AP Newsbreak: Iraq Warned of Attacks Before Paris Assault
BAGHDAD (AP) - Senior Iraqi intelligence officials warned coalition countries of imminent assaults by the Islamic State group just one day before last week's deadly attacks in Paris killed 129 people, The Associated Press has learned.
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 assassinations or hostage taking in the coming days."
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."
However, six senior Iraqi officials corroborated 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.
Among them: that the Paris attacks appear to have been planned in Raqqa, Syria - the Islamic State's de-facto capital - where the attackers were trained specifically for this operation and with the intention of sending them to France.