Al Qaeda Poison Gas Cell Busted In Baghdad

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An Al Qaida cell working to produce poison gas at two locations in Baghdad for future attacks at home and abroad has been broken up by the Iraqi defence ministry.

The group of five people built two facilities to produce sarin and mustard gas, using instructions from another Al-Qaeda group, spokesman 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 also to Europe and North America, Al Askari said.

The arrest of the cell members was possible because of cooperation 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 Al Assad in neighbouring Syria.

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

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