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Obama was reportedly warned before a militia kidnapped 3 Americans in Baghdad

Obama was reportedly warned before a militia kidnapped 3 Americans in Baghdad

By  Natasha Bertrand for Business Insider

The US embassy in Iraq reportedly received warning that an Iran-backed Shiite militia wanted to kidnap American contractors operating in Baghdad, an unnamed State Department source told CBS News.

The threat information, which has not been confirmed by the State Department, reportedly came one week before three Americans were kidnapped from their interpreter's home in Baghdad on Saturday.

"Officials in Washington had hoped the Iranian government would tell the militia group to hold off because of all the negotiations surrounding the prisoner swap that saw the release of five Americans," CBS reported. "The State Department source said the fear was that one of the groups might have 'gone off the reservation.'"

It was not clear, according to CBS, if the information the embassy reportedly received was in any way related to last weekend's kidnapping. But it would not be the first time the US delayed taking action on a provocative threat or action from Iran in the name of securing the prisoner swap and finalizing the landmark nuclear deal, as critics were quick to point out.

Iran tested ballistic missiles at least twice in 2015 in violation of a UN resolution, but the US delayed imposing sanctions on individuals connected with the ballistic-missile program until after the exchange and the deal were finalized on Saturday.

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