Iraqi Officials Detain Former Saudi Army Officer & Al-Qaeda Member Planning Attack On World Cup
Iraqi officials announced today that they have detained a former Saudi army officer and al-Qaeda member who was planning an attack on the World Cup in South Africa in June.
Abdullah Azam al-Qahtani, pictured, is believed to have made contact with al-Zawahiri, the man generally regarded as al-Qaeda’s second-highest leader after bin Laden. (The Telegraph– AP)
Iraqi security forces have detained an al-Qaida militant suspected of planning an attack targeting the World Cup in South Africa next month, an official said Monday.
Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, a spokesman for Baghdad security services, said Abdullah Azam Saleh al-Qahtani was an officer in the Saudi army. He is suspected of planning a “terrorist act” in South Africa during the World Cup beginning June 11, al-Moussawi told a news conference in Baghdad.
He said al-Qahtani entered Iraq in 2004 and is suspected in several attacks in the capital and elsewhere in the country.
In South Africa, a police spokesman said Iraq has not notified them of the arrest.
“We have not received any official reports from them,” Vish Naidoo told The Associated Press. “Whatever arrest they made there, they know, we don’t know anything about it.”
Earlier Monday, South African police paraded fire engines, armored carriers and other vehicles through Johannesburg to show they were ready to secure the country for the World Cup.