The suicide bomber who killed 29 people at Baghdad’s largest Sunni mosque disguised himself as an injured beggar and attended prayers there for nearly a week, a senior religious figure said Monday.

The attack hit Sunnis praying at a special service Sunday night during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan and appeared calculated to try to re-ignite widespread violence in Iraq just months before U.S. troops are to complete their withdrawal.

The bomber, who pretended to be a beggar, had attended prayers for six straight days at the Um al-Qura mosque in western Baghdad, said Sheik Ahmed Abdul Gafur al-Samarraie, head of an endowment that oversees all Sunni religious sites nationwide.

He said the bomber had a bandaged hand and appeared to pose no threat.

“When his face became familiar to the guards they didn’t search him last night,” al-Samarraie told reporters at the mosque, where blood still stained the marble floors and stairs.

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