The sensational revelation was made by Ahmad Chalabi, a member of the US-backed governing council less than 24 hours after the deadly blast which killed 24 people including the top UN representative in Iraq.

Chalabi, head of the Iraqi National Congress party, said: "The intelligence specifically said that a large-scale act would take place ... against a soft target … including the UN.”

According to Chalabi’s sources, neither the ruling Coalition Provisional Authority nor coalition troops would be targeted, but he declined to disclose the source of his information or how it was collected.

A UN spokesman, Farhan Haqq, said no such advanced warning was provided to the world body.

“In any case, the security of the UN building was a matter for the occupying force – who presumably had been informed”, said Haqq.

Refusal to comment

US Central Command in Baghdad refused to comment on either the bombing or whether any advanced warning had been received or passed on when contacted by Aljazeera.net.

Chalabi insists, however, that "meetings had taken place between former members of the regime and extremists" ahead of Tuesday's attack on the United Nations headquarters.

Chalabi is well-connected to the US Defence Department, promising the US administration a ‘big shot at Iraqi oil’ should the US invade and occupy the country as far back as 1996.
  
Despite his political connections, Chalabi’s information failed to be relayed to the United Nations.