Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Apparent beheading of Steven Sotloff sees more calls for #IsisMediaBlackout

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Lesotho Coup: Exiled Prime Minister vows to return home after fleeing

Read more

DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors? (Part Two)

Read more

DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Abbas Araghchi, Iranian deputy foreign minister

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

FOCUS

When water becomes a weapon of war

Read more

ENCORE!

Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Ed Husain, Author of 'The Islamist'

Read more

  • IS video purports to show beheading of second US journalist

    Read more

  • France’s former first lady to lift the lid on presidential breakup

    Read more

  • Obama orders 350 more US troops to Baghdad

    Read more

  • Video: Bodies ‘left behind’ as Ukraine forces flee rebel assault

    Read more

  • France vows crackdown on unemployment benefit ‘abusers’

    Read more

  • Frenchwoman reunited with daughter kidnapped by Syria-bent father

    Read more

  • Trust and 'bio-disaster units' needed to fight Ebola

    Read more

  • Could France sell the Mona Lisa to pay off its debts?

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces advance on IS as protesters storm parliament

    Read more

  • Germany blocks popular car pick-up service Uber

    Read more

  • Several UN peacekeepers killed in Mali explosion

    Read more

  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

    Read more

  • French clubs left behind as others spend big

    Read more

  • Britain drops arrest warrant for ill boy’s parents

    Read more

  • When water becomes a weapon of war

    Read more

  • Arab media strike back at IS Islamists – with cartoons

    Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

    Read more

  • Boko Haram Islamists seize northeast Nigerian town

    Read more

Middle east

Detained Baathist confesses to deadly Baghdad bombing

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-24

Iraqi authorities broadcasted on Sunday a video showing a former police chief loyal to Saddam Hussein's Baath party confessing to planning one of the truck blasts that killed 95 people in central Baghdad last week.

AFP - Iraq on Sunday showed a video of a Saddam Hussein loyalist confessing to orchestrating one of two massive truck bombings that killed 95 people and maimed hundreds more in Baghdad four days ago.

Former police chief Wissam Ali Kadhem Ibrahim admitted to plotting Wednesday's attack at the finance ministry, the first of two deadly blasts on the worst day of violence seen in Iraq for 18 months.

"I received a call a month ago from my boss in the (Baath) party Sattam Farhan in Syria to do an operation to destabilise the regime," Ibrahim said in the footage, alluding to Saddam's now outlawed political movement.

The 57-year-old suspect said the truck bomb was prepared in Khalis, 80 kilometres (50 miles) northeast of Baghdad, and that he had called a contact in the nearby town of Muqdadiyah to ensure its safe passage to the capital.

Ibrahim, who said he was a chief of police in Diyala until 1995 under Saddam's rule, said he had worked as a lawyer until 2002 but then became a leading Baathist official in the restive province northeast of Baghdad.

Major-General Qassim Atta, spokesman for the Iraqi Army's Baghdad operations, told reporters that Ibrahim was the main person responsible for the attack at the ministry of finance.

The second truck bombing on Wednesday occurred just minutes later at the ministry of foreign affairs.

Government officials meanwhile told AFP that they had halted the dismantling of blast-proof concrete security walls in Baghdad following last week's devastating attacks.

The decision is a step back from Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's plan to remove the walls to show that Iraq's security situation was improving.

The decision to stop dismantling the so-called T-walls was taken shortly after the truck bombings, high-ranking officials from the defence and interior ministries said on condition of anonymity.

The sources did not say whether some of the barriers that have already been taken down would be re-erected in the wake of Wednesday's attacks, the deadliest since US forces pulled out of urban centres at the end of June.

The walls are T-shaped concrete barriers about three metres (10 feet) high and linked with heavy-duty metal cables to protect against explosives.

On Sunday, foreign ministry staff were seen erecting a new line of T-walls and the nearby streets remained closed to traffic.

"We will re-examine our strategy on security matters," Baghdad governor Salah Abdul Razzaq told AFP during a visit near the ministry.

"It is possible we will close certain places to ensure security," he said, adding that the bombers had exploited the Iraqi people's desire to see the concrete barriers removed, ultimately making it easier to conduct the attacks.

Premier Maliki said on Saturday that Iraq had taken "decisive measures to tackle the weak points" exposed by Wednesday's bombings.

On Thursday, he ordered the arrest of 11 senior security officers so that they could be questioned on how a four-tonne truck had entered an area where even two-tonne vehicles are barred.

Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari two days later went further, saying Iraq would witness more deadly attacks in the coming months because security forces are colluding with insurgents and the violence is getting worse.

He also made the first official admission that the blasts signalled security gains made in the past year have recently appeared to unravel, and called for a re-appraisal of the country's entire security apparatus, saying it was not obtaining sufficient intelligence to counter the insurgent threat.

The US military on Sunday announced that an American soldier had died from injuries sustained while on patrol in Baghdad.

The death took the number of American troops killed since the 2003 US-led invasion to 4,334, according to an AFP tally based on independent website icasualties.org.

 

Date created : 2009-08-23

COMMENT(S)