Monday marked Iraq’s bloodiest day so far this year, as 107 people died from bombings and shootings, in a coordinated surge of violence against mostly Shi'ite Muslim targets. Just a few days prior, the leader of the country’s al Qaeda faction declared a new offensive in an attempt to take advantage of the disorganized Baghdad government U.S. troops are leaving behind. Monday’s violence suggests al Qaeda is much more powerful than U.S. and Iraqi officials admit. Security forces and government offices were the two most common targets of the day’s attacks. The worst part of the offensive took place in an town 12 miles north of Baghdad, where 41 people were killed after bombs exploded around five houses and the police who arrived to help were attacked by a suicide bomber.