Incident Summary:

04/21/2004: Five Iraqis were arrested in connection to the Basra car bombings, which killed as many as 74 people and injured another 100. The perpetrators used five car bombs in a coordinated attack on Iraqi police stations and a police academy in Basra, Iraq. Police found two more cars with explosive devices inside before they could be used in the attack. The suspects were thought to be linked to al-Qaida, but no group claimed responsibility for the attack.




Middle East & North Africa

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Military
Name of Entity British Soldiers
Specific Description Two British soldiers serving in Basra
Nationality of Target Great Britain
Target Type: Police
Name of Entity Iraqi Police Service (IPS)
Specific Description Iraqi Police Stations and a Police Academy in Basra
Nationality of Target Iraq
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity Civilians
Specific Description Children in a school bus passing by the scene of the attack
Nationality of Target Iraq
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Major (likely > $1 million but < $1 billion)
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives/Bombs/Dynamite Vehicle
Explosives/Bombs/Dynamite Projectile (rockets, mortars, RPGs, etc.)
Weapon Details
Five car bombs were used to strike various police installations. Rockets may have been fired as well.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Tawhid and Jihad (suspected) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 5
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 74 Fatalities / 100 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 74
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 100
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Five Iraqis Arrested in Connection To Basra Car Bombings," Associated Press, April 23, 2004.
"Explosions Target Basra Police; At Least Sixty People Are Killed, Including Ten Children," Grand Rapids Press, April 21, 2004.
"Death Toll From Basra Police Stations Blasts Rises to Sixty-eight," Al-Jazirah Television, April 21, 2004.