Sky News reports that a major Mumbai-style terrorist attack on cities in the UK, Germany and France has been foiled.Militants based in Pakistan were planning simultaneous strikes in London, as well as cities in France and Germany. The plan was in an “advanced but not imminent stage” and the plotters had been tracked by spy agencies “for some time”. The planned attacks would have been commando-style raids similar to those in Mumbai carried out by Pakistan-based gunmen in 2008.
Esther, who is also on the case cites ABC News:
ABC News reports the information about this plot comes from a suspected German terrorist who was caught on his way to Europe. The man is Ahmad S., who was captured in early July. Ahmad was linked to the Taiba mosque in Hamburg (The 9/11 mosque). German authorities closed down the mosque a month later.
In early September, Der Spiegel reported Ahmad S. had warned of possible terrorist attacks in Germany and Europe. Bernard Squarcini, head of France’s counterterrorism and counterintelligence agency, said at that time that “All the lights are red. They are flashing from everywhere“. Since then there have been four bomb alerts in Paris – two in the Eiffel Tower and two in metro stations – forcing police to clear out hundreds and thousands of people every time.
The information that this Ahmad S. gave intelligence services led to a ramping up of missile strikes against militants in Pakistan’s tribal regions by the CIA.
The strikes, launched from unmanned drone aircraft, represent a rare use of the CIA’s drone campaign to preempt a possible attack on the West.
The plot was to be carried out by the Haqqani network, closely linked to Al Qaeda. This is particularly worrisome, according to Bruce Hoffman, a professor at Georgetown University who has written extensively on terrorism. The Haqqani group is one of the more skilled and competent groups spreading its wings. If they really are involved in the plot, this would represent the first time the Haqqani network is seeking to attack outside of South Asia.
It appears from the WSJ article that this Ahmad S. sang like a canary after his arrest. Says a US official in the WSJ “Our operational tempo has been up for a while now, we have good information driving it, and—given the stakes involved—we hope to keep the pressure on as long as we can”.
“The strikes are a product of precise intelligence and precise weapons,” the official said. “We’ve been hitting targets that pose a threat to our troops in Afghanistan and terrorists plotting attacks in South Asia and beyond.”
According to the WSJ some 20 air strikes using UAV’s have been carried out this month. Elsewhere, NATO helicopter strikes into Pakistan have killed 70 Taliban and suspected terrorists. Given the sheer number, these attacks were aimed at terrorist camps.
Nice bit of clean up, that…
[UPDATE001] Jihad Watch has a follow up, including Pakistans adverse reaction and the German jihadis full name: Ahmad Siddiqui.