Despite the announcement of the military victory by Iraqi Prime Minister over the terrorist organization ISIS but this organization is still carrying out terrorist acts in Baghdad and its outskirts to destabilize the security of the capital and to raise doubts about the victory that has been achieved. In this paper, we will highlight the most important terrorist operations, possible terrorist threats, planned infiltration routes, and highlight the most important actions to be taken to counter these operations and then make a series of recommendations.
First – Terrorist operations:
The terrorist organization ISIS has carried out, in the phase after the announcement of the military victory, a series of terrorist operations to prove the hypothesis that it is still capable of threatening the security of Iraq, especially its capital, Baghdad, and these operations include:
1. On 27 November last year, a terrorist attack was carried out by elements of the Ingmassia in the terrorist organization ISIS on the Nahrawan market where the attack led to the death and injury of a number of citizens.
2. On 13 January this year, a suicide bomber blew himself up with an explosive belt inside the Kadhimiya area of Aden Square in Al-Mahalla (neighborhood) / 405, causing injury to 17 citizens and causing material damage.
3. On January 15 of this year, an dual explosion occurred in the “Al-Bab Al-Sharqi” area , in al-Tayran square in the neighborhood -121 near the Al-Sadiq restaurant. The incident resulted in the injury of 95 civilians and the martyrdom of “26”.
In this context, we wonder how the Iraqi security services dealt with these terrorist incidents, in relation to the Nahrawan incident and after the incident and based on intelligence information about the existence of terrorist elements ,and in coordination with the existed units and the Directorate of Intelligence and the counter- terrorism forces in Diyala , it was carried out the duty resulted in the destruction of the guesthouse belongs to the organization in the area of ” al-Mugamaa” and the arrest of “5” elements of the terrorist network that carried out the attack and one of them was killed during a qualitative operation in the area of junction of al-Daini ” Daini Mafrik “, the terrorist “Abu Janat”. The rest of the elements were arrested in the province of Baghdad and Diyala through the duties Implemented by the Directorate of Intelligence and counter-terrorism – Baghdad. As for the terrorist act in Kadhimiya, after the terrorist act, a working team was formed to surround the site of the attack and carry out the inspection procedures in the scene of the incident by investigators, explosives experts and forensic experts where SIM card was found for in the crime scene “phone of the suicide bomber ” and through technical effort and specialized technical operations , accurate information was gained from the suicide phone and after the analysis and collection of the information, one of the numbers was obtained, namely the number of the carrier called “Basem Rahim Thamer Zeidi”, who lives in Al Muthanna Governorate – Al Samawa – Al Talal and Al Jalaj where he was arrested. He confessed that he has taken the suicide bomber to the scene of the incident and during interrogation he confessed to his presence with a person named Sa’ad to the Batawin area and they took the Kia bus and settled in the “Unauthorized Hotel” building. Then he received the terrorist suicide bomber, Sajad and delivered him near the scene in Aden Square. In the case of the terrorist incident in the al-Tayran arena, a team was immediately formed and surrounded the scene of the incident and began the procedures of inspection within the scene of the attack by investigators and experts of explosives and forensic evidence after the explosion and through the gathering of information and in-depth investigation with a group of arrested suspects , they reported that the terrorists who have transferred the suicide bombers to al-Tayran square are “Qaiser Ismail Mohammed al-Janabi”, nicknamed “Abu Tiba” and the terrorist “Jassem Farhan Mohammed al-Zobaie” nicknamed “Abu Basir” who work within the network of the main carrier called “Jabbar Allawi Fayyad Abdul Ghuraibawi”nicknamed “Abu Hassan Ahlgrebawi” in the Wilayat al-Janub (state of south) , where they were arrested through the implementation of duty by the Directorate of Intelligence and counter-terrorism -Baghdad as part of the Abu Ghraib area. The question that arises in this context is whether a danger of the terrorist organization ISIS on Iraq is still present?
