Islamic State plans subway attacks in US and Paris: Iraqi PM

Iraq has received "credible" intelligence that Islamic State militants plan to attack subway systems in Paris and the United States, Iraq`s prime minister said on Thursday, but senior US officials said they had no evidence to back up the claim.

Reuters| Updated: Sep 26, 2014, 03:30 AM IST

New York: Iraq has received "credible" intelligence that Islamic State militants plan to attack subway systems in Paris and the United States, Iraq`s prime minister said on Thursday, but senior US officials said they had no evidence to back up the claim.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said he had received the information Thursday morning from militants captured in Iraq and concluded it was credible after asking for further details.

"Today, while I am here, I am receiving accurate reports from Baghdad where there was (the) arrest of (a) few elements and there are networks planning from inside Iraq to have attacks," Abadi told a small group of US reporters while in New York for the annual meeting of the U.N. General Assembly.

Two senior US security officials, contacted by Reuters following the comments from Abadi, said the United States had no information to support the threat.

The New York City Police Department said it was aware of the Abadi`s warning and in close contact with the FBI and other agencies to assess the threat.

The United States and France have both launched air strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq as part of a US-led campaign to "degrade and destroy" the radical Sunni militant group, which has seized a third of both Iraq and Syria.

"They plan to have attacks in the metros of Paris and the US," Abadi said. "I asked for more credible information. I asked for names. I asked for details, for cities, you know, dates. And from the details I have received, yes, it looks credible."

In the past, the United States had received threats that various militant groups were targeting transportation systems but there is no recent information about an imminent plan by Islamic State, one US official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. 

A separate source in the US Congress said lawmakers and staff had not been briefed on any current Islamic State threats against subways in US cities.

Reuters could not immediately verify the information with French authorities.

Earlier on Thursday, France said it would increase security on transport and in public places after a French tourist was killed in Algeria, and said it was ready to support all states that requested its help to fight terror.