“They leave a phone number on the car’s windshield, and when a driver calls that number…”
This type of attack is very frequent in cafés and markets, where crowds tend to congregate. About a month ago, there was even a quadruple car bomb attack in a market in the Shaab neighbourhood, in which I lost several loved ones. This type of attack is used to cause the maximum number of fatalities among the civilian population and the security and emergency services. Generally, when there’s an explosion, people spontaneously run toward the injured in order to help them. These attacks are precisely timed, with a second explosion typically occurring five to ten minutes after the first attack, which coincides with the arrival of emergency and security services.Footage from a recent double blast in the al-Maalif al-Bayyaa neighbourhood of Baghdad.Al Qaeda terrorists employ a range of operational strategies, but they are currently favouring roadside bombs, car bombs, and bombs in public trashcans.A car bomb requires at least three people. One is in charge of building the bomb, typically out of TNT or C4 mixed with nails and other pieces of metal in order to cause the maximum number of casualties. The second person sets up the bomb in one of the car's wheels and connects it to an electrical system. Finally, the third person is in charge of driving the car to the targeted site.In the last couple months, most explosions were either triggered remotely by a cell phone or by suicide bombers. A new, particularly cruel tactic has recently emerged. In a busy parking lot, someone parks their car in a way that blocks other cars from passing, and leaves a phone number on the windshield. When another driver calls that number, this phone call triggers the bomb.
“The security forces are quick to respond, but they’re not very good at prevention”
I’ve noticed over the last several months that the security forces have improved their response time to deal with the increased number of bomb attacks. They reach the explosion site very quickly, because there is no longer any place in Baghdad that is more than 500 metres away from a checkpoint. They quickly establish a security perimeter over an extended area, because they know that another attack is likely to occur nearby. It prevents me from filming, but this method saves many lives.That said, prevention is lacking. The authorities have been unable to avoid these attacks, in spite of security forces’ heavy presence throughout the city. Furthermore, what is really shocking is that they continue to use so-called “bomb detectors” at checkpoints, even though we now know that they are totally useless. In fact, the man who designed these detectors was recently sentenced to prison.