Suicide bomber infiltrates Iraqi parliament, kills three; Update: MP’s bodyguard, wider plot suspected; Update: Bomb video added

posted at 9:30 am on April 12, 2007 by Allahpundit

Totally demoralizing, which of course was the point. They’re not sure yet what caused it, but:

One politician said the attack was carried by a suicide bomber.

“I am standing now at the site of the explosion and looking at the severed legs of the person who carried out the operation,” he said…

Dozens of people were injured – some critically – as the blast tore through a cafeteria while lawmakers were eating lunch.

Mohammed Awad, a member of the Sunni National Dialogue Front, was killed, according to the leader of the party, Saleh al-Mutlaq. A Shia MP also died.

They had a hot tip something was up, too, because security was using bomb-sniffing dogs at the entrance to the building, which apparently rarely happens.

What they’re trying to do here, very clearly, is show the surge isn’t working by demonstrating that even the safest part of the city is more vulnerable than it’s been. That’s why they’ve been focusing more on the Green Zone in the past few weeks. It started with the rocket attack during Maliki’s presser with Ban Ki-Moon, then another rocket attack killed an American soldier, then they found two suicide vests somewhere in the area. The fact that the bomber attacked in the cafeteria instead of the main assembly hall, where he could have done a lot more damage, makes me think he was probably a menial employee, not someone in an MP’s security detail (although I wouldn’t be surprised if I was wrong). Assuming they did a diligent job with the dogs as people were coming in, it also means the bomb was hidden somewhere in the building before the doors opened this morning.

The irony? Iraqi government officials complained last week that they were tired of unnecessary searches inside the Green Zone.

Updates will be coming, I’m sure. Standby.

Update: The Daily Mail has photos of the bridge destroyed by a truck bomb in northern Baghdad. According to the AP, AQ’s been planning to attack bridges for awhile now.

Update: Condi Rice and McCain are talking about this now. She looks shaken.

Update: If there’s a rational motive to the bridge bombing, it might be a way to keep Shiites from pushing Sunnis any farther out of the city:

The river now serves as a de facto dividing line between the mostly Shiite east and the largely Sunni west of the city, a reality of more than a year of sectarian fighting that has forced Sunnis to flee neighborhoods where they were a minority and likewise for Shiites.

Update: Looks like I was wrong, sort of.

An official at the Ministry of the Interior told TIME that the bomber was wearing a suicide vest and was a guard for one of the members of parliament

The metal detectors at the entrance to the Baghdad Convention Center, where Parliament is housed, were not operating Thursday, said the Interior Ministry official, who was suspicious of a wider plot. Two weeks ago, Coalition forces found two suicide vests inside the Green Zone and there was speculation about the presence of a third in the area…

Within an hour of the explosion, a message from the al-Qaeda-controlled Islamic State in Iraq was posted on a prominent militant website, muslm.net, calling the blast a “message” to anyone who cooperates with “the occupier and its agents.” It said ominously, “We will reach you wherever you are”

Read the end of this post from a few weeks ago about Iraqi MPs’ ties to terrorists. And remember that the assassination attempt on deputy PM Salam al-Zubaie was also by one of his bodyguards, an ex-jihadist who he tried to rehabilitate by adding him to his security detail.

Eason Jordan notes at Iraqslogger that while American troops control the entrances to the Green Zone, Iraqis control the entrance to the parliament building itself. Wider plot indeed.

So where are the gaps? How could this happen?

First, any insurgent or insurgent sympathizer who snags a credental for fast track access around or through security checkpoints would be an extreme risk…

Second, thousands of Iraqis have less privileged credentials that provide access on a somewhat more restricted basis.

Falling into this category would be low-level Iraqi officials, Iraqis working for the coalition or contractors, parliament building janitors and cafeteria workers, and the cafeteria’s suppliers of food and drink.

He notes in passing that 15,000 Iraqis live inside the Green Zone.

Update: The death toll now is eight.

Update: Al Hurra’s cameras were on the scene and rolling when the bomb went off. Have a look.

Update: Writing at PJM, Omar Fadhil says he isn’t surprised this happened given the MPs’ whining about security measures inside the GZ.


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What sickens me most is knowing that for Democrats, this will be considered good news.

Halley on April 12, 2007 at 9:36 AM

Totally demoralizing, which of course was the point.

When this shortly becomes categorized as more “proof” to come home, Mr. suicide bomber wins. What a great way to get motivated. Watch your enemy embrace defeatism after every one of your attacks.

