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  • Iraqi Intelligence Officials Told France About A Potential Attack The Day Before Paris Was Hit

    Iraqi intelligence officials sent out warnings of an impending ISIS assault just one day before the Paris attacks Friday.

    According to these intelligence officials, the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, issued an order for an attack against all countries part of the coalition currently bombing ISIS positions in Iraq and Syria, The Associated Press reports.

    But the problem is sorting out which warnings to take seriously and which ones to mostly ignore. A French government official told The Associated Press that these sorts of warnings come in continuously every single day. In the case of this warning, Iraqi intelligence did not provide any details on when or where the attacks would hit, though France was specifically warned.

    “We have recovered information from our direct sources in the Islamic State terrorist organization about the orders issued by terrorist ‘Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’ directing all members of the organization to implement an international attack that includes all coalition countries, in addition to Iran and the Russian Federation, through bombings or assassinations or hostage taking in the coming days,” the warning stated. “We do not have information on the date and place for implementing these terrorist operations at this time.”

    Several days ago, ISIS released a video claiming that it would target Russia in order to “make their wives concubines and their children slaves.” ISIS claimed responsibility for the downing of a Russian passenger plane over the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt two weeks ago.

    The attacks in Paris were reportedly planned in Raqqa, Syria, the de-facto capital of ISIS. French airstrikes hit the region hard Sunday, following French president Francois Hollande’s promise that the war against ISIS would be pitiless.

    Security services in France have had to deal with a deluge of information and are also inhibited by prohibitions on pre-emptive arrests.

    France’s domestic security situation is also somewhat precarious, given that in 2014, an opinion poll discovered that ISIS had an approval rating of 16 percent among French citizens, which was just two percent less than the approval rating of the current French president.

    When breaking down poll results to just the 18-to-24-year-old demographic, that number jumped by over 10 percent to 27 percent.

    Muslims comprise about 10 percent of France’s population.

    Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter

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