Qaeda-plot targeting Europe foiled

2010-09-29 08:30

London - Intelligence agencies have uncovered an al-Qaeda-linked plot to launch terrorist attacks in Britain, France and Germany similar to the 2008 Mumbai attacks, reports said on Wednesday.

Militants based in Pakistan had been planning simultaneous strikes in London and major cities in France and Germany, Britain's Sky News television reported, citing intelligence sources.

Planning for the attacks was advanced but they were not imminent, said the broadcaster.

The United States was also a possible target and President Barack Obama had been briefed about the threat, said ABC News in the US citing American officials.

Spy agencies had for some time been tracking the militants who were planning the attacks, which would have been similar to the commando-style raids carried out in Mumbai, Sky and ABC said.

In those attacks, 10 gunmen went on a three-day rampage, killing 166 people and injuring more than 300.

German terrorist source

Sky's foreign affairs editor Tim Marshall said the leaders of the plot "had an al-Qaeda and possibly some sort of Taliban connection projecting into Europe".

The plot in Europe was uncovered after intelligence-sharing between London, France, Germany and the US, and their co-operation had led to the plot being severely disrupted, said the broadcaster.

The source of the threat information was a suspected German terrorist captured on his way to Europe and now being held in Afghanistan, said ABC, citing intelligence and security officials in the US and Europe.

The report of the foiled plot came on the same day the Eiffel Tower in Paris was evacuated following the second bomb threat at the landmark in a month and amid official warnings in France of an imminent terrorist attack.

However, a French intelligence source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP he was "not at all in the know" about the reported plot.

Increase in US drone attacks

A French government source, with links to the intelligence service, said recent warnings of an attack in the country were not linked to Wednesday's reports of planned attacks on European cities.

Security officials in London had no comment on the report.

When investigators discovered the plot, the US military began helping its European allies track down the organisers in Pakistan, which explains the recent increase in drone attacks in the country, said Sky.

A number of the attacks were designed to target the leaders of the plot and several of them were killed, according to the broadcaster.

The Wall Street Journal meanwhile reported on Tuesday that the CIA had stepped up drone attacks against militants in Pakistan's tribal areas in a bid to foil a suspected terror plot against Europe.

The Journal, which cited current and former officials, said the exact nature of the plot was unclear but it was believed to target multiple countries, including Britain, France and Germany.

Pakistani security officials have reported around 20 drone strikes in the country's tribal belt along the Afghan border this month, the latest on Monday killing four militants.

Reports of the plot came after US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said last week "increased activity" by terror groups signalled a heightened threat against Western countries, including European states.

"We are all seeing increased activity by a more diverse set of groups and a more diverse set of threats," she told a US Senate hearing asked about warnings in Europe of a growing terror threat.

In Paris, the all-clear was given late on Tuesday following the evacuation of the Eiffel Tower, sparked by a phone call to the operator of the tower at 16:40 GMT warning of a bomb.
 

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  uk  |  france  |  germany  |  pakistan  |  us  |  mumbai attacks
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Salt River - 16:45 PM
    Road name: Victoria Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Durham Avenue
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 16:36 PM
    Road name: De Waal Drive Outbound
    DELAYS between Roeland Street and Hospital Bend
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9780

BlackBerry 6 Engage your world with BlackBerry 6 OS on the...

From R3049.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in depth....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.