Why is Baghdad removing checkpoints during security crisis?

Matlabi added, “Work is underway to implement the Baghdad Wall plan, but things are moving slowly. This project aims to establish an electronic surveillance wall [around the capital] and set some concrete barriers in rugged areas.”

Matlabi further noted, “The major achievements by the intelligence services prompted the authorities to lift checkpoints that became useless and caused traffic jams, not to mention the barriers that divided neighborhoods on a sectarian basis.” He pointed out that the new plan aims to lift all concrete barriers and checkpoints within weeks.

Matlabi believes the explosions are not linked to the removal of checkpoints, which failed to prevent car bombs in recent years. “Yet intelligence information allowed us to identify nests of terrorist gangs,” he said. According to Matlabi, the Baghdad Operations Room did not know about the surveillance system that Baghdad Gov. Ali al-Tamimi inaugurated. Matlabi added that it is “the governor’s own activity that no one learned about, and it has nothing to do with the other security projects in place.”

Tamimi, who may be dismissed by the Baghdad Provincial Council, inaugurated Dec. 17 what he described as “the biggest modern security surveillance camera project in the capital.” Tamimi said in a statement, “The high-end modern security surveillance camera system is the largest security surveillance project in the province of Baghdad. It will help provide security services with important and accurate information in order for them to perform their duty in the face of terrorist groups and criminal gangs that are committing kidnappings, murders, thefts and robberies.”

Tamimi will be questioned about this project in addition to his previous project, Baghdad Falcon. This reflects the large amount of security decisions and lack of coordination between security and administrative authorities in the absence of security ministers. The interior minister resigned in July and the defense minister was dismissed in August.

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