2 Jun 2013

Chemical weapon plot revealed by Iraq

8:57 am on 2 June 2013

Iraq says it has uncovered an al Qaeda plot to use chemical weapons inside Iraq as well as smuggle them to Europe and North America.

Defence ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Askari said on Saturday five men had been arrested after military intelligence monitored their activities for three months.

The arrests were possible because of co-operation between Iraqi and foreign intelligence services, Mr Askari said.

Three workshops for manufacturing chemical agents, including sarin and mustard gas, were uncovered. Remote-controlled toy planes were also seized.

Mr Askari said they were to have been used to release chemical agents over the target from a "safe" distance of 1.5km.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq previously detonated crude chlorine bombs in Iraq between October 2006 - June 2007. The BBC reports many hundreds of people were sick, but no deaths resulting from exposure to the chemical were recorded.