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Swelling number of Al-Qaeda men in UK causes concern: report

world Updated: Jan 16, 2010 16:59 IST

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Al-Qaeda, despite intense pressure on it has restructured its global network and now has the capability to mount a wide range of terror attacks against Western targets, according to a detailed US intelligence assessment.

The assessment carried out in the wake of failed Christmas day US Airliner Detroit bomb plot projects that swelling support of Al-Qaeda in UK is emerging as a major concern for US security agencies.

US officials now believe Britain poses a major threat to western security because of large number of Al-Qaeda operatives active in that country, the 'Telegraph' reported. The paper said that according to MI5 estimates, there are 2000 Al-Qaeda sympathisers in UK - the largest concentration in any western country.

"American officials now regularly refer to Londonistan because of the high concentration of Islamic radicals in the metropolitan," the paper said quoting US officials.

The failure of the British authorities to alert their US counterparts about Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab's radical activities in UK has led to increased tension between Washington and London.

The paper said as Al-Qaeda was under stiff pressure in Afghanistan and Pakistan, scores of British activists were now travelling to Yemen and Somalia to attend Al-Qaeda training camps and receive instructions for terror attacks against western targets.