Washington: A number of people involved in plotting terrorist attacks in Europe have been identified and targeted, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US, Hussain Haqqani, has stated.
“I think that several people who were involved in the plotting have been targeted, and the others are certainly on the radar of the US, Pakistani and European intelligence services,” the Daily Times quoted Haqqani, as saying in a TV interview.
Separately, other US media channels carried reports that European and US officials had first learnt of the current terror threat over the summer, after a suspected German terrorist of Afghan descent, Ahmed Siddiqui, was arrested in Afghanistan, who had allegedly been training in the tribal areas of Pakistan.
According to a law enforcement official, pre-security areas in at least five major European airports were among the possible targets in the suspected European terror plot, the ABC channel said.
Authorities believe that terror teams had been preparing to mount a commando like attack featuring small units and small firearms.
Meanwhile, the State Department had issued a highly unusual ‘travel alert’ on Sunday for ‘potential terrorist attacks in Europe, reminding US citizens “of the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure”.
According to the paper, one scenario that authorities fear is a repeat of the 1985 attack on the Rome and Vienna airports, when Palestinian terrorists threw grenades and opened fire on travellers waiting at ticket counters, injuring 140 and killing 19, including a small child.
Last week, the latest terror plot to launch Mumbai-style attacks in the UK, France and Germany had been unearthed and disrupted after intelligence sharing among the spy agencies from these three countries and the United States.
Intelligence sources had revealed that Pakistan-based militants, thought to be linked to al Qaeda, were planning simultaneous strikes on London and other European cities.