The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the cowardly attacks today in Baghdad. These attacks were aimed at families celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday that marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The terrorists who committed these acts are enemies of Islam and a shared enemy of the United States, Iraq, and the international community.
The attacks today bear the hallmarks of similar suicide and vehicle bomb attacks in Iraq over the past ninety days. Most of these attacks have been perpetrated by al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). AQI is led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224. He is also listed at the United Nations Security Council 1267/1989 al-Qa’ida Sanctions Committee.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, also known as Abu D’ua, is now based in Syria and has changed the name of AQI to the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS). He has taken personal credit for a series of terrorist attacks in Iraq since 2011, and most recently claimed credit for the operations against the Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad, the suicide bombing assault on the Ministry of Justice, among other attacks against Iraqi Security Forces and Iraqi citizens going about their daily lives.
The United States has offered a $10 million reward for information that helps authorities kill or capture Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. This reward is second only to information leading to Ayman al-Zawahiri, the chief of Al Qaeda’s network, and symbolizes our ongoing commitment to helping our partners in the region eliminate this threat from their territory.
In this regard, the United States is prepared to work closely with the Iraqi Government to confront the threat posed by Al Qaeda in Iraq and other terrorist groups. We look forward to discussing bilateral cooperation in this and other areas, pursuant to the Strategic Framework Agreement between our two countries, during the upcoming visit of Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari next week in Washington.
Our deepest condolences go out to the families of the victims of today’s attacks and we hope for the quick recovery of the injured. The United States will stand with the Iraqi people as they work to overcome these horrific attacks perpetrated by a common enemy.