Iran conspiracy to kill Saudi envoy to Iraq uncovered

Iran conspiracy to kill Saudi envoy to Iraq uncovered
Thamer Al-Sabhan, Saudi ambassador to Iraq. (Courtesy: aleqt)
Updated 22 August 2016

Iran conspiracy to kill Saudi envoy to Iraq uncovered

Iran conspiracy to kill Saudi envoy to Iraq uncovered

JEDDAH: Iraqi Shiite militias, with Iranian support, made attempts to assassinate Saudi Ambassador to Iraq Thamer Al-Sabhan by targeting his armored car with RPJ-7 missiles.
A source, quoted by a local publication, revealed that these militias have direct links to Iran, mostly the Khorasan Battalion, and a group dealing with Awas Al-Khafaji, secretary general of Abu Fadl Al-Abbas forces.
Al-Sabhan confirmed that Saudi Embassy will continue working as normal in Baghdad despite security threats, according to Al-Arabiya.
He stressed that the Kingdom’s ongoing support for Iraqi people will not be abandoned.
“The Kingdom has taken all security procedures to face these threats by sectarian groups and informed Iraqi authorities of them,” he said.
According to informed sources, the militias have three attack plots, all of which call for carrying out the operation as fast as possible. Two plans, one belonging to the Khorasan Battalion, were uncovered, while a new plan, led by Al-Khafaji, was also identified. All plots, masterminded by Iranian elements, were unsuccessful.
An Iraqi security official told Al-Sharq Al-Awsat the assassination attempts on the ambassador by the Khorasan Battalion, and their aim to get rid of him and his statements against Iran, and create a political and diplomatic crisis between Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
The official, who works with one of the Iraqi intelligence units, said: “Units were able to follow up on a plan put in place by the Khorasan Battalion, and found calls between elements of this militia and Baghdad International Airport employees, who are also loyal to the battalion, regarding movement of the ambassador to and from Baghdad.”
The source added: “The plan involves confronting the convoy of the ambassador on the road to the Baghdad airport with cars carrying fake license plates belonging to the Ministry of Interior and trying to assassinate the ambassador with RPJ-7 missiles, since the ambassador’s cars are armored. Then the cars would escape to the Sunni area in Al-Radwaniyya to hide and blame Daesh for the assassination.
One message intercepted between the Khorasan Battalion and an employee at the airport reads, “the group is awaiting Al-Haji Sabahi to receive him at the guesthouse … inform us of his arrival.”
Al-Haji Sabahi is a popular name used in the southern countryside areas to refer to Al-Sabhan, while the guesthouse refers to the point where the plot would be carried out.
“We were able to arrest the employee at the airport and confirmed that he was working with Khorasan Battalion militias in exchange for a financial sum, but we could not reach the entire group tasked with implementing the operation, which is made up of eight members distributed between two cars,” said the official.
Authorities arrested one of them, he said, as they frequently change their mobile numbers and are very cautions. The employee admitted that an Iranian officer had put the plan in place and supervised it.


Denmark halts UAE flights for five days over COVID-19

Denmark halts UAE flights for five days over COVID-19
Updated 53 sec ago

Denmark halts UAE flights for five days over COVID-19

Denmark halts UAE flights for five days over COVID-19
  • The statement said the UAE was communicating with Danish authorities “to clarify the details and cases”

COPENHAGEN: The UAE said on Friday it was in talks with Denmark after the Nordic country temporarily halted all flights arriving from the Gulf Arab state, a major travel hub, due to potentially unreliable coronavirus tests in Dubai.

Denmark’s transport ministry said the five-day travel restrictions, comes after concerns were raised about the coronavirus tests administered in Dubai before departure. It added it had taken the decision after a detailed tip-off, without elaborating.
“All accredited UAE testing centers are regularly subject to strict quality checks,” the UAE foreign ministry said, adding there are severe penalties for non-compliance with international standards to ensure the highest level of quality in testing.
The statement said the UAE was communicating with Danish authorities “to clarify the details and cases” behind the decision in order to guarantee the safety of all travelers.
Denmark earlier this month made it mandatory for travelers to show a negative test from the previous 24 hours before departure toward Denmark from all countries.
Late on Friday, Danish Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said on Twitter 50 persons with COVID-19 had flown in from Dubai in January alone. 33 of those arrived after Denmark made it mandatory to test negative for COVID-19 before departure.
Several Danish celebrities, including former footballer Nicklas Bendtner, were criticized earlier this month after Danish media reported they had traveled to regional tourism hub Dubai on holiday despite the government advising against going abroad to limit the spread of the coronavirus.