Middle East

Iraq arrests ‘terror cell’ over suicide bombing claimed by ISIL

15:55, 25 July 2021
Iraq arrests ‘terror cell’ over suicide bombing claimed by ISIL Photo: laurengumm

The Prime Minister of Iraq Mustafa al-Khadimi announced that the Iraqi special forces arrested those who were behind the terrorist attack in Baghdad that resulted in the death of 35 people.

The attack made it questionable whether Iraq has in fact defeated the ISIL* threat following the three-year military campaign that ended in 2017.

The bombing itself occurred at the al-Waheilat market in the Baghdad Shia suburb of Sadr City.  

“We have arrested all the members of the cowardly terrorist cell that planned and perpetrated the attack, and they will be put before a judge today,” al-Khadimi said on Twitter.

Among the arrested are three brothers Nouri, Khaled and Majed Hamad who made confessions on national TV.

"The heroes of the Federal Intelligence and Investigation Agency of the Ministry of Interior succeeded in overthrowing two terrorist networks in the governorates of Kirkuk and Anbar, who are responsible for the Sadr City bombing, which occurred on July 19," Yehia Rasool, the spokesperson for the Iraqi Commander-in-Chief, said on his Twitter.

Such terroristic attacks became a common practice due to the instability caused by the US-led invasion in 2003 followed by the ISIL 2014 offensive. 

Despite being defeated in 2017 it is still believed that ISIL secures strong positions in mounted and deserted areas in Iraq, where the group retains sleeper cells ready to become active at any moment. 

The explosion came days before the Iraqi Prime Minister is due to visit the White House where he will meet with Joe Biden and discuss the increased frequency of rocket and drone attacks on American bases in Iraq.

Since January, when Biden took office, there have been up to 17 rocket attacks and at least 9 drone attacks that directly targeted US bases.

*ISIL, also known as ISIS, Islamic State, or Daesh is a terror organization banned on the territory of the Russian Federation and many other countries.