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Saturday 16 December 2017

Paris and US subway 'attack plot'

Haider Abadi addresses members of the UN Security Council. (AP)
Haider Abadi addresses members of the UN Security Council. (AP)

Iraq's prime minister says his country's intelligence operation has uncovered a plot for an attack on subway systems in the United States and Paris.

Haider Abadi said he was told of the plot by Baghdad authorities, and that it was the work of foreign fighters of the Islamic State group in Iraq.

Asked if the attacks were imminent, he said: "I'm not sure." Asked if the attacks had been thwarted, he said: "No."

Mr Abadi said the US had been alerted, and that the suspects included extremists from the United States and France who were fighting for IS in Iraq.

"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."

He made the remarks at a meeting with journalists on the sidelines of a gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly.

The IS blitz in Iraq and Syria prompted the US to launch air strikes in Iraq last month, to aid Kurdish forces who were battling the militants and to protect religious minorities.

In addition to the brutality IS has visited on the people in Iraq and Syria, western leaders have 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.

Press Association

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