Media reports quoted security forces as saying that small teams of commandos were to ‘seize and kill’ hostages.
Intelligence agencies on Wednesday claimed that they had uncovered and foiled a plot by Pakistan-based groups to launch simultaneous, Mumbai-style terror attacks against high-profile targets in Britain, France and Germany.
Media reports quoted security forces as saying that small teams of commandos were to ‘seize and kill’ hostages. According to the BBC, the plot is believed to have moved from the ‘aspirational stage to actual planning’.
“Western security agencies may have been hoping to keep the matter out of the public realm for longer so criminal evidence could be gathered but initial details were leaked to the US media,” it said.
In recent weeks, America has intensified its drone attacks against militants in Pakistan to pre-empt the alleged plot. It has been reported that 20 Predator attacks have taken place this month so far — more than twice the number normally launched in a whole month.
The Times said that suspected ‘Islamists’ had been under surveillance for some time. It reported intelligence sources as saying that this was an ongoing investigation and was ‘not over yet’.
“The exact targets of the planned assaults have not been revealed but are believed to involve well-known buildings and sites,’’ it said.
Prime Minister David Cameron was said to have been ‘shocked’ when informed about the alleged plot.
The head of MI5 Jonathan Evans warned of the continuing threat of terror attacks, particularly from groups with links to Pakistan. There were, however, no plans to raise the UK threat level which remains at ‘severe’, meaning that a terror attack is highly likely but not imminent.