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Iraq to World Cup: FYI, we saved you from al Qaeda

The timing and tone of this announcement do seem just a tad suspicious: Iraqi security forces have arrested a Saudi al-Qaeda member who an official said on Monday was involved in a plot to attack next month’s World Cup soccer tournament in South Africa. Baghdad security spokesman Major General Qassim al-Moussawi gave no details and ...

The timing and tone of this announcement do seem just a tad suspicious:

Iraqi security forces have arrested a Saudi al-Qaeda member who an official said on Monday was involved in a plot to attack next month’s World Cup soccer tournament in South Africa. Baghdad security spokesman Major General Qassim al-Moussawi gave no details and offered no evidence for the claim and it was not possible to verify it.

Moussawi’s allegation about a Saudi’s involvement in a plot against the World Cup came after former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal accused Iraq’s prime minister of hijacking the country’s March election.

 

Moussawi, who reports to the prime minister’s office, said Abdullah Azzam al-Qahtani was a former Saudi army lieutenant.

"He was planning to bomb the holy shrines in Najaf and Kerbala," Moussawi told a news conference in Baghdad.

 

"And he was planning a terrorist act in South Africa during the World Cup based on plans issued by the central al Qaeda terrorist organization in coordination with Osama bin Laden’s first assistant, Ayman al-Zawahri."

If true, Iraqi authorities apparently didn’t bother to tell anyone in South Africa about the threats made by Moussawi — who was captured two weeks ago. I guess a government in need of some good publicity could do worse than, "we saved the World Cup."

 Twitter: @joshuakeating

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