BAGHDAD — First came the fireball, then the screams of the victims. The suicide bombing just outside a Baghdad graveyard knocked Nasser Waleed Ali over and peppered his back with shrapnel.
Ali was one of the lucky ones. At least 51 died in the Oct. 5 attack, many of them Shi’ite pilgrims walking by on their way to a shrine. No one has claimed responsibility, but there is little doubt Al Qaeda’s local franchise is to blame. Suicide bombers and car bombs are its calling cards, Shi’ite civilians among its favorite targets.