UPDATE: Rudaw has now altered its report to remove all mention of suicide bombing. Now it says al-Douri was killed by Iraqi forces.
The BBC reports that “Al-Douri, 72, led the Naqshbandi Order insurgent group, a key force behind the recent rise of Islamic State (IS).” The Naqshbandi Order is a Sufi group — a salient detail for those of you who believe that the Sufis are peaceful and eschew violent jihad. Al-Douri was also a key leader of the Baath Party, which was nominally secular. Many Western analysts assume that there is a vast gulf between Baathists and Islamic jihadists, but given the nature of Iraqi society, it was inevitable that the Baath Party under Saddam would be filled with people who would have preferred to live under Sharia, and who took the opportunity to pursue that goal once Saddam was gone.
“Saddam’s ex-deputy Douri dies as suicide bomber in Tikrit,” Rudaw, April 17, 2015 (thanks to Tilda):
TIKRIT, Salahaddin Province – Former Saddam Hussein deputy, the man pictured as the King of Clubs in the infamous US deck of cards of most-wanted Iraqis, has died along with eight other suicide bombers, a provincial official has told Rudaw.
Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, an ex-general in the Iraqi Army and the successor to Saddam Hussein as leader of the Baath Party, detonated himself on Friday in an attack on Iraqi forces in the liberated city of Tikrit, said Jassim Jabara, head of the Salahaddin province security committee.
Douri, believed to be 72 years old, assisted in the 1968 coup that brought Saddam Hussein to power. He was the most senior Baathist leader to evade capture by US forces, which put a $10 million bounty on his head.
Douri has lived as a fugitive for years but has been rumored to be the mastermind of numerous violent attacks in Iraq.
The death was confirmed by Salahaddin Governor Raed al-Jabouri.