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Al-Qaeda planning attacks in Europe: Report

Intelligence agencies warn that Al-Qaeda may be planning to attack air and rail travel in Europe during the holiday travel season.

india Updated: Nov 11, 2006 11:01 IST

Intelligence agencies have been warned that Al-Qaeda may be planning to attack air and rail travel in Europe during the busy holiday travel season, CBS News reported.

Citing unnamed intelligence sources, the television network said yesterday the warnings came from interrogations of Al-Qaeda suspects, who recently left Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"One suspect said plans for repeating the (London) Heathrow (airport) attempt were all prepared. It is now a matter of taking action," CBS News quotes one Arab official as saying.

"Al-Qaeda's strategy appears to be raising the pressure in Europe."

In a move that has been puzzling intelligence agencies, Al-Qaeda has been withdrawing well-trained Arab fighters from the mountains and battlefields of Afghanistan over the past six months while handing over its militant activities in Afghanistan to that country's resurgent Taliban movement, the report said.

According to CBS News, the new information helps to shed fresh light on a key mystery at the heart of Al-Qaeda's decision to withdraw its Arab members, fighters and logistics experts from Afghanistan.

Britain has been on high alert after the July 7, 2005 bombings on London's public transport network that killed the four Islamist extremist suicide bombers and 52 commuters and injured more than 700.

There was an alleged attempt to replicate the attacks two weeks later while on August 10 this year, police and security services foiled what they said was a plot to blow up transatlantic passenger jets using liquid explosives.

First Published: Nov 11, 2006 11:01 IST