Free Constitution on April 12, 2007 at 9:39 AM

We simply cannot afford anymore to play nice with utterly ruthless animals.The dialogue concept per Pelosi is simply the wrong tact to take.

bbz123 on April 12, 2007 at 9:40 AM

Yup, Pelosi and Co. will hail this as a victory for their defeatist agenda.

Viper1 on April 12, 2007 at 9:46 AM

This really f****** sucks. What the Democrats won’t point out, though, is that if we just got up and left tomorrow, there would probably be more of this sort of thing.

WisCon on April 12, 2007 at 10:04 AM

I’ll put odds on an Iraqi pol’s staffer being the insider.

steveegg on April 12, 2007 at 10:07 AM

Update: Condi Rice and McCain are talking about this now. She looks shaken.

She is not a great secretary of state. She still doesn’t understand that a surge will never work until the Iraqi borders are secured. They don’t even understand that our border needs to be secured.

For example, why is Al-Sadr still alive? If we are not going to be ruthless, we should not even be in Iraq.

januarius on April 12, 2007 at 10:14 AM

She is not a great secretary of state. She still doesn’t understand that a surge will never work until the Iraqi borders are secured. They don’t even understand that our border needs to be secured.

For example, why is Al-Sadr still alive? If we are not going to be ruthless, we should not even be in Iraq.

januarius on April 12, 2007 at 10:14 AM

Amen to all of this janaurius.
She is in fact a terrible secretary of state. Bush has got to realize that putting all of his incompetent buddies in these top, highly sensitive, positions just doesn’t cut it. He has to be ruthless in Iraq and ruthless in replacing some of the incompetent buffoons in his cabinet.

OBX Pete on April 12, 2007 at 10:38 AM

Certain members of the Iraqi parliament were complaining recently about having to be searched every time they went into the building. I wonder if that was designed to loosen up security a bit so this could happen.

crosspatch on April 12, 2007 at 10:52 AM

Certain members of the Iraqi parliament were complaining recently about having to be searched every time they went into the building. I wonder if that was designed to loosen up security a bit so this could happen.

crosspatch on April 12, 2007 at 10:52 AM

Ring-a-ding-ding. I’d start my search for those responsible among those that bitched about security.

<hat_tin-foil=on>I have to wonder about Jim Webb’s arsenal attempting to get into a Senate office building.<hat_tin-foil=off>

steveegg on April 12, 2007 at 11:00 AM

In warfare, it still seems best to destroy what’s threatening, take what’s valuable, and move on to the next city. At first, with Afghanistan and Iraq, the Americans appeared to be establishing a pattern of destroying one base of muslim or arab power every twelve or eighteen months. Occupation and reform appear to have stopped their progress and allowed recovery and reorganization by foreign and domestic enemies alike. I wish I could safeguard myself and those I love from the weak condition and danger into which American pity and scrupulosity seem to have placed us.

Kralizec on April 12, 2007 at 11:10 AM

How long before pelosi asks for increased security for Congress ?

William Amos on April 12, 2007 at 11:19 AM

Sorta, kinda OT. Bill Whittle has his new segment up and it’s a dandy…

“…Gulf of Tonkin! Google It, people!” she said on national TV.

And I will, Rosie. I promise. As soon as I finish googling MAD COW DISEASE.

http://www.ejectejecteject.com

wccawa on April 12, 2007 at 11:39 AM

ugh this is that one bombing a day the liberal MSM will focus on…

crr6 on April 12, 2007 at 11:49 AM

But overall folks, lets keep this in perspective. It was one bomb, apparently a suicide bomb, that killed three people. Three people is pretty light casualties for a Baghdad event and it looks like other than that bridge bombing, Baghdad has been relatively quiet today. So we are looking at fewer but more spectacular events.

Oh, and then there’s this:

Iraqi group ‘splits’ from al-Qaeda

Good stuff even if it is from Al Jazeera

crosspatch on April 12, 2007 at 11:51 AM

Stand back, ladies, JANE HAS GOT THE CURE FOR WHAT IS AILING IRAQ.

seejanemom on April 12, 2007 at 11:57 AM

Too complicated.

Nuke Tehran and Damascus.

Then ask the Syrians and the Iranians what they are willing to do for us to get us to stop at just one city each.

Kristopher on April 12, 2007 at 12:54 PM

Kristopher on April 12, 2007 at 12:54 PM

With apologies to Homer Simpson…

Nukes…the cause of and solution to all of America’s problems.

JaHerer22 on April 12, 2007 at 1:23 PM

Damn that sucks, this guy must’ve been well placed by Al Qaeda or Al Sadr or someone.

