Young Britons training in Pakistan for terror attacks on Europe
Published 30/09/2010 | 05:00
At least 20 Britons are undertaking terrorist training in Pakistan to launch Mumbai-style attacks in Britain, intelligence sources have confirmed.
The young Muslims, who all hold British passports, are said to have travelled into the lawless tribal areas of Pakistan to join training camps run by al-Qa'ida and associated militant groups.
They are being taught to use firearms as well as explosives so they can carry out random shooting sprees in Britain, Western intelligence sources said.
"We believe there are 15 to 20 Britons in the camps," said an intelligence source in Islamabad.
The disclosure comes after the CIA launched drone strikes on Pakistan training camps in North and South Waziristan in an attempt to disrupt an al-Qa'ida plot to attack Britain, France and Germany.
The plans would have sent terrorists on to the streets, probably of the capital cities, to shoot at random before heading into landmark buildings.
However, the terror cells had not yet travelled to Europe and the targets were unclear.
A missile from one US unmanned drone killed several Britons in a training camp in Pakistan, sources said, and the security services were trying to trace their links back to Britain.
Intelligence agencies in Britain and the US were in the early stages of establishing the full details of the plot but MI5 had traced it from Pakistan back to Britain, sources said.
A US intelligence source said that the threat was "credible, but not specific" and could have included other European countries, such as Spain and Italy and possibly America.
Some of the intelligence is understood to be linked to the capture of a German national in Kabul, Afghanistan, in July.
Ahmed Sidiqi (36) is said to have provided information about training with explosives and weapons and of plans to attack Germany and Europe.
The air strikes in North Waziristan are thought to have killed Sheikh Fateh al-Masri, the operational commander of al-Qa'ida in Pakistan and Afghanistan, who was thought to have been in command of the European terror plot. (© Daily Telegraph, London)