Iraq Warned of Attacks Before Paris Assault
Two Iraqi officials say France was given details
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 16, 2015 7:00 PM CST
French police patrol at the place de la Republique in Paris, France, Sunday Nov. 15, 2015, two days after over 120 people were killed in a series of shooting and explosions.    (Jerome Delay)

(Newser) – Senior Iraqi intelligence officials warned members of the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group of imminent assaults by the militant organization just one day before last week's deadly attacks in Paris killed 129 people, the AP 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 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."

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 say that France was warned beforehand of details that French authorities have yet to make public. Among the other warnings cited by Iraqi officials: 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. The officials also said a sleeper cell in France then met with the attackers after their training and helped them execute the plan. There were 24 people involved in the operation, they said: 19 attackers and five others in charge of logistics and planning.
 

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