On 11/12/2003 shortly before 11 a.m, a commercial minivan loaded with explosives and driven by a suicide bomber managed to infiltrate and explode in the Italian base camp in Nasiriya, also known as Camp Libeccio.

18 Italian soldiers, Carabinieri, Military police and a civilian were killed in the blast in edition to 8 Iraqis who were employed in the attacked compound. The attack was the worst incident with the highest loss of Italian soldiers since World War II.   

Nasiriya is located about 370 km South of Baghdad and about 140 km North West of Basra and is populated mainly with Shiites. Italy was a part of the USA led coalition that invaded Iraq in 03/2003. About 3,000 Italian forces are in Iraq, including about 400 Carbinieri, who are mainly involved in police operations.

Two weeks later, on 11/25/2003, The Italian police swooped and arrested the Milan 03 Cell that was deeply involved in raising money, recruiting volunteers and transferring them to Iraq to join Ansar alIslam in Iraq. Although there are no proves that Milan network recruited specifically the Nasiriya bomber they recruited many others who committed attacks in Iraq.  

On 04/30/2004, in am audiotape broadcasted in Al-Arabia TV network, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, in his own voice, took responsibility to the Nasiriya bombings.

On 01/10/2006 the Spanish police arrested a group of 10 Islamic militants, including Omar Naksha.  According to intelligence sources in Sapin and Italy Omar Naksha was involved in recruiting and transferring to Iraq the suicide bomber, which attacked the Italian base in Nasiriya on 11/12/2003.

Summary –

Hundreds of Nasiriya-like attacks were executed in Iraq and Nasiriya bombing was not the worst of them, But Nasiriya was different because the infrastructure of the attack went back to Europe and to the large network of Ansar al Islam cells that operated, almost freely, on European soil.

Unlike other similar attacks Nasiriya aroused a public debate in Italy about the presence of Italian troops in Iraq and substantially weakened the Italian regime. Italian forces left, eventually, Iraq in 11/2006 when mission was far from being accomplished


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