Iraq crisis: Plot to target Paris and US subways uncovered by Iraqi intelligence

Iraq's Prime Minister said the plots had not been thwarted

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The Independent Online

Iraq’s intelligence services have uncovered a plot for an attack against subways in the US and Paris, according Iraq’s Prime Minister.

Haider Abadi told reporters at the United Nationals general Assembly on Thursday that he was alerted to the plot by authorities in the Iraqi capital of Bahgdad, and said that the US had been told.

He added that French and American members of Isis – calling itself the Islamic State (IS) - based in Iraq were behind the plot.

Asked if the attacks were imminent, he said: "I'm not sure", adding that he did not believe that the attacks had been thwarted.

"Today, while I'm here I'm receiving accurate reports from Baghdad that there were arrests of a few elements and there were networks from inside Iraq to have attacks ... on metros of Paris and US,“ Mr Abadi said.

"They are not Iraqis. Some of them are French, some of them are Americans. But they are in Iraq.“

Since IS seized swathes of Iraq and Syria over the summer, the US has responded with air strikes in Iraq to aid Kurdish forces who are battling the militants, and to protect religious minorities.

Western leaders have since voiced concern that the group would move its terror operations outside the region.

This week, the US and five allied Arab states expanded the aerial campaign into Syria, where the militant group is battling President Bashar Assad's forces as well as Western-backed rebels.

Following the announcement, New York’s police department said it was “aware” of the Iraqi Prime Minister’s warning.

"We are in close contact with the FBI and other federal partners as we assess this particular threat stream," said John Miller, deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism at the New York City Police Department.

"New York City normally operates at a heightened level of security and we adjust that posture daily based on our evaluation of information as we receive it."

There was no immediate comment from Washington or Paris, and al-Abadi's assertion could not be independently confirmed.  

Additional reporting by AP

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