Islamic State (ISIS) militants have overtaken an Iraqi army base near Baghdad, killing an estimated 300 Iraqi soldiers.
The news comes on the heels of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s announcement on Thursday that “credible” intelligence indicates that Islamic State militants are plotting to attack subway systems in Paris and the United States, possibly New York City.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials say there is no evidence to support the Iraqi Prime Minister’s claims of ISIS plots against the United States.
Interestingly, the Iraqi Prime Minister chose to make the announcement to reporters on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, speaking in English, told reporters that an attack was imminent, the Associated Press reports. Al- Abadi said the plot was uncovered by Iraqi intelligence.
On Thursday morning, France’s Defense Minister announced increased security measures on mass transportation and in public places after a French tourist was killed in Algeria.
Islamic State allies in Algeria released a video on Wednesday of the beheading of a French tourist, Herve Gourdel, a 55-year-old mountain-climbing guide, in retaliation for French airstrikes in Iraq.
French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, said on Thursday that the beheading of a French citizen may prompt the country to expand its partnership to include action in Syria Currently, France is participating in airstrikes targeting ISIS oil refineries and training camps in Iraq.
U.S. President Barack Obama, speaking at the United Nations on Wednesday, asked the world to join together in the war on terror and vowed to keep up military pressure against them. President Obama chaired a U.N. Security Council meeting on foreign fighters who travel abroad to join terrorist organizations. The U.N. Security Council unanimously passed a resolution requiring governments to take additional steps to stop the recruiting, equipping, financing and travel of the types of terrorists who have been seen on video in recent weeks beheading hostages.
The United States has not yet confirmed Wednesday’s report that Mohsin al-Fadhli, a senior figure in the al Qaeda-linked group Khorasan, had been killed in a U.S. strike in Syria.
Despite the U.S. led coalition, some terrorism experts question the impact the destruction of ISIS oil refineries and other targets will have on ISIS, said to have access to billions of dollars.
“Even if we stop their oil flow today, they still have about a billion dollars in the bank,” retired U.S. Army Col. Peter Mansoor said.