Share This Page

Fatal goof reveals terror camp

| Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, 6:39 p.m.

BAGHDAD — An instructor teaching his terror recruits how to make car bombs accidentally set off explosives in his demonstration on Monday, killing 21 of them in a huge blast.

It alerted authorities to the existence of the rural training camp in an orchard north of Baghdad. Almost two dozen people were arrested, including wounded terrorists trying to hobble away from the scene.

The incident by the al-Qaida breakaway group that dominates the Sunni insurgency in Iraq happened on the same day that the speaker of the Iraqi parliament, a prominent Sunni whom the militants consider a traitor, escaped unhurt from a roadside bomb attack on his motorcade in the northern city of Mosul.

Nevertheless, the events underscored the determination of the insurgents to rebuild and regain the strength they enjoyed in Iraq at the height of the war until U.S.-backed Sunni tribesmen turned against them. The terrorists are battling for control of mainly Sunni areas of western Iraq in a key test of the Shiite-led government's ability to maintain security more than two years since the withdrawal of American troops.

While the Iraqi army has been attacking insurgent training camps in the desert of western Anbar province near the Syrian border, it is unusual to find such a camp in the center of the country, 60 miles north of the capital.

The discovery shows that “the terrorist groups have made a strong comeback in Iraq and that the security problems are far from over, and things are heading from bad to worse,” said Hamid al-Mutlaq, a member of the parliament's security and defense committee.

The militants belonged to a network known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, an extremist group that recently broke with al-Qaida.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.