Iraq Warned of Attack before Paris Terrorism

The Associated Press has learned that Iraqi intelligence officials warned the United States-group fighting ISIS of "immanent assaults" by the terrorists one day before the deadly attacks in Paris.

Iraqi intelligence sent a dispatch saying the group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, had ordered an attack on coalition countries fighting against them in Iraq and Syria, as well as on Iran and Russia, through bombings or other attacks in the days ahead.

The dispatch said the Iraqis had no specific details on when or where the attack would take place, and a senior French security official told the AP that French intelligence gets this kind of communication "all the time" and "every day."

A senior intelligence official told the AP he was not aware of any information that could have stopped the attacks in Paris.

Six senior Iraqi officials confirmed the information in the dispatch, a copy of which was obtained by the AP, and four of these intelligence officials said they also warned France specifically of a potential attack. Two officials told the AP that France was warned beforehand of details that French authorities have yet to make public.

 "We have recovered information from our direct sources in the Islamic State terrorist organization about the orders issued by terrorist 'Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi' directing all members of the organization to implement an international attack that includes all coalition countries, in addition to Iran and the Russian Federation, through bombings or assassinations or hostage taking in the coming days. We do not have information on the date and place for implementing these terrorist operations at this time," the Iraqi dispatch read in part.

Iraqi officials also said that the terror plot appears to have been planned in Raqqa, Syria, where the attackers were trained. The Iraqis said there were 24 people involved in the operation: 19 attackers and five who worked on the logistics.

The Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the attack that wounded 350 people, 99 of them were seriously.

Issues

Organizations