Baghdad, Asharq Al-Awsat- The Iraqi Ministry of Interior confirmed a warning issued by a parliamentary committee that Al Qaeda militants based in Yemen are planning, with the aid of Baathist leaders in Sanaa, to move to Iraq via a neighboring country, after their continued presence in Yemen is uncertain following US intervention [in this conflict].
Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman Alaa al-Ta’i confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat the veracity of the information put forward by the parliamentary Security and Defense committee. He said “the Defense committee, as a regulatory body for the work of all security agencies, is aware of this information, and there must be coordination between the intelligence service and the security agencies to prevent the movement of terrorists from Yemen to Iraq.”
Security and defense committee lawmaker, Ammar Toama, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the alliance between the Baathists and Al Qaeda “already existed in Iraq since 2003 and remains until today, and the reports confirm this. Everybody knows that their (Al Qaeda’s) funding comes from the Baathists, and that all acts of terrorism undertaken by them has been planned by the Baathists but implemented by (Al Qaeda). Such an alliance between them will take place in Iraq, and Yemen, and any where in the world.”
Toama added “Our problem since 2003 until today is that Iraq has become the scene for the entry of foreigners…and our security procedures along the border to prevent infiltration by (Al Qaeda) elements is very weak.” He added “we must strengthen our borders, by increasing the [number of] security forces there, and preparing them with modern means of monitoring [the border], and increasing the aerial surveillance along the border.”
As for the possibility of Al Qaeda elements infiltrating Iraq via neighboring countries, particularly Syria, Toama told Asharq Al-Awsat “the government must quickly resolve the issue of nominating an intelligence service official with high efficiency to meet these external challenges, and the financing and infiltration of terrorists.”
Toama also said “On the diplomatic level, the signing of security agreements with neighboring countries is a requirement to prevent the infiltration of terrorists, and weaken their sources of funding, and monitor their supporters in their countries. It is not unlikely that coordination with Yemen and neighboring countries in the same direction will take place, for mutual interests took place between the Americans and the Yemeni government as a result of the threat represented by (Al Qaeda). However our problem is that some neighboring countries embrace terrorism and aid them in their operations inside Iraq.”