In the latest among many worldwide attacks associated with the Islamic State or ISIS, a suicide bomber affiliated with the terror group made his way to a busy security checkpoint in northern Baghdad and detonated his explosive belt killing 14 people and injuring 31 more.
A police officer who witnessed the violent attack told the Associated Press that the attacker was on foot in the Iraqi capital’s Kadhimiyah district, which is inhabited mostly by Shiite Muslims. He ran over to a busy intersection and detonated the bomb, killing himself, 10 civilians, and four police officers. Reports claim at least 31 others were injured.
ISIS was prompt to claim responsibility for the brutal attack via an announcement on their independent news agency in which they said they were targeting security officials and members of the Shiite militia.
This attack is the latest in a major surge of ISIS attacks across multiple countries in the past month. Bombings in Baghdad have become almost a daily occurrence as ISIS has been trying to gain ground near its home base.
Some speculate that the rise in ISIS-sponsored attacks following Islam’s holy month of Ramadan are intended to distract news agencies from the major ground losses ISIS has been suffering lately in Syria and Iraq. After losing previously occupied territories, perhaps the radical terror group, which continues to control important areas in northern and western Iraq, intends to send the message that they are still a global force to be reckoned with and feared by their enemies.
As ISIS aligns itself with Sunni Islam, the bulk of their attacks in Iraq have been in Shia neighborhoods. According to the Daily Mail, the terror group formally declared war on Shiite Muslims at the turn of the year in an ISIS-sponsored publication in which they referred to the sect as “radifah,” which translates to rejector.
“The Rafidah hate Islam just as the Jews hate Christianity,” reads the publication. “They did not enter Islam longing for Allah or fearing Him, rather out of spite for the people of Islam and so as to inflict harm upon them.”
The publication even goes on to declare the Shias more dangerous and anti-Islamic than Americans.
When ISIS began its campaign of terror, seizing territories in Syria and Iraq, there were multiple reports of the group freeing Sunni captives and keeping the Shias for execution, thus suggesting Shia Muslims have been the primary target for attack from the start.
“Some of them are Jews who fake Islam to spread their deviance, just as Paul of the Jews faked Christianity to spread his deviance,” reads the hate-filled publication.
In the wake of all the ISIS attacks in Iraq, U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced plans to send 560 more troops to Iraq to fortify the country’s hold on a newly retaken airbase according to Aljazeera.
“These additional U.S. forces will bring unique capabilities to the campaign and provide critical enabler support to Iraqi forces at a key moment in the fight,” said Carter.
According to the United Nations, over 3,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed so far this year by terrorist attacks, mostly under the orders of ISIS leaders.
[Photo by Abdul Hassan/AP Images]