The 21st Century Phenomenon



Hundreds of inmates, over 500, have escaped, on Sunday 07/21/2013 night at about 21:30, from two Iraqi prisons after gunmen stormed two jails. Taji and Abu-Ghraib, near Baghdad. Fighting raged for several hours after the jails – Abu Ghraib to the west of the capital and Taji to the north (see – Taji 07.04.11) – came under attack.

Mortar fire and suicide bombs were used to gain access to the jails, whose inmates include high ranking Al Qaeda prisoners. At least 20 members of the security forces were killed as they struggled to regain control.

“It’s obviously a terrorist attack carried out by al-Qaeda to free convicted terrorists with al-Qaeda,” an unnamed security official was quoted. The situation was eventually brought back under control on Monday morning, with the use of military helicopters. Iraqi authorities initially denied any prisoners had escaped in the attacks, but now acknowledge “some” prisoners escaped.

Interior Minister Wissam al-Firaiji said the attackers, whom he called “terrorists,” had been well-armed. “The attack against Taji jail alone was carried out by nine suicide bombers and three car bombs driven by suicide bombers,” he told reporters. “The attackers also lobbed more than 100 mortar shells,” he added. “The inmates are now under control.”

Iraq is actually in state of a civil war between the Shiite majority supported by Iran, and the Sunni minority . The war in Iraq is fueled by the civil war in Syria and vice versa (see – Shiite Arc) . Elsewhere in Iraq, on Monday 07/22/2013, two attacks on security forces in the northern city of Mosul killed 33 people, officials said. Mosul, 360km (220 miles) North-West of Baghdad, is one of Iraq’s major flashpoints. Insurgent groups such as al-Qaeda have found the city a fertile recruiting ground. Mosul is the capital of the Sunni-dominated Nineveh province. There were further deadly attacks in the city of Kirkuk and in Anbar province, according to Agence France Press.

It is unclear who was behind the incidents, but there has been a recent escalation in violence across Iraq. United Nations figures released earlier in July showed that more than 2,500 Iraqis were killed in violent attacks in the three months from April to June.

The current spate of attacks makes this the most dangerous time in Iraq since the peak of the anti-US insurgency in 2006-7, and certainly since the US withdrawal in 2011.

Outbreaks of Islamic Militants from jails are very common all over the Islamic world. The current leading figure of Al Qaeda affiliated militants in Egyptian Sunai Peninsula, where Salafists. Jihadists and Beduwins are fighting the Egyptian Army,   Dr. Ramzi Mahmoud Al Mowafi, fled the Egyptian jail, alongside hundreds of militants, in 01/2011 during the first revolution against former president Hosni Mubarak (see – Meas”t 08/2011 Report ).


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