Female Suicide Bombers Hit Baghdad Police Academy

Two female suicide bombers killed 27 and wounded 32 at Baghdad’s police academy this morning. Early speculation is that the bombers were themselves students at the academy.

Two Female Suicide Bombers Kill 27 in Iraq (AP)

Two women strapped with explosives blew themselves up at Baghdad’s police academy on Tuesday, killing 27 people and wounding 32, the U.S. military said. The women blew themselves up in a classroom filled with students, the statement from Task Force Baghdad said. No U.S. forces were killed or wounded in the attack, it added. U.S. forces rushed to the scene to provide assistance, the statement said.

Iraqi police said one bomb exploded in a cafeteria, while the other detonated during roll call. Police Lt. Ali Mi’tab said the women were probably students at the academy, which is why they were not searched. Five other female police officers were among the dead, he added.

Iraqi insurgents have concentrated their attacks against Iraqi security forces. Tuesday’s attack was the deadliest against Iraqi forces since Feb. 28, when a suicide car bomber attacked mostly Shiite police and National Guard recruits in Hillah, killing 125.

The fact that they had managed to infiltrate the ranks of the cadets is the most problematic part of the story, as it is an indication of very smart tactics on the part of the terrorists. There have been other signs that they have infiltrated the ranks of the police and military as well. Doing so not only gives them cover to carry out their crimes but undermines public confidence in the security forces and sows seeds of distrust among the ranks of those forces as well.

Steven Taylor has more on this incident as well as news on Western Europe’s first female suicide bomber. (The NYT piece he links refers to her as “the first European Muslim woman to stage a suicide attack” but that’s unlikely since at least eleven women committed suicide attacks in Chechnya.)

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.