Iraq busts cell making chemical weapons

A handout picture released by the Iraqi Defence Ministry shows devices allegedly confiscated from an Al-Qaeda terror cell on June 1, 2013.

Iraqi officials say they have busted a five-man al-Qaeda-linked terrorist cell that planned to launch chemical weapons attacks in Iraq, North America, and Europe.

The group built two facilities in Baghdad to produce sarin and mustard gas, Iraqi Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Askari told reporters at a press conference in the Iraqi capital on Saturday.

The terrorist cell built the facilities using instructions from another al-Qaeda group, Askari added.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq is a shadowy group that was once allegedly led by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was reportedly killed in June 2006.

According to the US government and military officials, after Zarqawiâ„¢s death, the groupâ„¢s leadership fell to Ayyub al-Masri, who was killed, along with Abu Omar al-Baghdadi — another leader of the group — in a joint operation by Iraqi and US troops in Salahuddin province in April 2010.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq has been blamed for some of the deadliest attacks in the country over the past ten years.

MAM/HGL

This article originally appeared on: Press TV