US and German intelligence officials have said that the claims made by a captured German al Qaeda recruit, Ahmed Siddiqui, about Mumbai-style terror attacks in various cities across Europe, have been verified by other sources.
Siddiqui reportedly told American interrogators at the Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan that Osama bin Laden had personally blessed the plan.
According to ABC News, the officials have said that Siddiqui’s claims have been verified by a second captured German terror recruit and ‘other sources,’ which the officials were reluctant to describe in detail for fear of compromising law enforcement operations.
“There are several different sources, all confirming that there are plots afoot by al Qaeda central, that is to say the Osama bin Laden organization in Pakistan, to do attacks in Europe. Now they don’t have anything that points to the United States yet, but if there were to be simultaneous attacks in Europe, it’s at least possible there would be a simultaneous attack in the United States as well,” Dick Clarke, a former White House national security official, said.
On Thursday, German intelligence officials claimed that about 45 other “potentially dangerous” individuals in Germany were being tracked as officials seek to prevent an attack from taking place.
Siddiqui worked as a cleaner at the Hamburg airport and was a “devout member” of the al-Quds mosque in Hamburg, where Mohammed Atta and other 9/11 hijackers gathered prior to their attack. Siddiqui had been under surveillance since 1997 and left for Pakistan in 2009. The mosque was reportedly closed after his arrest.
The second suspect was identified as Rami Makanesi, a German of Syrian descent, and a “member of the Hamburg group” that was involved in the planned attack. The information given by Makanesi, who is in a prison in Weiterstadt in Germany, somewhat matches with that that Siddiqui told American interrogators, German officials said.
Makanesi was arrested in Pakistan in June and sent to Germany in August, officials said.
Officials in Germany and the United States have said that they are still not aware of any specific date of the timing of the plot. US officials further said that they believe the plot’s “trigger date” might have been delayed because of the media coverage and government travel alerts. (ANI)