Perhaps al-Qaeda, the likely suspect whenever closely coordinated, multiple attacks occur, is considering al-Shabaab’s strategy in trying to leverage the Somali famine to its purposes, and Boko Haram’s sustained campaign of destruction in Nigeria: ruling over an empty country with no people left who can stand or survive it would be so much easier. Failing that, terrifying those who are left into submission might do.
Somehow — somehow — it consistently fails to bring about the expected earthly paradise under Sharia. “Rapid-fire attacks across Iraq kill 55 people,” from the Associated Press, February 23:
BAGHDAD– A rapid series of attacks spread over a wide swath of Iraq killed at least 55 people on Thursday, targeting mostly security forces in what Iraqi officials called “frantic attempts” by insurgents to show civilians that their country was doomed to violence for years to come.
The apparently coordinated bombings and shootings unfolded over hours in the capital Baghdad — where most of the deaths occurred — and 11 other cities. They struck government offices, restaurants and one in the town of Musayyib hit close to a primary school. At least 225 people were wounded.
If the insurgents’ goal was to show Iraqis how precarious their situation is, it appeared to be working.
“What is happening today are not simple security violations — it is a huge security failure and disaster,” said Ahmed al-Tamimi, who was working at an Education Ministry office a block away from a restaurant that was bombed in the Shiite neighborhood of Kazimiyah in northern Baghdad.
He described a hellish scene of human flesh and pools of blood at the restaurant.
“We want to know: What were the thousands of policemen and soldiers in Baghdad doing today while the terrorists were roaming the city and spreading violence?” al-Tamimi said.
It was the latest of a series of large-scale attacks that insurgents have launched every few weeks since the last U.S. troops left Iraq in mid-December at the end of a nearly nine-year war.
The Interior Ministry blamed Al Qaeda insurgents for the violence.
“These attacks are part of frantic attempts by the terrorist groups to show that the security situation in Iraq will not ever be stable,” the ministry said in a statement. “These attacks are part of Al Qaeda efforts to deliver a message to its supporters that Al Qaeda is still operating inside Iraq, and it has the ability to launch strikes inside the capital or other cities and towns.”
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the latest attacks, but targeting security officials is a hallmark of Al Qaeda. Such violence achieves two goals: undermining the public’s confidence in the ability of their policemen and soldiers to protect everyday citizens, and discouraging people from joining or helping the security forces.
The ongoing nature of the violence and the fact that insurgents are able to launch a variety of attacks over a wide territory in Iraq shows the country is still deeply unstable, despite government assurances it could protect itself when American troops left in December….