"Al-Qaeda" Deploys Widows as Suicide Bombers in Iraq: Fayyad


courtesy al-Sharq al-Awsat

The misery of the some 2 million widows in Iraq has security implications. Ma’d Fayyad reports in Arabic that fundamentalist Sunni guerrillas in Iraq are increasingly deploying widows as suicide bombers. Two major bombings this week, at Baladruz and Karbala, appear to have been undertaken by women. Fayyad says that one change is that a radical group has issued a fatwa or ruling that women have the same rights in fighting a holy war as do men. (He wickedly quotes Arab feminist Saba Khalid as asking, “So women have the same rights as men in death, but not in life?)

Alexandra Zavis of the LA Times writes of the most recent such incident, on Wednesday:

‘ Underscoring the danger, a woman with explosives hidden under her black gown attacked a police convoy Wednesday, killing five people and injuring 11 northeast of Baghdad, police said. It was the ninth suicide attack carried out by a woman this year.

The latest attack happened in a busy commercial district of Balad Ruz, a religiously mixed city in Diyala province. The woman stepped into the street as a convoy drove by ferrying a police captain to work, according to the provincial operations center. Two policemen were among those killed and four were injured, police said. ‘

Lois Kazakoff at SFC discusses the plight of women in Iraq. She says of a poll done last fall:

‘ Only 26.9 percent of those polled expressed optimism for the year ahead. Conversely, 85 percent described the situation in Iraq as “bad or very bad.” . . .

A majority of the women respondents said violence against women is increasing and respect for women’s rights is fading. . .”

With all the hoopla about the 5th anniversary of Bush’s invasion of Iraq, the plight of the 2.3 million Iraqi refugees outside the country has largely been ignored in the press. It is almost 10 percent of the country’s population! It would be as though 25 million Americans had been displaced to slummy conditions in Mexico and Canada.

The three brave diplomats who resigned over the Iraq War reflect on their action five years later.

The Bush administration claimed that Congress was confused by a bad translation when it objected to the language of Bush’s security agreement with Iraq. (Congress is supposed to get to vote on such commitments if particular things are mentioned, like mutual defense, e.g.) The White House tried to maintain that the problem was translation errors. But experts who looked at the Arabic text found it was probably translated from the English and was a near perfect replica of the original.

Steve Clemons’s and my conversation on McCain and al-Qaeda is at the NYT video blogging op-ed page.

McClatchy reports political violence in Iraq on Thursday:

‘ Baghdad

A roadside bomb exploded in Zafaraniyah, southeast Baghdad at around 10 am today. No casualties were reported.

A Katyusha rocket fell on a house in al-Mashtal neighbourhood, east Baghdad at 3 pm today seriously injuring two of its inhabitants and causing material damages to the house.

A mortar shell fell in al-Rafah junction, down from Jadriyah Bridge towards Saidiyah, south Baghdad at around 4 this afternoon. It fell near a police patrol and injured 2 policemen.

5 unidentified bodies were found in Baghdad today by Iraqi Police. 1 in Husseiniyah, 1 in Shaab, 1 in Bab al-Sheikh, 1 in Amil and 1 in Alam.

Nineveh

A parked car bomb was detonated under control in al-Sukkar neighbourhood near al-Khansaa hospital at 2 pm injuring 2 policemen.

Updating yesterday’s truck bomb incident, the detonation killied one Iraqi Army soldier, wounded 16 soldiers, and also wounded three civilians in Mosul yesterday, March 19, said the US military today in a release. The car bomb was a dump truck with approximately 2,000 pounds of explosives.

A roadside bomb exploded targeting a police patrol in al-Nebi Younis neighbourhood, central Mosul this afternoon, injuring two policemen.

Sulaimaniyah

Sulaimaniyah Police found an unidentified body at the foot of Goezha Mountain Thursday morning. The body was of a young male wearing black garments.

Tikrit

Raad Shallal, advisor in the ministry of electricity and supervisor of Baiji power station was kidnapped, with his driver by gunmen on the highway between Baiji and Haditha yesterday, Wednesday. The kidnappers contacted the family and demanded a ransom, 250 000 USD.

A booby trapped house at a water treatment plant killed an Iraqi Army soldier and wounded another in Diyala yesterday, March 19, said a US military release today.The Iraqi soldiers were conducting a clearing mission in the water treatment plant when one of the soldiers triggered a booby-trapped wardrobe door.

Anbar

A bomb was adhered to a policeman’s private car causing him to lose one of his legs, and many other injuries, said a medical source in Fallujah hospital. The Police commented that this was a new style of attack by using adhesive bombs. The explosion took place near Abu obaida Mosque, downtownn Fallujah, yesterday March 19.

Kirkuk

Gunmen kidnapped Khalid al-Seyid Mohammed, who works as a security guard in a private security company from al-Hurriyah neighbourhood, Kirkuk city. The gunmen were driving a new red Opal.

Gunmen kidnapped the owner of a store in the central market of Kirkuk city, Lu’ay Semeer this afternoon.

Gunmen driving a fast car opened fire upon an Iraqi soldier in Aziziyah, Riyadh district, west Kirkuk, seriously injuring him. ‘

Farideh Farhi on the meaning of the recent elections in Iran.

At the Napoleon’s Egypt Blog, two letters by Gen. Berthier on Bonaparte’s plans for defeating an Ottoman landing at Abuqir on the Egyptian coast.

Nick Turse on the military-entertainment complext at Tomdispatch.com.