On Oct. 25, at least 147 people were killed when two car bombs exploded
near the Justice Ministry and other government offices in Baghdad, Middle East Newsline reported. The
blasts were said to have killed at least 25 Shi'ite civil servants in what
officials asserted marked an Al Qaida campaign to destabilize the government
of Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki. More than 700 people were reported to
have been injured.
This marked the second major bombing campaign against the Shi'ite
government in two months. In August, more than 100 people were killed in Al
Qaida blasts that targeted Iraqi government ministries in Baghdad.
"The perpetrators of these treacherous and despicable acts are no longer
hiding their objective but to the contrary, they publicly declare that they
are targeting the state and aiming at blocking the political process,
halting it and destroying what we have achieved in the last six years,"
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said.
Officials acknowledged that Al Qaida was increasing bomb production as
part of a plot to destabilize Iraq over the next few months. On Oct. 20,
Iraqi police captured nine suspected Al Qaida bomb-makers in the northern
city of Kirkuk.
One of the detainees was identified as Abdullah Abdul Qadir. Qadir, said
to be linked to Al Qaida operatives in Baghdad, was said to have purchased
thousands of kilograms of ammonium nitrate — a common element in improvised
explosive devices — in 2006.
"At this point, it appears as if the Iraqi police have detained a
low-level AQI or ISI [Islamic State of Iraq] cell leader based on evidence
alone, and potentially hindered near-term IED operations in the city," a
U.S. intelligence officer, Capt. Corey Sherk, said.