The potential plot against Europe was one factor contributing to the uptick this month in missile strikes by unmanned drones against terrorist targets in Pakistan, according to a U.S. official.
"We would be remiss not to try to take action to thwart what might be under way in Europe," said the official.
The official emphasized that the potential plot was not the sole factor.
U.S. officials say they are taking advantage of what they call "precise intelligence."
Most of the drone attacks this year have been focused on North Waziristan, a mountainous area bordering Afghanistan where Pakistani security forces have little control. That has continued to be the pattern this month. FULL POST
A suspected U.S. drone strike killed two people in Pakistan's tribal region Monday, intelligence officials said.
It was the 19th suspected drone strike in Pakistan this month. That's the highest number in any month since the United States began attacks with the unmanned aircraft, according to a CNN count.
A suspected U.S. drone strike killed 12 alleged militants in Pakistan's tribal region on Wednesday morning, intelligence officials told CNN.
It was the latest in a series of aerial assaults targeted at insurgents in North Waziristan, one of seven districts in Pakistan's volatile tribal region bordering Afghanistan. FULL POST
Two suspected U.S. drone strikes killed 13 alleged militants in Pakistan's tribal region Tuesday, intelligence officials said.
The first strike killed nine people. Two intelligence officials said three missiles were fired Tuesday morning on the suspected hideout of militants in the Shawal area of North Waziristan, one of seven districts in Pakistan's tribal region bordering Afghanistan.
The second strike killed four people in Pakistan's tribal region Tuesday evening, intelligence officials said.
A unmanned aerial vehicle went down in northern Afghanistan on Wednesday, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said.
ISAF spokesman Col. Hans Bush said the Luna UAV had mechanical problems and went down in a Taliban stronghold area in Kunduz province.
He said there had been reports of the Taliban seizing a "reconnaissance plane" after an emergency landing, but those accounts are "misleading." FULL POST
Three people died in a suspected U.S. drone strike on a compound housing militants in the Pakistani tribal region, two Pakistani intelligence officials said Thursday. The location was Mir Ali in North Waziristan.
Islamabad, Pakistan — At least 14 militants were killed and several others injured Tuesday when five suspected U.S. drones fired missiles in Pakistan's tribal region, officials said.
The suspected drones fired 18 missiles at two vehicles and several compounds, according to officials.
Targets pounded are believed to be used by militants in the Data Khel area in North Waziristan, one of seven districts bordering Afghanistan. FULL POST
WASHINGTON (CNN) - When the latest apparent U.S. drone strike was conducted this week against militants in Pakistan, the obvious question appeared to be: Did the United States get a "big fish" in the Taliban or al Qaeda organizations?
But a U.S. counterterrorism official says that's now the wrong question to ask, and chances are those hit were not major players. He wouldn't discuss the specifics of the latest strike, but with the official backing of his bosses, he sought to explain how U.S. strategy has changed in the crucial effort to attack targets inside Pakistan with missiles fired from drones. FULL POST
Unlike al Qaeda, the Pakistani Taliban organization (the Tehrik-i-Taliban or TTP) has shown little appetite for taking its brand of jihadism beyond the borders of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Maybe that's changing.
Certainly that's the case if the messages from the TTP's leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, are to be taken at face value. "From now on," he says in an audio message said to have been recorded in April, "the main targets of our fedayeen [fighters] are American cities. This good news will be heard within some days or weeks. Today onwards, the direction of our jihad is American states and cities. Inshallah we are successful in this mission and objective."
WASHINGTON — Congress delved Wednesday into the politically explosive issue of unmanned drone attacks, questioning the legality of operations increasingly used to combat al Qaeda and Taliban militants in countries such as Pakistan.
In the eight years of George W. Bush's presidency, unmanned aircraft - or drones - attacked militant targets 45 times.
Since President Barack Obama took office, the numbers have risen sharply: 51 last year and 29 so far this year. FULL POST