WASHINGTON: Al-Qaeda’s an active group in Iraq accepted the responsibility of intense bombings last week that killed hundreds of people and increased sectarian tensions in the country. All this happened days after the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.
The self-proclaimed “Islamic State of Iraq,” inspired by the late Osama bin Laden, issued a statement Monday referring to “Thursday’s Invasion” and vowing to protect Iraq’s Sunni Muslims from an “Iranian project.”
“With permission from Allah and his guidance, the Islamic State of Iraq knows where and when to strike,” the group said in a statement posted on jihadist forums, according to the US-based Site Intelligence Group.
“The mujahideen (holy warriors) will never stand with their hands tied while the pernicious Iranian project showed its ugly face and what it wants with Sunnis in Iraq became obvious and exposed.”
Iraq’s Sunni Muslims have long viewed mostly Shia Iran and its growing ties with Baghdad’s Shia-led government with suspicion.
The statement clearly links a suicide car bombing in the Karrada district of Baghdad, part of a wave of attacks on Thursday that killed more than 60 people and wounded nearly 200. It heightens the political crisis in the country.