Iraq Officials Busted in Coup Plot

Generals, old regime members arrested in Ministry of Interior sweep
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2008 3:25 AM CST
Iraq Officials Busted in Coup Plot
Iraqi police march in formation at their gradation ceremony at the police academy in Najaf, 100 miles south of Baghdad, last month.   (AP Photo/Alaa al-Marjani)

Iraq has arrested up to 35 Ministry of the Interior officials over the last three days for their part in a plot to revive Saddam Hussein's Baath party, the New York Times reports. Some being held were in the early stages of planning a coup, say officials. Four generals were among those arrested by an elite counter-terrorism force.

Iraq has been gripped by many rumors of coups ahead of next month's elections. But security officials say there is strong evidence tying those arrested to al-Awda—"The Return"—a descendant of the Baath party, which was outlawed after the American invasion. Al-Awda members paid bribes to be recruited into the ministry, and more arrests may follow, according to authorities.
(More Baath Party stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.