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ISIS Claims Responsibility for Baghdad Bombings

Rukmini Callimachi and Margaret Coker write for The New York Times:

The Islamic State on Wednesday claimed responsibility for the twin suicide bombings in Baghdad this week that killed at least 27 people. It was the first major attack in Iraq’s capital since the government declared victory over the terrorist group last month.

The nearly simultaneous explosions occurred minutes apart just after 6 a.m. on Monday, with the first assailant detonating his explosives in a square where day laborers were gathering to find work. The second bomber set off his explosives as people rushed to help the wounded, according to a traffic police officer who witnessed the episode. That sequence is a well-established pattern for the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, and is aimed at killing the maximum number of civilians.

But the statement released on the messaging app Telegram had a number of errors, including the location of Monday’s attack. It said that it had occurred at Aden Square in Baghdad, where the police said an attack was foiled on Saturday, rather than in Tayaran Square, where Monday’s explosions took place. That error, and the delay in issuing a claim of responsibility, suggests that the Islamic State’s media apparatus has been disrupted in the period since the group lost nearly 98 percent of its territory in Iraq and Syria.

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