Security alarm in anticipation of ISIS attacks

Strengthening security includes Baghdad and other provinces (Ahmed Al-Rubaie / AFP)

“In connection with the closure of a number of densely populated neighborhoods in the capital, Baghdad, since Monday evening, and the Office of the Prime Minister issuing warning statements, Iraq has entered a new state of security alarm, awaiting attacks by the organization.” ISIS “. , Iraqi officials say that accurate intelligence information confirms the preparation of the Organization’s remnants to implement them, which made it necessary to take new measures.

Alarm in Baghdad for fear of ISIS attacks

On Monday evening, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi issued a statement calling on security forces to lift “precautionary measures” in various cities across the country, following an audio recording attributed to the organization’s new spokesman. , Abu Omar Al-Muhajir, came out last Sunday, in which he vowed to launch attacks “in retaliation”. who were killed in early February, during an operation carried out by US special units in the city of Atma in the Syrian province of Idlib. The spokesman vowed that the attacks he said would be carried out on the continents of Asia and Africa.

Meanwhile, the commander of army operations in Baghdad, Major General Ahmed Salim, issued a statement at dawn on Tuesday, calling on army forces to maintain a cautious and vigilant state to maintain the security situation. , talking about quick solutions to the issue of cutting off roads and some areas for security reasons in the capital.

Tahseen Al-Khafaji: Recent actions are based on very accurate intelligence

In this context, a security official at the Iraqi Joint Operations Command discovered the arrival of intelligence indicating preparations for ISIS to carry out attacks that could target Baghdad as well, which put the security forces on alert. , except this. for closing the Karrada area and tightening procedures in vital areas.Others were removed from the capital, including preventing car entry and using a police dog unit specializing in detecting explosives.

The official indicated that strengthening security would involve other Iraqi provinces and cities, speaking of what he described as “evil routes that continue to penetrate from Syrian territory into Iraq and represent the broader security threat to the movements of “ISIS in Iraq at the moment.”

intelligence information

For his part, the spokesman for the Iraqi Joint Operations Command, Major General Tahsin al-Khafaji, explained in a telephone conversation with Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that “the latest measures are based on very accurate intelligence information and aim to prevent any security breach that ISIS cells may operate on. “

Al-Khafaji stressed that “Iraqi security forces are able to thwart any terrorist plot before it happens, through the intelligence information they possess at the present time.” Which was planned by ISIS cells at the beginning of Ramadan.

A spokesman for the Joint Operations Command stressed that “our goal is to prevent any attack targeting civilians, through a comprehensive plan during Ramadan and the days of Eid al-Fitr (beginning of next May), and this plan is well studied.” “and well thought out,” he said.

The new measures caused massive traffic jams in Baghdad

Yesterday, several Iraqi special units linked to the Counter-Terrorism Service and the Federal Police were deployed at the four gates of Baghdad and a number of vital areas, equipped with explosives detection equipment that examines incoming and outgoing vehicles and checks the identity of passengers via computers. portable with officers to ensure their safety.

The new measures, in the past hours, caused a series of extensive traffic jams in Baghdad, especially near shopping malls that on such days are crowded with visitors to buy Eid al-Fitr supplies.

Commenting on the new measures, Iraqi security expert Ahmed Al-Sharifi said in an interview with Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that “the entry of security forces into a state of maximum readiness comes after a series of events and information showing the intent of ISIS to carry out its attacks in specific areas in the capital, Baghdad, with the aim of demonstrating its strength.

Al-Sharifi noted that “the closure of some areas and coercive procedures can not deter terrorist attacks. On the contrary, it must be done through a qualitative intelligence effort. The current ISIS cell battle is an information and intelligence battle, not a military battle. “

The security expert assessed that “intelligence efforts in Iraq have witnessed a great development during the last period and have managed to thwart many plans in different cities of Iraq, which must be invested in preventing attacks before they occur.” Al-Sharifi described the current security threats in Iraq as “serious and real”.

In 2017, Iraq declared victory over ISIS by restoring all of its territory, which was estimated to be about one-third of the country’s area, which was occupied by the organization in the summer of 2014. However, the organization still retains cells dormant in large areas in Iraq and launches attacks between different periods in the north and west of the country, as well as around the capital, Baghdad.

Since the beginning of this year, Iraqi forces have intensified purges and raids to pursue ISIS remnants, in connection with the increasing frequency of ISIS attacks, particularly in the area between Kirkuk, Salah al-Din and the well-known Diyala as the “death triangle”. “

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