The escape of most of the leaders of the terrorist organization ISIS from the states of “Baghdad and the south” as a result of military operations in the city of Qaim border and secure the border in the direction of the desert in Anbar province confined between “Rutba and Nkhayb” and settled down with guesthouses , including approximately “100” fighters of the Wilayat al-Janub as well as between ” 20-30 “fighters belonging to the state (wilayat) of Baghdad prepared in advance where these guesthouses are supplied with different materials in anticipation of the liberation operations and what accompanies them and after they settled down in those guesthouses for a few weeks , the orders came from their leadership to the transfer of a number of leaders and fighters, including suicide bombers to areas of southern Baghdad belt in order to re-activate their terrorist activity and targeting the province of Baghdad, where the organization adopted to transfer its elements from the desert mentioned above through the area of Radha and specifically adjacent to the Rawdh bridge and then to the street “Rahaliya – al-Majar ,” where they pass the side of this street on foot and Four-wheel-drive vehicles be waiting for them and then take them to Al-Razazah area in a special guesthouse -on they camp and after a few days in these guesthouses , they are transferred to Al-Muqassar Street, the strategic line behind the governorates of Najaf and Karbala, to Basra after crossing the dirt embankment where the security forces have built it on the extension of this street on foot at night and there are wheels waiting for them on the other side, and they are distributed either towards the Jarf al-Sakhr area through Abyar al-Bousa where the organization is striving to transfer as many of its elements as possible to the Jorf al-Sakhr area for its importance for purpose to reactivate themselves in it being an strategic area that it forms a danger on the provinces Babylon, Karbala and Najaf and to Baghdad . And the rest of the area between Amiriya al- Fallujah and Falluja called “Tomb of Atwan”, and then to the crossing of the Euphrates River, where they are transferred to the areas of “Zoba, Zidane, Karagul, Doleibeh and Radwaniyah.”
Most of these leaders wear explosive belts and among the leaders present in these terrorist guesthouses , “Abu Yasser” and to the south, “Abu Ayman,” the administrator of the state( Wilayat) and “Abu Jaafar,” commander of the Farouk sector and “Abu Shahd” administrative Hamzah sector. The terrorist organization currently seeks to activate its activities in the areas stretching from “Zaidan and Zoba through the Karagul and the area of al-Said through Kila 5 to Latifiyah.” As the other pose a danger in time to the security of the province of Baghdad. The Duweiba area is still not occupied by the military units, where they are considered an outlet for the crossing of insurgents from the area of Ameriyah Fallujah to other areas of Abu Ghraib. The area confined from al-Tahadi bridge( challenge) to the al- Siqoor control – al- Maqalaa near the chemical plant – is still not occupied by security forces , and has become the headquarters of terrorist elements. The size of the force occupying the area is also not commensurate with the size of the sector , thus facilitating the movement of the militants and carrying out terrorist acts.
Al-Zaidan witnesses the incidents of terrorism and others because of the gunmen roaming the night in some areas, “Zoba – Hanadla – Flugians Gharabawis” completely free and adjacent to that area as not held by the military units, which is considered an outlet for the crossing of militants from the area of Ameriyah al-Fallujah.
The gangs of the terrorist organization ISIS to change its tactics and plans constantly in line with the circumstances of the stage that passes, especially if we mention the broken and defeats suffered during the current year and the announcement of the final statement ” victory” by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi on the terrorist organization ISIS and the liberation of most of Iraqi territories from the ordure of terrorism where the guidance above is a return to the old methods of planting IEDs and the launch of terrorist attacks targeting civilian communities by IEDs, car bombs and suicide bombers targeting citizens and Public and commercial places and the execution of assassinations operations by means of silencer weapons in the liquidation of members of the security services.
The areas of northern Baghdad areas such as Tirmiyah – the area of al-Mushahda – Alhalabsa – villages 5 and 6 Nabai as well as the seven areas of the al-Aredha – Rafiah – Al – Farahaniyah belonging to Ishaqi are considered safe areas to the terrorist organization ISIS and used as safe havens and starting to target the capital Baghdad, which is a major security challenge for the security and military forces and popular and tribal crowd due to the size, nature and complex geography of these areas.
That the work to push the military and security leaders and commanders of sectors and detachments to the areas of the belt of Baghdad to open guesthouses for people and weapons where Information obtained from the investigation indicates the entry of Wali and deputy Wali and security persons of the south to Baghdad and Wali north of Baghdad to Tarmiyah. That the presence of many areas are not occupied by the military units in terms of security side within the sector , “Arab Jabour” such as the depths of the area “Bejaia and Alalimeh” which is characterized by agricultural nature and vast area, which facilitates the movement of elements within the organization because of the lack of military units and not spread in a deliberate manner. The absence of any force in the area of Duweiba from the area of the “Palace of Chalabi to the bridge of Al-Anaz” noting that these areas adjacent to the Euphrates River, which facilitates the movement of insurgents from the area of Ameriyat Fallujah and Al-Harimat and Albu Saleh , crossing the Euphrates River towards the Zaidan area where the area of Duweiba is a major route for the transfer of militants and suicide bombers to western Baghdad belt. And push elements from other states (Wilayats ) undefined by security forces to the center and belt of the capital. And to focus on winning forgers for the purpose of falsifying identities and using them to bring the wanted with their families to the capital. And push most of the fighters of the south Wilayat and the Euphrates Wilayat and Diyala wilayat , Saad bin Abi Waqas sector with all its detachments to work within the capital Baghdad and activate the work of Wilayat of Baghdad.
