Major al-Qaeda Attacks on European Cities Said Foiled

The FT reports that the intensification of US drone bombardment of suspected al-Qaeda positions in Pakistan’s tribal northwest in recent days appears to have been related to intelligence that the cells were planning to hit a number of Western European capitals with “Mumbai-style” random machine gun and bombing attacks.

One of the drone strikes is said to have killed the Egyptian, Shaikh Fateh.

There have been 20 such strikes since Sept. 1.

But CBS says the reason for the increase is that the US military in Afghanistan has come to the conclusion that Pakistan simply is not going to curb some of the insurgent groups (probably a reference to the Haqqani Network).

I am not entirely sure how drone strikes on North Waziristan would disrupt bombing attacks in the capitals of Western Europe. Presumably the cells have sleepers already in Europe who can be deployed even if the cell leader in Pakistan is killed. The drone strikes could interfere with planning meetings and travel to the region by European jihadis. But if the plan were advanced, there wouldn’t be that much of these activities any more.

No doubt more details will emerge.

5 Responses

  1. Washington is carrying out a strategy that can’t fail: namely, create more insurgents through remote-controlled bombing, and then make more bombing runs in order to attack the newly created insurgents, thus justifying the continued expansion of the military’s effort to eliminate insurgents.

  2. “intelligence that the cells were planning to hit …”

    Yeah, sure, we’ve heard all this before. Every time Bush was getting beaten up on we heard of some major terror plot intercepted. Obama has copied Bush is pretty much every aspect of the GWOT, it’s hardly surprising that he would copy this one as well. “I am keeping you safe because I just intercepted another plan to kill all of you while you were sleeping in your beds. Vote for Democrats.” Been there, done that.

  3. As a European I don’t buy it frankly. Every now and again we see stories like this. I remember the group of men arrested in Florida for videotaping DisneyLand which even Bush cited as a success in a speech and turned out to be completely innocent. Another case was up in Seattle. Not to mention that two weeks ago when the Eiffel tower was evacuated they claimed it was because of a possible female suicide bomber. Now they claim it was Mumbai style attacks around Europe.

    Also the reporting that all this is targeted at the Haqqani Network could be an attempt to derail Karzai’s peace talks. Two months ago Karzai is said to have had a face to face meeting with Sirajuddin Haqqani (the son since his father is getting old).

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    Word has it that Karzai and Pakistan both supported the talks with Haqqani and that William Hague (Foreign Minister Britain) was said to have dismissed them. So the sudden wave of attacks on Haqqani Network could be attempt to break up any peace deals or maybe to increase NATO’s bargaining position.

    So why would Haqqani plan European attacks just after holding secret talks on Karzai on a peace deal?

    Sounds to me like if any Taliban group was willing to attack The West it would be Hakimullah Mehsud of the Tehrik-i-Taliban group. They were implicated in The Times Square bombing and Mehsud’s brother was recently killed by Pakistani troops. They also threatened to attack Europe/US in early September.

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  4. No doubt more details will emerge.

    Maybe, maybe not. Maybe a few details, but more likely they will say, “we can’t tell you anything about it because it would reveal sources, etc., but trust us, it was going to be terrible and we saved thousands of lives.” And maybe that will be true and maybe it won’t.

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