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Iraqi insurgents are preparing for an assault on Baghdad, with sleeper cells planted inside the capital to rise up at "Zero Hour" and aid fighters pushing in from the outskirts, according to senior Iraqi and U.S. security officials.A high-level Iraqi security official estimated there were 1,500 sleeper cell members hibernating in western Baghdad and a further 1,000 in areas on the outskirts of the capital.A man who describes himself as a member of one such cell, originally from Anbar province, a heartland of the insurgency, said he has been working in Baghdad as a laborer while secretly coordinating intelligence for his group of Sunni fighters.An attempt to take Baghdad, a majority Shiite city with heavily fortified areas, would be a huge task for a rebellion that has so far concentrated on controlling Sunni areas.Although it has been at least six years since warring Sunni insurgents and Shiite militia last held open sway over whole sections of Baghdad, the capital has remained vulnerable to infiltration by ISIS suicide bombers, who strike Shiite and government targets almost daily. However, other U.S. officials believe ISIS could overextend itself were it to try to take all of Baghdad.ISIS fighters insist that their plan is to take the capital and topple Baghdad's political elite.
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