Uptick in Baghdad attacks reveals new insurgent tactics. While American and Iraqi fatalities dropped to their lowest levels in October, the US military reports an increase in the use of 'sticky' bombs in targeted assassinations in and around Baghdad, WWII tactics used in 2008.
Right out of "Saving Private Ryan", Alternately referred to as a sticky charge, sticky grenade or sticky bomb, the makeshift explosive employed by paratroopers during the Battle of Ramelle consisted of grease-covered socks filled with composition B or TNT explosive material. A fuse was inserted into the explosives and lit just before the explosive was placed on its target. Although the first attempt to use one of the sticky bombs failed, and the paratrooper holding the device was blown apart instantly, two other paratroopers successfully planted two sticky bombs on a German Tiger tank. The resulting explosions knocked off the tank's tread and succeeded in immobilizing the tank and blocking the street.
Bombs killed as many as 16 people in Baghdad Tuesday 11/04/08, and wounded dozens more, highlighting the fragility of the recent calm there and the complicated situation still facing American forces.
Attacks have become less common since US and Iraqi security forces began to "gain the upper hand," reports the BBC, although Tuesday was a grim reminder that Iraq is far from pacified, and that insurgents are employing new tactics that the US is calling "sticky IEDs," improvised explosive devices. Iraqi security officials have been quoted saying insurgents are resorting to using smaller bombs and planting them in vehicles, with sticky adhesive or magnets.
UPI reports that on Monday US military officials said they had arrested several high-profile militants, some with ties to Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), in three days of operations in central and northern Iraq. Among those taken into custody Monday was a man who intelligence reports suggest oversaw the movement of bomb-making materials into Mosul, officials said. Eleven other suspects also were detained, American Forces Press Service said.
The New York Times reports that the bombings may be the result of sticky IEDs with mounted-on adhesive or magnets that can be stuck on to objects like cars and trucks. One sticky IED victim was a fish seller in Al Mashtal, the paper quotes a police colonel as saying. "I warned this fish seller only yesterday that his stand on the side of the street was not safe because anyone passing by could set an I.E.D. s blow him up, along with his customers," the police colonel said. "He didn't listen, and the poor guy lost his life in today's blast."
In October, the Washington Post reported that the US military "has investigated roughly 200 cases involving magnetic bombs." It reported that the bombs have been used to assassinate Iraqi officials. One of Tuesday's attacks targeted a prominent Shiite politician, Ahmed al-Barak, a former member of the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council, which helped administer the country until June 2004. The attack may also have been the result of a sticky IED, and killed one civilian and injured eight others, including five of Mr. Barak's body guards, it reports.
The more things change the more they remain the same, al-Qaeda picks up "Sticky Bomb " tips from American made Movies about WWII Soldiers and then use the "Sticky Bomb" techniques against US Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.