This terrorist organization has been instructed to move in secret and fast from the areas of Upper Euphrates, which is one of the last areas that have been liberated and stability within the areas of belt of Baghdad until the issuance of new directives by the organization to start the activity of its detachments to carry out terrorist operations, taking advantage of the stability of the relative security situation currently in some Areas where the information indicates that the detachments belonging to the state of the south located in the belt of Baghdad, especially the Latifiya area to pressure the citizens in the region to obtain financial support and gain some new elements to work with them and implement their plans in those areas taking advantage of the weakness of the religious culture of some persons or families affected by military operations and the killing of a member of their families belonging to the terrorist organization and the exploitation of the material aspect suffered by most young people in those areas because of unemployment.
The information indicates that the military man of the “Wilayat of the south” , the terrorist called by “Abu Osama” to enter the province of Baghdad during the next few days and be stabilized in the “belt of southern Baghdad” within the areas extending from “Zoba and Alzairan through the region of Kragul and Latifiyah area to the area of Mr. Abdullah. The terrorist organization depends currently on these areas as they are main areas of presence in order to activate its terrorist operations as agricultural and open areas in the areas between “Jarf al-Sakhar and Awaisat through Falluja and Ameriyya al-Fallujah”, which their nature helps in the movement of the terrorist fighters and suicide bombers. The question arises in this context, how does the terrorist organization infiltrate to Baghdad?
The terrorist gangs seeking to find areas of link between the borders of the provinces with the capital Baghdad after dismantling most of the wilayats of the gangs due to lack of human resources in an attempt to restore the activity of the so-called Wilayat of Baghdad, “Baghdad – north of Baghdad – the south,” especially within the areas of “Dora – Gharib- Madaen -Rashidiya “through the seduction of citizens in the belt areas through the processes of encouragement and intimidation used by them to stand against the forces occupying the land and the implementation of the return plan and presence after the loss of so-called” land of empowerment “and come closer near the borders of the capital in order to find security gaps used as a starting point for Infiltration and be closer to the vital areas that fall within their interest according to several axes, namely:
The first axis is Diyala province: the tourist route “Buhraz-Nahrawan” to reach the administrative borders of Baghdad governorate through the roads not held by the Iraqi army and the federal police to avoid the checkpoints deployed on the road, which are defined by weak performance in the implementation of its security and military tasks entrusted to it.
The second axis : the province of Diyala “Mountains of Hamreen – Zarka – al-Ghalipya – Rashidiya – Husseini – al-Shaab ” .
Third axis : “Falluja – Abu Ghraib – checkpoints of the control affairs towards the control of 42 Iraqi army and then enter the areas of Baghdad to be targeted.”
The fourth axis : the desert of Anbar province – Amiriya Fallujah – Herimat – Dweilibh through the crossing of the Euphrates River using rubber boats ” chop” and then to the area “Rafush” and then to the rest of the western belt.
Fifth axis Samarra Island – Ghareeb Sayed – 50 Dar – Makarem area – Hawrah 14 Ramadan area.
6th axis Samarra Island – Ghraib Sayed – Bani Zaid – Al Sour area – Alb Assaf – Sheikh Amer – Albou Obaid – Kaf Ali area – Basateen Albu Haya .
Seventh axis: The line of suicide bombers starts from Baiji district – Samarra Island – Tharthar – Nabai – Tarmiyah.
The question that arises in this context is the mechanism adopted by the security services to fill these gaps and counter infiltration?
Based on the above, the Directorate of Intelligence and the counter- terrorism in Baghdad have carried out several actions before and after the terrorist attacks that can be summarized as follows:
1 – The implementation of a joint duty with the troops occupying the land by the Nahrawan Intelligence Section to inspect the areas of ” al-Bata ” and “Buzaid” and ” al-Mujamaa” adjacent to the area, “Bazir Buhrez” based on accurate intelligence data before the terrorist incident that targeted the Nahrawan.
2. Based on the available information on the magnitude of the threat , the higher authorities represented by the Office of the Minister, the National Intelligence Coordination Council (NICC) and the Joint Operations Command have been informed by the information, intentions and potential threats of the organization.
3 – Execution of duties in the provinces of Baghdad and Diyala resulted in the arrest of the terrorist network responsible for the terrorist incident that targeted the Nahrawan area on November 27 last year in addition to the killing of one of the terrorists, nicknamed “Abu Janat” in the area of Dainia.
