Sunday’s twin suicide bombings in Baghdad that killed at least 155 people and wounded 500 others may have had help from within Iraq’s security apparatus, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow reported Monday.
“This was a really well coordinated attack on an area in Baghdad that’s supposed to be well protected,” Maddow told viewers. “In order to reach their targets, the bombers driving these truck bombs had to pass through several checkpoints that were guarded by security forces and those security forces were supposed to be using hand-held devices designed to detect explosives.”
Maddow quoted a comment from Brian Katulis, a Middle East expert at the Center for American Progress, who wrote, “You don’t want to do this kind of attack without having someone on the inside. It implies infiltration of the government. If there is an objective, it’s to send a message to whoever is in power that not everyone recognizes them as being in charge.”
A group called the Islamic State of Iraq, which reportedly includes Al Qaeda in Iraq, has claimed responsibility for the bombing, though, as the Washington Post notes, the authenticity of that claim has not been verified.
As Maddow noted, the Iraqi government says it has arrested at least 75 people in connection with the bombings.
This is not the first time questions have arisen about the possibility of government infiltration by insurgents. In August, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Sebari said he suspected infiltration in a blast that killed nearly 100 people. “According to our information, there has even been collaboration between security officers and the murderers and killers,” said Zebari.
In April of 2007, a bomb attack against the Iraq parliament that killed eight people, including two members of parliament, was suspected to have involved insurgent sympathizers within Iraq’s security forces. The attack “reflects the fact that perhaps there are some people within the Iraqi security forces who have been infiltrated by insurgents and terrorist organizations,” then-Australian Defense Minister Brendan Nelson said.
This video is from MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast Oct. 26, 2009.