Iraq: Qaeda poison gas cell busted

2013-06-01 22:32

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Baghdad - Iraq's defence ministry said on Saturday it has broken up an al-Qaeda cell that was working to produce poison gas for attacks within the country as well as in Europe and North America.

The group of five people built two facilities in Baghdad to produce sarin and mustard gas, using instructions from another al-Qaeda group, spokesperson Mohammed al-Askari told a news conference.

The members of the cell were prepared to launch attacks domestically, and also had a network to smuggle the toxins to neighbouring countries, and further afield to Europe and North America, Askari said.

The arrest of the cell members was possible because of co-operation between Iraqi and foreign intelligence services, he added.

The United Nations said last month that sarin nerve gas may have been used by rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar Assad in neighbouring Syria.

Iraq and Syria share a 600km border, and officials have warned that al-Qaeda-linked Sunni militants opposed to Assad and the Shi'ite-led government in Baghdad, have set up camp in Iraq's western desert region.

Al-Qaeda front group the Islamic State of Iraq is still active in the country, launching regular attacks on government and civilian targets.

So far, the group has largely refrained from waging violence outside Iraq, but earlier this year it publicly said it was linked to Syria's Al-Nusra Front, a jihadist group fighting the Assad regime.

Saddam Hussein's forces used poison gas to attack the Kurdish town of Halabja in 1988, killing an estimated 5 000 people.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    bashar assad  |  iraq publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Lood leads heavy Bok assault
Hosts England crash out of RWC
Cotter takes loss on the chin
'Basic' Bok plan worked well
Traffic Alerts

Spontaneity is the order of the day. Let go and have some fun. Try not to set too many set plans and expectations and enjoy more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.