US embassies were never warned about the “imminent” threat posed by Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani and officials told The Washington Post that’s because there was not one.
The Trump administration has repeatedly claimed that the killing of Soleimani was ordered to stop an “imminent” attack against American embassies.
“They were looking to blow up our embassy,” Trump said last week. He later told Fox News that “it probably would’ve been four embassies.”
“Trump’s statement was at best an unfounded theory and at worst a falsehood,” The Post reported.
The report detailed extensive skepticism in the Pentagon and among administration officials about the threat posed by Soleimani.
Officials cast doubt:
Officials warned privately that the administration was “overstating the intelligence,” according to The Post. The intelligence “was not so specific that it let officials know when and where Soleimani intended to strike,” according to the report.
“There was no discussion in the Gang of Eight briefings that these are the four embassies that are being targeted, and we have exquisite intelligence that shows these are the specific targets,” said Rep. Adam Schiff. “When you hear the president out there on Fox, he is fudging the intelligence.”
Embassy officials weren’t warned:
Despite Trump’s claim that the Baghdad embassy was under threat, embassy officials said they were not alerted.
“If they had knowledge of an imminent threat, then you would’ve expected them to notify people,” Ronald Neumann, president of the American Academy of Diplomacy and a retired career Foreign Service officer, told The Post.
Pompeo insisted that officials were notified “but there is no indication that embassy employees were warned of a credible threat, and the State Department did not respond to questions about whether the embassy in Baghdad took other measures that are typical when a specific threat is uncovered,” according to the report.