4 – The implementation of a duty in the province of Anbar “Dabaa” targeted one of the main carriers of the south Wilayat , the terrorist “Abu Hashim al-Issawi” in addition to targeting the line of support , in which the organization currently makes use of it in the desert.
5 – Arrest of the accused, “Ahmed Sukar and Rakan Kazem Obeidi,” commander of the battalion Mustafa in the so-called south Wilayat and the accused “Arkan Zamil Haroush Samir Khazraji” commander of the battalion Hudhayfah bin Yaman in the same Wilayat and arrest the terrorist “Maher Ali Saleh Salman,” brother of the south wali “Moataz Ali Saleh”
6. During the period from 1 to 15 January, several secret and immediate cables were sent by the Agency headquarters and its accessories, which included proactive information about the plans and intentions of the terrorist organization to target Baghdad.
7 – Provision of places of presence and guesthouses of the terrorist organization ISIS in the areas of the Baghdad belt under the secret letter of the Agency No. 118655 on 15 last January . The necessary action has not been taken yet towards it so it is still posing a threat to the capital.
It is clear from the above that the danger of the terrorist organization ISIS is still present therefore, precautionary measures must be taken by the security forces concerned to implement them in order to keep the danger away from the capital Baghdad and other supportive actions of intelligence in order to reduce the terrorist operations as follows:
1 – combing the desert of Anbar and its adjacent areas, “Rahaliya Street – al-Majar – Razzaza and Abyar Albu Issa” periodically and continuously as well as the areas of north and west of Diyala “basin of Hamrin and its mountain chain and the chain of Sansl and Alanda , Kara Taba and Baziz Buhraz and Kanaan and Minai and Mtaybajih and the Aqleem ” and held by the joint troops of the Iraqi army and the popular and tribal crowd.
2 – The use of high quality thermal Cameras that can make target acquisition for long distances and put them in important areas, most notably the tower located near the bridge Alroda towards Al-Ralhalia as well as the communications tower located on Al-Mksar Street towards Razzaza as well as to cover the bank of the Euphrates River from the jurf al-sakhar to Amiriyah Fallujah and the bank opposite to it which belongs to the administrative borders of Baghdad from the regions of Zubai, Zaidan, Radwanieh, Doleibeh and Karagul , as well as other cameras of the same quality, will be deployed in Zaidan, Karagoule, Bouziliya, Bzeiz and Sayid Abdulla regions to impede largely the transfer of fighters and suicide bombers of the organization and thus reduce their danger to be connected at a control HQ under the supervision of intelligence services and in coordination with the troops occupying the area .
3. High-level coordination with the judiciary through the approaching the Supreme Judicial Council by instructing the courts and judges to give more flexible decisions that enable the prosecution, investigation and arrest of terrorist elements, especially those who establish their relations with the organization through the technical effort.
4 – Increasing the financial allocations for the sources and fronts, especially within the belt of Baghdad as an important weapon facing the organization during the coming period, the fact that the penetrating source of the organization constitutes a valuable information and useful to address the terrorist operation before it occurs.
5 – Develop the work of the main controls(check points) of the province of Baghdad and other provinces by providing them with competent and professional elements in addition to the provision of it by a comprehensive database of wanted and fugitives and elements identified of its loyal to the terrorist organization during their control of the provinces as well as include data of public civil status , public traffic and public nationality and update periodically according to the permanent program ” It is prepared by specialized programmers with speeding up the procedures of completing the unified card as it will end the forgery operations that the organization benefit of it in introducing its elements by “fake civil status identities”. This is proven by the arrest of many of the terrorists who were carrying false papers.
6. The Agency reports that there are many lakes of fish, banking offices and remittances of collaborators and supporters of the terrorist organization. These lakes are used as fronts and sources of funding for terrorist organization, which requires strict control over private projects to prevent the organization from exploiting these projects as a financial source.
7. To carry out proactive, surprising and continuous operations within the designated areas.
In light of the above, it appears that the danger of the terrorist organization ISIS on the security and stability of Iraq is still in place, which requires strengthening the security measures in the Iraqi capital Baghdad and all the provinces of Iraq to prevent the terrorist organization in carrying out any terrorist operations aimed at terrorizing the citizens of Iraq , So this awakening of security is required for all the security and intelligence services and the federal police at all times. This awakening should not be confined to the time of the parliamentary elections scheduled for next May, but this awakening must be vigilant before and after the parliamentary elections for the safety of Iraq and its people from the danger of terrorism of ISIS.
Iraqi Studies Unit
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies