Al-Qaeda-linked ‘terror plot’ targeting Europe foiled

There has been lots of news about this threat, but what do we know exactly?

Targets: Britain, France, Germany, the United States
It is claimed that intelligence agencies have disrupted an Al-Qaeda-linked plot to launch terrorist attacks in Britain, France and Germany “similar to the commando-style 2008 Mumbai attacks“, reports said.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.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.

German officials denied Tuesday they had intercepted threats, saying there had been no change to their threat level.

The treat is not the reason the Eiffel tower had to evacuate for the second time this week. French sources refer to threats made by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in this context.

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.” Planning for the attacks was advanced but they were not imminent, said the broadcaster. A British official would not confirm the plot was “al-Qaida inspired” but said there was an “Islamist connection” and that the plots were in an early stage. The main source of the threat information is a ‘German terrorist’, but the ‘organisers’ were in Pakistan.

How was it discovered?
The plot in Europe was uncovered after intelligence-sharing between London, France, Germany and the US, and their cooperation had led to the plot being severely. According to ABC:

Intelligence and law enforcement authorities in the US and Europe said the threat information is based on the interrogation of a suspected German terrorist allegedly captured on his way to Europe in late summer and now being held at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.

The captured German reportedly said several teams of attackers, all with European passports, had been trained and dispatched from training camps in Waziristan and Pakistan. Officials say the German claimed the attack plan had been approved by Osama Bin Laden.

This is quite important news, because as far as I know this German person is the only European which is currently being held in Bagram.

(More about the German Taliban Mujahidin here and here.)

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

2 Responses

  1. The plot, to attack multiple public targets in several European capitals, was slated to occur in late November, according to Panetta. After capturing one of the prospective attackers en route from Pakistan’s FATA region, the U.S. government authorized the CIA to step up drone strikes inside Pakistan to unprecedented levels.

    According to The Cable’s source, Panetta told Pasha that the U.S. already has in custody one of the alleged attackers, a German citizen of Pakistani origin named Siddiqui. He was captured leaving Pakistan’s FATA region and is now currently being held at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan.

    The Telegraph goes on to note that a German resident who was detained by the US military in Afghanistan in July has revealed considerable information related to attacks being planned on German and other European targets. He was “identified in Germany as ‘Ahmad S’, aged 36, [and] was said to be a member of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which is closely associated with al-Qaeda.” The New York Times notes that he has been identified in German media reports as Ahmed Sidiqui, of Hamburg. According to the Times

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