Attacks in Iraq signal Al Qaeda is on the rise again (+video)
Today's death toll and the steady drumbeat of attacks show that Al Qaeda in Iraq, which days ago warned of a new offensive, remains capable of creating chaos in the foreseeable future.
An onslaught of bombings and shootings killed 93 people across Iraq today, officials said, in the nation's deadliest day so far this year.
The attacks come days after the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq declared a new offensive and warned in a statement that the militant group is reorganizing in areas from which it retreated before US troops left the country last December.
Al Qaeda has been seeking to re-assert its might in the security vacuum left by the departing Americans, seizing on Baghdad's fragmented government and the surge of Sunni rebels in neighboring Syria to sow instability across Iraq.
US and Iraqi officials insist that the terror network's Iraqi wing, known as the Islamic State of Iraq, is nowhere as strong as it was when the nation threatened to fall into civil war between 2006 and 2008, and the Iraqi government is better established.
Still, the huge death toll today and an almost-daily drumbeat of killings last month show Al Qaeda remains fully capable of creating chaos in the foreseeable future.
Today's violence in 13 Iraqi cities and towns appeared coordinated: The blasts all took place within a few hours of each other. They struck mostly at security forces and government offices – two of Al Qaeda's favorite targets in Iraq.