July 1st, 2012
Comment: The same old story is trotted out one more time – The mythical white Al Qaeda is going to hijack a plane and blow it up. Time to be scared.
(Haaretz) – The al-Qaida branch in the Arabian Peninsula is believed to be planning a terror attack during the Olympic Games in London, scheduled to begin at the end of the month. According to a report in today’s Sunday Times, quoting intelligence services, the organization has recruited a Norwegian Muslim convert who was supposed to hijack a U.S. passenger plane and crash it on a suicide mission. It is not clear though that the attack targeted one of the Olympic venues, despite the timing.
Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has been involved in a number of attempts to carry out high-profile attacks on Western targets.
Jonathan Evans, head of MI5, Britain’s domestic security service, said in a rare public address last week that “the games are not an easy target, and the fact that we have disrupted multiple terrorist plots here and abroad in recent years demonstrates that the UK as a whole is not an easy target.” Despite the successes in foiling terror attacks, Evans warned that “in back rooms and in cars on the streets of this country there is no shortage of individuals talking about wanting to mount terrorist attacks here,” and spoke of the threat of Western Muslim citizens who have been radicalized and trained in camps in countries such as Yemen and Sudan, traveling back to the West to carry out attacks.
According to the sources quoted in The Sunday Times, a Norwegian citizen in his mid-30s and who names himself Abu Abdulrahman converted to Islam in 2008 and has in recent months been undergoing training at AQAP bases in Yemen. There have been a number of reports over the last few months of Western citizens who joined al-Qaida and are involved in its operations in Yemen against the local Western-backed security forces.