Situation: AQI released a statement on a Jihadist site on Thursday warning the Iraqi government of retribution against recent executions in the country.
Analysis: The threat warning is in response to the execution of 21 people convicted of terrorism charges, including three women, on Tuesday. According to government sources, about 200 more executions are planned for the near future. Amnesty International in June condemned the Iraqi state’s penchant for the death penalty, calling it “alarming.” Ayad Allawi, the secular Shiite leader of the opposition Iraqiya bloc in parliament, said Maliki’s security forces have detained and brutally tortured more than 1,000 political opponents in secret prisons and denied them access to legal counsel. Whether or not such assertions are disingenuous, the facts reported by western and local media speak for themselves, and have led to galvanize AQI into greater violence.
A quiet week following omnipresent attacks across Iraq leading up to Eid, could spell another period of highly lethal and indiscriminate AQI aggression.
The Iraqi Army were put on high alert in Baghdad today after two senior security officials were targeted by militants on Wednesday. An increase in drive-by-shootings and SAF attacks against police checkpoints has forced military commanders to re-posture their units across the capital and cities to the north. And last week the Baghdad Operations Command (BOC) released a general threat warning for the central areas of the capital. Although Friday is traditionally a quiet period as Islamic militants respect the call to prayer, attacks at the weekend can be expected to increase with a significant threat to the capital’s city centre.
Advise: Expect increased security, especially around government facilities and public areas such as hotels, shopping centers, markets, and transportation hubs. If AQI are plotting another attack, they could shift their target to a less-secure location if heightened security makes it impossible to strike their original target.