Defector01 on April 12, 2007 at 1:35 PM

Cue sanctimonious, barely veiled crowing by DU and Kosistan in 5..4..3..2…

spmat on April 12, 2007 at 1:40 PM

Reprehensible.

The sad thing is that the left gets to trot this out as another example of why we need to pull out now, which is exactly wrong – this is further evidence of why we are morally obligated to stay as long as it takes.

We won’t of course, but it’s nice to say these things out loud once in a while.

Enrique on April 12, 2007 at 1:54 PM

Hi from the Green Zone.

No doubt this is a terrible event, but it’s nothing new. The extremists are losing by inches, and they don’t have a way to win long term. The only way they can win is if we pull out before the Iraqi military and police are ready, and that doesn’t seem likely with Bush as President. More and more Republicans seem willing to support victory even if it hurts them politically. Bad for the short-term health of the Republican party, but good for Americans, Iraqis, and the world.

And just as terrorists are angering millions of average Arabs, Democrats are angeringthousands of military members. Bad for both, long term.

So keep the big picture in mind, and keep fighting the good fight.
Regards,
LT Jason Nichols
MNF-I, Baghdad

Jason on April 12, 2007 at 1:58 PM

Nukes…the cause of and solution to all of America’s problems.

JaHerer22 on April 12, 2007 at 1:23 PM

You grow ever more stupid with each post.

fogw on April 12, 2007 at 2:01 PM

“You grow ever more stupid with each post.”

Yeah, next he will be calling for a nuclear seal hunt using neutron bombs so as not to make such a mess with all the blood. Hey wait … that isn’t such a … nevermind.

crosspatch on April 12, 2007 at 2:16 PM

More and more Republicans seem willing to support victory even if it hurts them politically. Bad for the short-term health of the Republican party, but good for Americans, Iraqis, and the world.

Well said. One party willing to sacrifice for the long term interests of many. The other party lacking any will to win whatsoever, and only interested in selfish short term political power.

Thanks for your service Lt. Nichols. My son is by your side.

fogw on April 12, 2007 at 2:17 PM

Looking at the latest military recruiting numbers and the words out of the mouths of congress critters, I would say they are generating something close to 10,000 new Republicans every month. But most of them live in barracks or are overseas and aren’t going to show up in telephone opinion polls.

crosspatch on April 12, 2007 at 2:21 PM

Uh. . Crosspatch?

But overall folks, lets keep this in perspective. It was one bomb, apparently a suicide bomb, that killed three people

Is there any chance this was a successful assassination of members of the Iraqi government, by other members of the Iraqi government?

rockhauler on April 12, 2007 at 2:26 PM

Possible. But it was in the cafe so my gut instinct is to jump right to the conclusion that it was just designed to blow up a bomb inside the building period. If it got someone important, all the “better”. That would be my initial reaction until more details are available.

crosspatch on April 12, 2007 at 2:30 PM

The other thing to keep in mind that to set off such a bomb doesn’t take a lot of organization or infrastructure. The entire operation can be done by one or two people. There are loads of these vest around, we find them all the time in weapons caches. All you need is a shovel and a sick mind. The sad thing is the media picks up on them as some indication of how large the insurgency is. In September 2001 over 3000 Americans died in terrorist attacks in the US … how large was that “insurgency”? It doesn’t take any large number of people to pull off suicide attacks. Israel has been trying to stop them for decades and still has one from time to time.

As long as there is someone out there with an insane mind and access to such a vest, we will keep seeing these things. The media will make sure of it because their reaction is the entire purpose behind them. If they went completely unreported, they would probably stop.

crosspatch on April 12, 2007 at 2:40 PM

Oh no the world is going to end. There has been an upswing in violence. If there has been as many upswings as reported by the media…there probably would be no one left on earth.

tomas on April 12, 2007 at 3:17 PM

Hi from the Green Zone.

No doubt this is a terrible event, but it’s nothing new. The extremists are losing by inches, and they don’t have a way to win long term. The only way they can win is if we pull out before the Iraqi military and police are ready, and that doesn’t seem likely with Bush as President. More and more Republicans seem willing to support victory even if it hurts them politically. Bad for the short-term health of the Republican party, but good for Americans, Iraqis, and the world.

And just as terrorists are angering millions of average Arabs, Democrats are angeringthousands of military members. Bad for both, long term.

So keep the big picture in mind, and keep fighting the good fight.
Regards,
LT Jason Nichols
MNF-I, Baghdad

Jason on April 12, 2007 at 1:58 PM

You guys are all my heroes! Thank you for all you do.

