London: Al Qaeda planned to take hostages in Mumbai-style attacks on Britain, France and Germany to demand the release of the mastermind of the 9/11 strikes and has "reactivated" the plan now, a former associate of Osama bin Laden has claimed.
Noman Benotman, a Libyan and former Afghanistan terrorist camp trainer, told German magazine Speigel in an interview that bin Laden wanted to force the US to release Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who is awaiting trial for his role in the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre.
Bentoman claimed that he was present at several discussions about the plot and believed it has now been reactivated.
"I have information that I consider to be reliable, according to which al Qaeda in North Waziristan is training how to carry out multiple parallel hostage taking in order to enforce the release of a prisoner," he added.
He claimed that Muhammad Ibrahim Makkawi, who is counted among al Qaeda`s most sophisticated planners, has rejoined the terrorist group after he was freed in return for Iranian diplomats kidnapped by the organisation.
Another al Qaeda operative, Adnan al-Shukrijuma, has been given a senior operational role in command structure, which suggest it is preparing for a major operation, he said.
Bentoman, 43, lives in London and works with Quillian Foundation after he turned his back on terrorism after 9/11 attacks became one of the world`s leading experts on al Qaeda.
LeT terrorists stormed five-star hotels in Mumbai on November 26, 2008 and took several people hostage. In all, 166 people were killed in the strikes.