Iraq's speaker of parliament was nearly killed on Monday when an improvised explosive device (IED) planted on the roadside exploded as his his security convoy was close to the city of Mosul, according to an American intelligence expert specializing in Middle Eastern terrorism.
Thomas Corkland told the Examiner that Speaker Usama al-Nujaifi, Iraq's most senior Sunni Muslim legislator was on the way to visiting Mosul when the explosion struck and disabled one of the vehicles which was used by his squad of bodyguards, many of whom were wounded. Al-Nujaifi escaped injury during the bomb attack.
None of the terrorist groups active in Iraq or in the region immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but Corkland said the MO (modus operandi) was that of the former al-Qaeda in Iraq, who now calls itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, according to an Examiner news story.
"Sunni sect terrorists initiated their own "surge" and they've regaining power in Iraq, especially in Anbar province. They invaded and took control of two cities -- Ramadi and Fallujah -- on New Year's Day," said Corkland, who served in New York's terrorism task force.
Since the beginning of 2014, well over 1,000 people were killed in terrorist attacks that have occurred throughout that Arab country. According to an Examiner news story, the violence made last year Iraq's bloodiest since 2008, when sectarian warfare began to abate from its height.
In Baghdad, a car bomb blast in front of a coffee shop in the Shi'ite district of southern Baghdad killed three people, police sources said, while an Iraqi army colonel was assassinated when bomb attached to his vehicle exploded in central Baghdad, police said.