those they regard as their enemies.

At least 147 people were wounded.

ISIS promised an uptick in terror attacks during Ramadan. The Baghdad assault came just days after massacres at a cafe in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, and security targets in Yemen. There have also been recent suicide attacks at a border crossing between Syria and Jordan, and suicide attacks in a Christian area of northern Lebanon.

Earlier this month, a gunman shot up a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people, and an attacker killed a police commander and his partner in France.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks in Bangladesh, Jordan and Yemen. Experts believe the group might have conducted the attacks in Turkey and Lebanon.

Omar Mateen, the killer in Orlando, and the attacker in France both pledged allegiance to ISIS.

A second bomb exploded Sunday at an outdoor market in the Shaab neighborhood of southeastern Baghdad, killing one person and wounding five others, police said.

Both Baghdad strikes are a sign of the Sunni-Shiite tension in the Muslim world. Sunni-dominated ISIS claimed it was targeting Shiite neighborhoods. Karrada and Shaab are predominately Shiite.

“These acts of mass murder are yet another example of Daesh’s contempt for human life,” said State Department spokesman John Kirby, using another term for ISIS. “From Baghdad to Istanbul, Brussels, Dhaka, and Paris, Daesh terrorists murder the innocent to attract attention and recruits. They will not succeed.”

Kirby was also making reference to the attacks last November in Paris that killed 130 people and the attacks in Brussels that left more than 30 dead.

A side note to this story is that following the attack, the Iraqi government ordered bomb detectors removed from security checkpoints.

After the Karrada attack, al-Abadi issued a statement ordering all bomb detector devices pulled from security checkpoints. He ordered the Interior Ministry to reopen a probe into corrupt deals to purchase such devices.

This occurred amid fears that some detectors don’t work.

Six years ago, the Iraqi government accused a manufacturer of supplying the country with some fake bomb detectors and said Tuesday it plans to sue the company.

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh at the time said that three Iraqi investigations into the devices determined most of the bomb detectors are working, although some are fake and ineffective. He did not name the detectors in his statement or explain the investigations.

The more the Islamic State loses on the battlefield, the more it ramps up terror attacks. Even if the U.S. and its allies are able to kick ISIS out of most of the territory it conquered, it doesn’t appear that the world is going to be much safer.