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U.S. Tipped On Imminent Bombing Days Ago: Chalabi
photo: Chalabi said the intelligence indicated neither the "Coalition Provisional Authority" nor "coalition" troops would be targeted
BAGHDAD, August 20 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) - Casting new doubts on who really stands behind the bombing of the U.N. office in Baghdad and benefits from such an attack, a member of the U.S.-handpicked interim Governing Council said Wednesday, August 20, they had received intelligence on August 14 that a truck bombing was imminent in the capital said shared it with U.S. intelligence agents.
Ahmad Chalabi, head of the Iraqi National Congress and a known favorite of the U.S. Defense Department, asserted that the said intelligence "specifically said that a large-scale act would take place ... against a soft target, such as Iraqi political parties or other parties, including the U.N."
He also maintained that according to the information available, neither the ruling "Coalition Provisional Authority" nor "coalition" troops would be targeted.
Chalabi added that the intelligence had warned the attack would be a truck bombing, using either a kamikaze driver or a remote-control detonator, but declined to disclose the source of his information or how it was collected, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).
However, it was not clear if the information had been relayed to the United Nations.
At U.N. headquarters in New York, Fred Eckhard, the spokesman for Secretary General Kofi Annan, said he was unaware that any such intelligence had been passed along.
"To my knowledge, that information was not relayed to the United Nations, but I can't say that with 100 percent certainty," he said.
Chalabi claimed that "meetings had taken place between former members of the regime and extremists" ahead of Tuesday's attack on the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad killed at least 17 people, including the world body's top envoy to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello.
photo: "We had hoped that by now the coalition forces would have secured the environment for us to be able to carry on the essential work," Annan said
In a related development, Annan chided the U.S.-led occupation power in Iraq holding it "responsible for law and order and the security of the country."
"We had hoped that by now the coalition forces would have secured the environment for us to be able to carry on the essential work of political and economic reconstruction, institution-building and for Iraqis to carry on with their work.
"That has not happened," said the U.N. chief during a stopover in Stockholm on his way to meet the U.N. Security Council in New York later in the day.
Protecting U.N. staff in Iraq has been a topic of longstanding dispute between the occupying power and the United Nations, which until recently has been limited to a fringe role in Iraq.
U.S. administrative of Iraq Paul argued, however, that the world body "had its own security people on that site there. They were responsible for that site, as indeed most of the foreign missions here (in Iraq) have their own security on their sites," he told CNN.
"We, of course, share the secretary general's concern that the sooner this kind of thing can be stopped, the better," he added.
"And we are certainly not going to slacken off our efforts to restore full security to Iraq," Bremer said, admitting having "a security problem" in Iraq.
"The security problem now has got a terrorist dimension which is new, but the rest of the security is basically in better shape than it was three months ago, when I arrived here," he claimed.