It’s well known that the greatest tribute a student can give a teacher is for the student to learn so much that their roles reverse. Unfortunately for a group of student Sunni Militants who were killed while attending suicide bombing training class at a camp north of Baghdad, they won’t get the chance to make that transformation.
On Monday, 22 class attendees were obliterated by their teacher/commander who unwittingly detonated his army belt laden with explosives, according to Iraqi army and police officials. Up to fifteen additional terrorists were wounded in the explosion.
The militants belonged to a group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which is fighting the army of the Iraqi government composed mostly of Shiites. They have been connected to bomb attacks throughout Iraq and other areas in the Middle East, and are known for inflaming sectarian violence throughout the region.
One Iraqi Army officer seemed to be pleased with the explosive incident that sent the almost two dozen militants to an early grave (or to a meeting with 72 dark-eyed virgins in paradise, depending on your point of view). The officer commented that the commander, who was conducting the training class, was a successful recruiter of suicide bombers who was “able to kill the bad guys for once.”
An official said that ISIS had about 2,000 fighters in Iraq, and that its long term plan is to create a base of operations in Baghdad, led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The U.S. State Department has officially designated Baghdadi as a global terrorist.