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Syria cement plant at centre of terror finance investigation ‘used by western spies’

Jordanian intelligence officer tells Guardian Lafarge factory was used by intelligence agencies to gather information on IS hostages

A cement plant in Syria at the centre of a terror financing investigation in France was used by western intelligence agencies to gather information on hostages held by Islamic State, sources connected to the operation have said.

A Jordanian intelligence officer who was central to the spying effort has confirmed to the Guardian that the Lafarge factory, which continued operating after the terrorist group overran eastern Syria, in one of the most controversial episodes of the war, was the regional hub of a failed effort to rescue up to 30 hostages. Those IS held included the American journalist James Foley, British photographer John Cantlie and Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh, two of whom were later confirmed to have been killed.

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