Iraq .. Terror Threat Still Pervasive

  • 3 February 2008

The suicide blasts that took place in Iraq two days ago, killing 73 people and injuring 149 others, are reminiscent of the suicide attacks that had until recently rocked Baghdad. These explosions confirm that the threat of terrorism still exists in that country and that the campaign against it still requires a lot of effort, cooperation, and support.

The blasts also remind us that terrorist forces are still capable of killing people in Iraq, despite all the strategies planned and executed against the menace in recent times. It also confirms that Iraqi people are fighting a doughty enemy that is capable of adapting itself to circumstances and is able to withstand pressure. It also has the ability to regroup and pick up the fight even after its forces may have been beaten and scattered. Significantly, the blasts occurred soon after the release of an official report, which revealed that terrorist attacks had declined by a remarkable 60% since last June, and the percentage of those killed and injured in Iraq in January 2008, was the lowest in 23 months. In addition, both blasts took place a short while after the publication of reports, which claimed that Al-Qaeda had been defeated in Iraq. The explosions set off on Friday can also be viewed in the context of a forthcoming campaign announced by Iraqi forces against Al-Qaeda strongholds in the north of the country, a campaign dubbed as possibly the last and the most decisive of its kind in the country against terrorism.

This means that terrorist groups have started raising their heads again in Iraq to challenge the ongoing campaign and the recent reports that claim the defeat of terrorism in Iraq. Iraqi parties that had until now managed to withstand their political differences—despite a recent rise in animosities—should realize the threat posed by their common enemy could still badly hurt all of them. In order to face the threat in the longer term, all parties and factions need to support each other and overlook their differences. The threat of terrorism facing Iraq is complicated by the multitudinous differences among its factions, which are exhausting their energies and are diverting attention from the central issue confronting Iraq since 2003—the problem of terrorism that has killed thousands of Iraqis, has spread sedition among them and has depleted the country of its citizenry.

It is important that all Iraqi parties consider Friday’s blasts as an alarming development. Iraq is still threatened by terrorism and it is only through mutual cooperation among Iraqi parties that the scourge of terror can be defeated.