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Largest Iraq bombing in two years may have been inside job

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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Download video via RawReplay.com

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump-loving neo-Nazi charged with insanely violent threats against Latino woman

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Federal agents arrested a Washington state man who allegedly threatened to "exterminate" Latinos as part of a race war he believed would be launched by President Donald Trump.

According to court documents, Eric Lin frequently praised Nazi leader Adolf Hitler online and sent multiple death threats against a woman in Miami and plotted to pay a man to beat her up, reported the Miami New Times.

"The time will come when Miami will burn to the ground — and every Latin Man will be lined up against a Wall and Shot and every Latin Woman Raped or Cut to Pieces," Lin wrote Aug. 8, according to investigators.

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Republican senator heckled and booed during raucous town hall for blaming mass shootings on mental illness

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Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, who is up for reelection in 2020 and is among the Republican senators who is considered vulnerable, discussed the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio during a town hall event in her home state this week —and she was booed and heckled when she echoed President Donald Trump’s rhetoric and blamed “mental illness” for the killings.

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Republicans likely to block ‘background checks’ after Trump’s abrupt reversal: report

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After two mass shootings over one weekend, President Donald Trump signaled that he would be open to strengthening background checks.

He promptly dropped his resolve to sign gun regulations one week later when he said that there were already strong background checks on the books.

With the president's apparent reversal, Republicans in Congress also appear to be abandoning legislation, reports Politico.

“I really don’t see the dynamic having really changed there much,” Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson told Politico. “I don’t anticipate we’re going to pass a federal red flag law."

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