Al-Qa'ida boss sought weapons in Britain for terror plot
Published 18/10/2010 | 05:00
An al-Qa'ida commander who triggered the recent terrorism alert over attacks in Europe sent an operative to Britain last year seeking money, weapons and manpower.
Ilyas Kashmiri is believed to have sent an associate to Britain to meet two men from Derby in August 2009.
The British contacts were supposed to assist the associate, a US citizen called David Coleman Headley, with plans for a truck-bomb attack on a Danish newspaper behind cartoons of Mohammed.
Intelligence suggesting that Kashmiri boasted he had sent terrorists to Britain and Germany as part of the plot, sparked the alert two weeks ago.
MI5 uncovered Headley, who was arrested at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on October 3 last year, on his way to Pakistan to deliver surveillance videos to Kashmiri.
Headley (50), who changed his name from Daood Sayed Gilani, planned to bomb the offices of the 'Jyllands Posten' newspaper.
Headley met Kashmiri in Waziristan in 2009, according to a US indictment.
During the meeting, Kashmiri allegedly said he had reviewed the surveillance videos and suggested using a truck bomb in the operation.
At a second meeting in May 2009, along with Abdur Rehman, Kashmiri allegedly directed Headley to meet his "European contacts" who could provide Headley with "money, weapons and manpower for the newspaper attack", according to the US indictment. It is understood that this refers to the contacts in Derby.
Headley was arrested in Chicago last year and pleaded guilty to all charges in March. (© Daily Telegraph, London)