Europe's high-speed rail network is next on terror group's sights, says Bild.
Train in Germany
Islamist terror network Al-Qaeda is plotting attacks on Europe's high-speed rail network, German Bild reported on Monday, citing U.S. intelligence sources.
The group could explosives on trains and tunnels or sabotage tracks and electrical cabling, said the newspaper, which is Europe's most widely-read daily.
The information reportedly came from the National Security Agency (NSA) in the United States, which had eavesdropped on a call involving top al-Qaeda operatives. The attacks on Europe's rail network was a "central topic" of this call, Bild said.
Authorities in Germany have responded to the threat with discreet measures such as deploying plain-clothes police officers at key stations and on main routes, according to the report.
U.S. media reports earlier this month said that intelligence services intercepted a between al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri and more than 20 operatives from across the group's global network.
This prompted the US and several allies to shut embassies across the Muslim world, fearful that a major attack was imminent.
On August 1, the US issued a worldwide alert, warning of al-Qaeda to launch an attack in the Middle East or North Africa.
Source Arutz and Bild
Europe's high-speed rail network is the latest top target for Al-Qaeda terrorists.
Germany's Bild newspaper reported today how U.S. intelligence services bugged a conference call between leading operatives of the terror group behind the 9/11 outrages as they discussed bringing death and destruction to the European rail network.
The group was possibly targeting trains and tunnels, or planning to sabotage railway tracks themselves and the electric cabling serving them.
Bugged: The conference call involved Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, seen in a 2006 file photo, and 20 other operatives, according to reports
The newspaper said the planned terrorist attacks were a 'central topic' of a conference call intercepted by the NSA involving high-ranking Al-Qaeda operatives.
According to other media reports, Deutsche Bahn - German Rail - has already responded to the threat with plain clothed police officers at main stations and along major routes serviced by the high-speed ICE - Inter City Express - trains.
The conference call involving Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri and some 20 of the group's operatives was intercepted by the National Security Agency.
Deutsche Bahn: The German rail firm is said to have introduced plain clothes police officers across the network in response to the threats
On August 1, the US issued a worldwide alert about a terror plot in the Middle East or Africa, prompting the closure of 19 US embassies. U.S. allies, including Germany, closed diplomatic buildings for almost two weeks.
Only Spain has baggage screening for its high-speed Targa trains: Deutsche Bahn and SNCF in France have no such measures in place.
With security ever more difficult to circumvent at international aiports, Al-Qaeda plotters believe strikes on railways would yield enomrous casualties and strike fear into hated Allies of America.
'European express trains carry nearly 500 passengers a time and derailment at high speed would have horrifying consequences,' an anti-terrorism expert said on Radio Bavaria on Monday.
'Horrifying consequences': The conference call was intercepted by the U.S. intelligence services at the National Security Agency
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2397035/Al-Qaeda-threat-Europes-train-network-following-intercepted-phone-terror-leaders-20-operatives.html#ixzz2cVm680Mz