Following repeated incidents at restaurant branches

Interior ministry announces fresh arrests over attacks on American brands

BAGHDAD — Security forces arrested a new group of suspects involved in recent acts of vandalism against American-brand restaurants in various areas of Baghdad over the past few days.

According to a statement from the Interior Ministry, “the arrests were made during special operations based on precise information.”

“The Interior Ministry has begun the necessary legal procedures for the detained individuals to complete their investigative files. The investigative judge has ordered their detention under Article 4 of the Anti-Terrorism Law,” the statement adds.

Security operations are ongoing to track down the “remaining individuals involved in these illegal activities to arrest them and bring them to justice.”

On May 26, the Baghdad Operations Command announced the arrest of individuals responsible for the first attack on a KFC restaurant on Palestine Street. The suspects, riding a motorcycle, threw an explosive device at the restaurant’s facade.

The explosion caused damage to the restaurant’s frontage, but no casualties were reported.

KFC is an American-based fast food restaurant chain with thousands of branches worldwide.

Less than 24 hours later, masked individuals wearing civilian clothes and caps carried out the second attack on another KFC branch in the Jadriya area of Baghdad.

These attacks appear to be part of a series of assaults by groups opposed to American investments in Iraq, citing the USA’s support for Israel in the ongoing war in Gaza. These groups are demanding the closure or boycotting of American eateries and businesses from countries supporting Israel.

A Chili House also faced an attack. Chili House is a Jordanian brand serving U.S.-style cuisine. In Basra, security forces were deployed on the city’s Al-Saadi Street on Tuesday evening near the Chili House restaurant. The deployment followed a gathering of individuals demanding the restaurant’s closure.

Iraq’s Security Media Cell reported that two attacks were carried out on May 30 targeting a Caterpillar dealership and the Cambridge Institute in Baghdad.

Following the attacks, Interior Minister Abdul Amir Al-Shammari has ordered repairs for damaged restaurants.

Authorities reported yesterday that several attackers have been arrested, and investigations are underway to determine their motives. A statement confirmed that some of those arrested were members of Iraq’s security apparatuses.

“These acts by misguided individuals harm the country’s interests and disrupt investment efforts, which the government has worked hard to achieve. While the state strives to attract investments and develop the economy, some perpetrators mistakenly believe they are punishing certain countries by damaging their interests,” the Interior Ministry stated.

“In reality, these illegal actions harm Iraq’s reputation and aim to destabilize security and economic growth. They must be condemned and those responsible isolated,” the statement concluded.

Last November, several popular fast-food restaurants in Baghdad, including KFC, Pizza Hut, and Cinnabon, had their front glass windows stained with a blood-red color. This act appeared to be a protest against the alleged support of Israeli actions by the parent companies of these brands, though KFC has not publicly expressed support for Israel.