Well that withdrawal from Iraq worked out well. Now Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat and can never threaten us again. Obama said so.
But in the real world, Iraqi authorities busted an Al Qaeda cell plotting to carry out a chemical weapons attack using drones. This is really bad news as it combines WMDs and technological sophistication.
Authorities in Iraq say they have uncovered an al-Qaeda plot to use chemical weapons, as well as to smuggle them to Europe and North America.
Defence ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Askari said five men had been arrested after military intelligence monitored their activities for three months.
Three workshops for manufacturing the chemical agents, including sarin and mustard gas, were uncovered, he added.
Remote-controlled toy planes were also seized at the workshops. Mr Askari said they were to have been used to release the chemical agents over the target from a “safe” distance of 1.5km (1 mile)
Troublingly, Turkey busted an Al-Nusra Front cell (Al Qaeda in Syria) that also had stockpiles of chemical weapons.
On May 30, the Turkish media reported that 12 individuals from the al Qaeda-linked Al Nusrah Front had been captured in antiterror operations in Adana, along with a total of two kilos (4,5 lb) of sarin gas. Five of the 12 suspects were later released; the interrogation of the other seven is ongoing.
While Adana mayor Hüseyin Avni Cos denied that the suspects were captured with sarin gas and warned against labeling them as part of any terror organization, the Turkish mainstream dailies Sabah and Milliyet are reporting today that the suspects were in fact members of the al Qaeda-linked Al Nusrah Front and were captured with sarin gas.
Turkish authorities are denying the nerve gas part of the story, which they have every reason to do as the Islamist regime is deep in bed with Syrian Sunni terrorists.
The Iraqi claim alone might have been written off as propaganda from a Shiite regime, but the addition of the Turkish story tells us we’re dealing with a much bigger problem.
It would appear that Al Qaeda elements in three countries have gotten their hands on chemical weapons out of Syria. The weapons are probably in the pipeline now.
Iraq credited foreign intelligence agencies with alerting them to the problem. That probably means the United States. It’s about the only country that could coordinate busts with Iraq and Turkey. Iraq is obviously jumping on the propaganda opportunities. Turkey, just as obviously, is lying about it. But it’s hard to believe that busting two cells takes all the WMDs out of Al Qaeda’s hands.
We may be headed for a much bigger problem. Yet the eagerness of Al Qaeda in Iraq and Syria to focus on using chemical weapons to kill Shiites may buy us some time.