x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Mother of 9-year-old Iraqi suicide bomber arrested

The 47-year-old widow was arrested with her boyfriend, who reportedly has ties to Al Qa'eda, despite trying to stop her son after a last minute change of heart.

BAGHDAD // Iraqi security forces have arrested a woman whose boyfriend convinced her to send her little boy on a suicide mission and then failed to stop the attack after she had a change of heart, police said.

Sunni widow Suad al-Obaidi, 47, was arrested on Friday along with her allegedly Al-Qaeda boyfriend, after attacks on anti-Qaeda Sahwa (Awakening) militia in Diyala province a day earlier, a Diyala police officer told AFP.

She was arrested in Diyala province, while the boyfriend, Hamid Alwan, 53, was detained in Baghdad.

According to the officer, Alwan convinced Obaidi to send nine-year-old Murtada Latif Kadhem to bomb a Shiite mosque in Khales, north of Baghdad, several years ago.

Alwan "took her son with her ... by car to the Shiite mosque but, on the way there, she started to cry about her son," the officer said.

"He put her out of the car, and took the son, who was wearing an explosive belt, to the mosque," where "he blew himself up."

Security officials said the December 29, 2006 attack killed at least nine people, including the imam of the mosque, and wounded at least eight.

A few months later, Alwan tried to convince Suad to send her 18-year-old son Kadhem Latif Kadhem on a suicide attack, but he fled to the home of his married sister, Hanna.

Diyala province, north of Baghdad, was the scene of bloody sectarian fighting that left thousands dead.

"After the attacks against the Sahwa (Awakening) last Thursday, we received information about terrorists groups and wanted people in some areas in Diyala," said the officer.

"We arrested a group of terrorists and through the investigation we reached Hamid and arrested him in Baghdad Friday."

On Thursday, a suicide bomber and a car bomb targeted Sahwa militiamen near Baquba, north of Baghdad, killing five people and wounding 26, an army officer and a doctor said.