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ISIS Sleeper Cells Awake in Several Iraqi Areas - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Baghdad – Many of ISIS’ sleeper cells have risen in retaliation to the losses in Mosul and other areas.

Two days after the Iraqi Ministry of Interior thwarted an ISIS attack, ISIS responded with a series of booby-trapped cars and terrorists attacks in Baghdad, Tikrit, Samara, and al-Sherqat which killed a number of pilgrims including Iranians who were on their way the shrines in Samara.

Saladin governor Ahmed al-Jubouri blamed security authorities for the incidents in Tikrit and Samara, Saladin tribe council spokesperson Marwan Jebara said that lack of coordination between the security forces made it easy to penetrate and cause blasts certain areas.

At least 15 people were killed in twin suicide attacks, and 33 injured in Shisheen valley, south of Tikrit. While in Samara, security forces imposed a curfew after a blast killed and injured over 24 persons included 10 Iranians.

Isis has claimed responsibility for the attacks in retaliation for their loss of territory in the north of the country.

Jebara said that this is a double-message from ISIS to its fighters and to Iraq. He elaborated that the terrorist organization wants to prove to everyone that it is still here and capable of bombing any area.

He explained that Samara is special for ISIS because it is the hometown of its leader Abu Baqer al-Baghdadi, and by attacking there, the organization encouraged its fighters and delivered a message that it can attack areas close to the shrines in Samara especially that Arbaeen pilgrimage is near.

According to Jebara, the bombs were attributed to lack of coordination between security forces and the different types and numbers of forces.

Governor Joubouri stated that the attacks are a reaction to ISIS’ losses in the area and due to multiple forces.

In Baghdad, an army force was able to kill a terrorist driving a car before he detonated it among pilgrims in Baghdad.

Security expert Hashim al-Hasihimi told Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper that ISIS is not centralized, and each governorate follows its own plans without directives from the headquarters of the organization.

Hashimi added Kirkuk attacks were executed by a number of fighters from outside of Kirkuk in collaboration with sleeper cells in the city.