Germans Foil Allawi Assassination Plot

3 Arrested in Suspected Plot to Attack Iraqi Prime Minister [RSS] (NYT)

German police today arrested three Iraqis who the chief federal prosecutor said appeared to have been planning an attack on Prime Minister Ayad Allawi of Iraq, here for talks with Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. The prosecutor, Kay Nehm, said that the men were arrested after a series of raids in three German cities overnight. Intercepts of telephone conversations involving the three suspects had pointed to an attack on Mr. Allawi, he said. “There were indications pointing to a particular event” in Mr. Allawi’s program, Mr. Nehm said at a press conference in Karlsruhe, in southwest Germany.

Mr. Nehm said that in response to heightened concerns about his security, Mr. Allawi canceled a meeting he was to have held with Iraqi exiles on Thursday evening. It was apparently the suspected terrorists’ response to the change in Mr. Allawi’s program that led the police to believe an attack was being planned. “Based on the changed program and the reaction in the various telephone calls, one must conclude that the comments in those calls indicate something was planned against the Iraqi prime Minister,” Mr. Nehm said.

The German police did not release the names of the suspects who were arrested, but Mr. Nehm said they were all believed to be members of Ansar al Islam, a terror group that originated in Kurdish areas in North Iraq and that the United States has held responsible for numerous suicide bombings in Iraq.

Obviously, excellent news and a great catch. Further evidence that the Europeans have a heavy stake in the war on Islamist extremism.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War, Terrorism
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.