Al Qaeda plotting Mumbai-style terror attack in UK

Al Qaeda may be plotting a terror attack on a UK airport which has been described as "credible".

Updated: Jan 08, 2011, 18:50 PM IST

London: Al Qaeda may be plotting a terror
attack on a major British airport or other aviation-related
targets in a threat which has been described as "credible".

British security agency are also monitoring all planes
flying through the UK to destinations to the US and mainland
Europe as part of the terrorist threat, media report said.

The warning of an impending al Qaeda attack was
delivered in a letter sent to aviation chiefs, BBC and Daily
Telegraph newspaper reported, adding that following this the
security had been upgraded at all major UK airports and
transport hubs as a precautionary measure.

The plot by the terror outfit believed to be based in
Pakistan`s tribal belt may come in the form of car-bomb,
suicide attacks or Mumbai-style carnage, the daily said, as it
was designed to cause "large number of casualties".

The document warned that al Qaeda planned for "one or
more attacks" against Europe, including the UK aimed at
high-profile targets.

The terror alert has been sounded, BBC said, after
increased "chatter" was noticed among terror suspects under
surveillance of the intelligence agencies.

Quoting UK government security officials, the BBC said
the overall national threat level was at "severe", which meant
a terrorist attack is highly likely.

The British Home Office said if there was any
intelligence of an imminent threat or a plot underway, the
treat level would be raised to the highest level "critical".

The BBC said it had seen a copy of the letter sent
from the Home Department to transport and aviation officers,
explaining the increase in the threat level to the industry.

"The letter says there are indications al Qaeda may be
considering an attack against a UK airport or aviation sector
target," BBC said, describing the report as "credible".

Britain`s move comes after France and Germany have
also beefed up security following intelligence warnings that
terrorists were plotting a Mumbai-style attack on a European

European security and police agencies have been
jittery in recent weeks after Iraqi officials claimed last
month that captured militants had told them of terrorists’ plot
of hitting targets in Europe in Christmas season.

BBC said officials were stressing that there was no
threat of an imminent attack but precautionary measures were
being taken.

"But what we can expect to see is a greater police
presence, particularly at airports and large railway
stations," BBC said quoting officials.