An umbrella group that includes al-Qaida in Iraq, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, (or ISIL), has claimed responsibility for a series of bombings that took place during Eid, when Iraqi families were celebrating the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The bombs claimed scores of lives and left many wounded in Baghdad and Iraq’s other cities.
The United States condemned “in the strongest possible terms the cowardly attacks” that took place during the Eid celebration. In a statement, U.S. State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said, “The terrorists who committed these acts are enemies of Islam and a shared enemy of the United States, Iraq, and the international community.”
The United States has offered a $10 million reward for information that helps authorities kill or capture
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi."
She noted the attacks bore the hallmarks of similar suicide and vehicle bomb attacks in Iraq over the past ninety days which have been perpetrated by al-Qaida in Iraq or AQI. AQI is led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, whom the United States has named a Specially Designated Global terrorist.
Ms. Psaki said al-Baghdadi, who is also known as Abu D’ua, is now based in Syria, and has taken personal credit for a series of terrorist attacks in Iraq since 2011.
“The United States has offered a $10 million reward for information that helps authorities kill or capture Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” said Ms. Psaki. “This reward is second only to information leading to Ayman al-Zawahiri, the chief of al-Qaida’s network, and symbolizes our ongoing commitment to helping our partners in the region eliminate this threat from their territory.”
“In this regard the United States is prepared to work closely with the Iraqi Government to confront the threat posed by al-Qaida in Iraq and other terrorist groups.” She noted that the U.S. is looking forward to discussing bilateral cooperation in this and other areas, pursuant to the Strategic Framework Agreement between the U.S. and Iraq, during the upcoming visit of Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari to Washington.
“The United States,” said State Department Spokesperson Psaki, “will stand with the Iraqi people as they work to overcome these horrific attacks perpetrated by a common enemy.”