Najaf bombing: Iraqi police detain 19 suspects, say al Qaeda behind attack
Iraqi police have detained 19 men - many of them foreigners and all with admitted links to al-Qaeda - in the car bombing of the Imam Ali shrine in the holy city of Najaf, a senior Iraqi investigator told The Associated Press on Saturday.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said two Iraqis and two Saudis grabbed shortly after the Friday attack gave information leading to the arrest of the others. They include two Kuwaitis and six Palestinians with Jordanian passports. The remainder were Iraqis and Saudis, the official said, without giving a breakdown.
The police official, who led the initial investigation and interrogation of the captives, said the prisoners told of other plots to kill political and religious leaders and to damage vital installations such as power plants, water supplies and oil pipelines.
The official conveyed the bomb was made from the same type of materials used in the Aug. 19 bombing at the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad and the Jordanian Embassy attack on Aug. 7, which killed 19.
The police official said the men arrested after the attack claimed the recent bombings were designed to keep Iraq in a state of chaos so that police and American occupation forces would be unable to focus attention on the country's porous borders, across which suspected foreign fighters are said to be infiltrating.
The four men arrived in Najaf three days before the bombing and were staying with a friend who did not know their intentions, the official said. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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