According to Asharq Al Awsat newspaper, the assassinations were planned to be carried out by firing RPJ7 rockets on Mr. Al Sabhan’s armour-plated car from three plots. Fake plates that matched those of the Ministry of Interior would intercept the ambassador’s envoy as it made its way to the airport. The cars would then be driven into Al Radwaneyye, a Sunni area where they would be hidden, leaving ISIS to be blamed for the attack.
According to statements made by an Iraqi security official, the plot was a way to stop Mr. Al Sabhan speaking out against Iran. Since the action would have taken place in Iraq, the assassination would impede on the co-operation between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, causing tension between the two governments. The official also revealed how these plots were uncovered: “We tracked phone calls between members of this militia and personnel at Baghdad International Airport who belong to the Khorasan battalions. They were alerting them about the ambassador’s travel plans from and to Baghdad.”
The officials managed to capture a member of the ‘Khorasan battalion’ at the airport, who was one of a total of eight members of the assassination group, according to the Iranian security official. The captured confessed Iran’s involvement in the assassination plans.
In response, the Saudi embassy has reported the threats to the government of Iraq, leaving the issue in their hands to be dealt with under the eyes of the international community. The threats seem to have fuelled the conviction of Al Sabhan who is determined to carry on with his duties, “even more than before.”