December 27, 2004

Al Qaeda Plotting Attack in London

- The Telegraph (via Jihad Watch)

A secret intelligence report has revealed that security chiefs believe al-Qaeda may target New Year celebrations across Britain, The Telegraph has learned.

The document, which has been distributed to every military base in Britain warns that "crowded places or events" are under "a severe threat" of attack from terrorist bombers. The report, which is marked "restricted", is understood to have been compiled by military intelligence specialists, MI5 and Special Branch officers.

Under the heading "International Terrorism", the report warns that military personnel and establishments within the Government Security Zone in central London, which includes Horse Guards in Whitehall, and Buckingham and St James's Palaces, face a "substantial" threat of attack. It says military bases across the country are also facing a similar threat.

The report, which is part of a monthly security update for the armed forces, adds that the threat "comes from al-Qaeda and associated terrorist groups". It continues: "Targeting against US and UK interests both at home and abroad remains a priority for al-Qaeda. Their attacks - including the Madrid train bombings in March - have been against soft targets with the aim of creating as many casualties as possible."

The investigations by MI5 have disrupted Al Qaeda plots in England before. I only hope this investigation has done the same because they arrested 10 Al Qaeda suspects just last week. In September, the Leader of the Commons (Peter Hain) warned of an Al Qaeda plot to detonate a dirty bomb in Westminister. While these two may be entirely unrelated, it does give reason for pause.

Cross-posted at In the Bullpen

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