Published June 02, 2013
Iraqi officials say they have busted a plot by an Al Qaeda cell to carry out poison gas attacks in the Middle East, Europe and North America.
The attacks could have possibly been carried out by remote-controlled toy planes, which were seized at two workshops in Baghdad, the BBC reports.
Mohamed al Askari, a spokesman for Iraq's defense ministry, said on Saturday that five suspects were detained over operations at the two facilities, where they were allegedly planning to produce sarin and mustard gas using instructions from another Al Qaeda group, Sky News reports.
Askari said the suspects had materials and formulas to make the gases -- and had a network to smuggle the toxins out of Iraq -- but they had yet to produce any weapons.
The arrests were made after an investigation by Iraq and foreign intelligence services, Sky News reports.
Al Qaeda in Iraq detonated 16 chlorine bombs between October 2006 and June 2007, the BBC reports.
In 1988, the forces of former Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein killed an estimated 5,000 people in a poison gas attack on the Kurdish town of Halabja.