Large-scale suicide attacks in Iraq are up in recent months, demonstrating that al-Qaeda in Iraq and its homegrown affiliates remain a potent force even as U.S. troops surge into central Iraq. News reports also suggest these groups have altered their tactics to include multi-bomb attacks and the use of chlorine-laden explosives. The escalation of al-Qaeda-led violence in Iraq comes amid reports that high-ranking U.S. officials negotiated directly with insurgent groups such as the Islamic Army of Iraq and the 1920 Revolution Brigades, both closely aligned with al-Qaeda.

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