More on Yesterday’s Green Zone Attack
There’s a little more information on yesterday’s attack on the cafeteria used by members of the Iraqi Parliament and other VIP’s:
Iraq’s authorities were investigating on Friday how explosives were smuggled into the parliament building.
The explosives would have had to pass through an outer checkpoint manned by U.S. and Iraqi troops and multiple inner checkpoints guarded by security contractors and foreign troops that are part of the U.S.-led coalition.
The review of security procedures will likely look at the special passes given to some VIPs and their bodyguards that allow them to pass into parliament without being searched.
Entry into the conference centre is restricted to accredited parliamentary staff, lawmakers, security guards and journalists. Access to the cafeteria itself is restricted to lawmakers, police and kitchen staff.
Two Shi’ite lawmakers said the metal detector used at the VIP entrance was working, but a Sunni legislator said when he arrived there was a power cut and bags were being manually searched. A Reuters cameraman said the scanner at a second entrance used by staff and journalists was operating.
Militants have rarely managed to carry out attacks inside the zone, although the sprawling area has come under increasing rocket and mortar attack in recent weeks.
There’s also some difference of opinion on the scope of the injuries:
The U.S. military said eight people were killed and more than 20 wounded on Thursday when the bomber, whose identity is still not known, slipped through multiple checkpoints and blew himself up amid lawmakers having lunch in the cafeteria.
Interior Ministry spokesman Brigadier-General Abdul Kareem Khalaf had a much lower toll, saying only two people had died, a man and a woman, while 23 were wounded. A parliamentary official said the two dead were lawmakers.
And then there’s this:
A special parliamentary session to condemn the bombing was called by the speaker of parliament, Mahmoud Mashhadani, for 11 a.m. (0700 GMT), but the time passed with no sign of lawmakers gathering.
You can hardly blame them, I suppose. It still seems oddly typical of the Iraqi Parliament to me that even an explosion can’t motivate them to action.
That the attack was an inside job should surprise no one.
The basic question is how were the explosives brought in? It seems a reasonable inference that they were smuggled in on the person of someone who was not subjected to adequate scrutiny.