Imam Ali mosque bombing

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Imam Ali Mosque bombing
Meshed ali usnavy (PD).jpg
The Imam Ali mosque
LocationNajaf, Iraq
Date29 August 2003
TargetImam Ali Mosque
Attack type
Car bomb
PerpetratorsJama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad

The Imam Ali mosque bombing was the detonation of two car bombs outside the Shia Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf on 29 August 2003. The attack killed 95 people crowded around the mosque for Friday prayers, including Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, spiritual leader of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.[1]

The attack was devastating for the Shia community in Iraq, because such a revered cleric was killed as well as over 90 other people. The bombing was the deadliest attack in Iraq in 2003.[2]

In response to the attack, thousands of Shia mourners marched in the streets of cities and towns across Iraq. The mourners, many of whom blamed Saddam Hussein's loyalists for the attack, held anti-Ba'athist protests.[3]

Saddam himself released a taped audio message in which he denied having any involvement.[4]


Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) claimed responsibility for the attack, the New York Sun wrote in 2007.[5]

According to U.S. and Iraqi officials, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was responsible for Hakim's assassination. They claim that Abu Omar al-Kurdi, a top Zarqawi bombmaker who was captured in January 2005, confessed to carrying out this bombing. They also cite Zarqawi's praising of the assassination in several audiotapes. Some sources even state that Zarqawi's father-in-law was the suicide bomber who detonated the bomb.[6]

In July 2007, the Iraqi Justice Ministry said that an al-Qaeda in Iraq militant had been executed for his role in the bombing.[5] More specifically, Oras Mohammed Abdulaziz, an alleged Al Qaeda militant, was hanged in Baghdad in July 2007 after being sentenced to death in October 2006 for his role in the attack and assassination of al-Hakim.[5]


  1. ^ "Imam Ali Mosque". Global Security. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  2. ^ Najaf bombing kills Shiite leader, followers say CNN, 30 Aug 2003
  3. ^ "FBI to join mosque bombing probe". CNN. 1 September 2003. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  4. ^ [ 'Saddam' denies involvement in Najaf bombing] The Guardian, 1 Sept 2003.
  5. ^ a b c Mroue, Bassem (6 July 2007). "Alleged Al Qaeda Militant Is Hanged". The Sun. Baghdad. AP. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  6. ^ Zarqawi’s father-in-law linked to deadly suicide blast in 2003 Seattle Times, 8 Feb 2005.

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