The Iraqi military announced today that it arrested five members of an al Qaeda cell that was seeking to manufacture chemical weapons, including sarin nerve gas, and plotting to conduct attacks within Iraq, Europe, and North America.
The Defense Ministry announced that it arrested the five members of the al Qaeda in Iraq cell and raided two factories in Baghdad that were used to research and manufacture the deadly chemical agents. The arrests were made with the help of undisclosed foreign intelligence services.
The chemical weapons cell was seeking to produce sarin as well as mustard blistering agents. The group had acquired some of the precursor chemicals as well as the formulas needed to manufacture the agents.
According to the Defense Ministry's spokesman, the cell was plotting to use remotely-piloted model aircraft to spray some of the chemical weapons sometime next week as Shia mourners commemorated the death of Imam Kadhum.
The cell also had contacts with a network that would have attempted to smuggle the chemical weapons for use in the United States, Canada, and Europe, the Defense Ministry said.
As a LWJ commenter noted, We can unsafely say that the chemical genie is out of the bottle.