A statement by Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi regarding ISIS planning to attack the US and France swept through the US media yesterday despite both French and American officials saying they had no such intelligence. The alleged plot was uncovered by Iraqi intelligence who informed Abadi. Though Abadi met with US officials this week he never brought it up according to an Obama Administration official that spoke to the Associated Press.
The target for the attacks is supposedly the subway systems in both the US and France. New York City, which has the largest subway system in the country, is considered one of the likely targets with NYC officials telling the media they are aware of the statements and investigating. Paris also has a major subway system.
After the initial reporting of a terrorist plot reminiscent of the London subway attacks the story started to unravel. AP’s initial translation of Abadi’s answer to a question as to whether an attack was “imminent” was given as “yes” but was later re-translated as “I’m not sure.” Then a “senior Iraq official” offered more clarification.
Later, a senior Iraqi official in New York qualified the prime minister’s remarks. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to make statements on the record.
“There were serious threats that were uncovered by Iraqi intelligence, and they were forwarded to the appropriate security authorities of our partners. A full assessment of the veracity of the intelligence and how far the plans have gone into implementation is ongoing,” the official said. “We cannot further discuss the nature of the threat in the media, except to reaffirm that Daesh will continue to endanger international peace and security unless it is eradicated.”
So it “reaffirms” that the US and France should still be fighting for the government in Baghdad? Sounds a lot like a campaign to scare the populations of the US and France into supporting the Iraqi government’s agenda – what do you call it when you try to terrorize people in order to achieve your political goals?
Whether or not such a plot was really uncovered by Iraqi intelligence is hard to know, but what is clear is that the government in Baghdad is desperate to secure US support for its government by any means necessary and that the US media is happy to play along if it serves their bottom line.
Photo by US State Department under public domain.