The British media is reporting this morning a plan to conduct coordinated terror attacks on London, Paris and Berlin was foiled by American drone strikes in Pakistan.
The Daily Telegraph reports:
The plot was foiled after Western intelligence agencies, including MI6 and GCHQ, uncovered the plans by senior al-Qaeda operatives in the lawless tribal areas.
The CIA launched a series of attacks against militants in the area using unmanned Predator drones armed with Hellfire missiles.
U.S. drone strikes have increased dramatically over the last month in Pakistan.
The Guardian has some more details:
The plan for suicidal onslaughts similar to the 2008 atrocity in Mumbai – where 166 people were killed in a series of gun and grenade assaults – was disrupted after a combined operation involving US, UK, French and German intelligence agencies, officials said.
British security and intelligence sources, who have been concerned for some time about the possibility of a Mumbai-style attack in Europe, confirmed that they believed a plot was being hatched from Pakistan.
France has been on high alert for terror attacks for a bit now, the Eiffel Tower has been evacuated twice recently because of bomb fears.
Update at 11:09 a.m. EDT: There has been some reporting that the uptick in drone attacks in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan was an attempt to foil a series of possible terrorist attacks in Europe. But NPR has learned that that may not be the case. Officials say that the uptick in drone attacks is coincidental – based on intelligence and information unrelated to the possible attacks. Officials said it is unclear exactly what kind of attacks were planned and which countries were in the crosshairs, though officials mentioned the UK, France, and Germany as possible targets. One official familiar with the threat said some of the intelligence gleaned about the plot may have come from a suspected German terrorist who is now being held at Bagram Air Force base in Afghanistan.