Glynn on April 12, 2007 at 3:22 PM

I don’t see it as demoralizing when viewed from the perspective that we must be putting a lot of pressure on these goons if they are just now starting serious attacks inside the green zone. This is war and this is what the enemy does. Just like our surge was a response to their attacks on us, this attack is a response to our increased pressure on them. This is why fighting a “moral” and defensive war is stupid. Kill them with extreme prejudice until they beg for peace.

Unfortunately that would require the indiscriminate bombing of entire neighborhoods that kill everything in them. Men, women, kids, camels, dogs, cats, goats,….EVERYTHING.

Of course the libs don’t see it that way. They’d rather our neighborhoods get destroyed.

csdeven on April 12, 2007 at 3:26 PM

What are we doing? are we fighting a WAR cuz I thought WARS were fought by blowing up the other sides stuff and killing the enemy wherever they hide.. seems like the enemy understands that, why dont we??

Viper1 on April 12, 2007 at 4:13 PM

I think Pelosi and Reid should resign immediately. Obviously, their strategy is not working (or is it?). Either way.

JamesonLewis3rd on April 12, 2007 at 5:55 PM

Thank you, Jason.

steveegg on April 12, 2007 at 6:49 PM

The irony? Iraqi government officials complained last week that they were tired of unnecessary searches inside the Green Zone.

Paging Cynthia McKinney and the Flying Imams.

An official at the Ministry of the Interior told TIME that the bomber was wearing a suicide vest and was a guard for one of the members of parliament

Paging Jim Webb.

You guys are all my heroes! Thank you for all you do.

Glynn on April 12, 2007 at 3:22 PM

And

Thank you, Jason.

steveegg on April 12, 2007 at 6:49 PM

2nded 3rded and 4thed

- The Cat

MirCat on April 12, 2007 at 10:31 PM

Hats off and God speed to all our troops!

csdeven on April 13, 2007 at 12:32 AM

God Bless you guys!!

Chuck on April 13, 2007 at 1:22 AM

Hi from the Green Zone.

No doubt this is a terrible event, but it’s nothing new. The extremists are losing by inches, and they don’t have a way to win long term. The only way they can win is if we pull out before the Iraqi military and police are ready, and that doesn’t seem likely with Bush as President. More and more Republicans seem willing to support victory even if it hurts them politically. Bad for the short-term health of the Republican party, but good for Americans, Iraqis, and the world.

And just as terrorists are angering millions of average Arabs, Democrats are angeringthousands of military members. Bad for both, long term.

So keep the big picture in mind, and keep fighting the good fight.
Regards,
LT Jason Nichols
MNF-I, Baghdad

Jason on April 12, 2007 at 1:58 PM

Jason, Thank you, to you and your Cadre, and all the troops… this message should be sent around the world.

PinkyBigglesworth on April 13, 2007 at 1:49 AM

We simply cannot afford anymore to play nice with utterly ruthless animals.The dialogue concept per Pelosi is simply the wrong tact to take.

bbz123 on April 12, 2007 at 9:40 AM

Generals Petraeus, Zilmer (Marine Commander al Anbar), Zinni (retired Central Command head–Middle East and Asia)–to name the most prominent, ALL say there is no military solution possible without a political solution.

You may well maintain that this is a losing strategy, but don’t tie this just to Pelosi.

I know!! Let’s get us a War Czar!!! That’s the ticket. As they say, it’s funny because it’s true. Oy.

honora on April 13, 2007 at 9:59 AM

Better they kill each other than kill Westerners….

I’m still hoping for the Levin Doctrine to be put into practice. It is the only way to win.

Tim Burton on April 13, 2007 at 12:43 PM

That report of 8 deaths was wrong, should now be revised down to 1 dead 22 wounded.

crosspatch on April 13, 2007 at 1:05 PM

AP story posted on NBC site, first paragraph

WASHINGTON – President Bush’s top national security adviser said Thursday that there is an urgent need to name a high-powered White House official to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Judas Priest.

honora on April 13, 2007 at 4:14 PM

ALL say there is no military solution possible without a political solution.

You can’t separate the two. In international politics force or the authentic threat of force is the ONLY way to accomplish anything “politically.” If you think differently you’re a reality denier.

Mojave Mark on April 13, 2007 at 4:19 PM

You can’t separate the two. In international politics force or the authentic threat of force is the ONLY way to accomplish anything “politically.” If you think differently you’re a reality denier.

Mojave Mark on April 13, 2007 at 4:19 PM

I’m not separating the two. Which is why the two need to be persued in tandem, not one then the other, the point of Generals Petraeus et al.

honora on April 14, 2007 at 1:53 PM