The man at the center of an alleged al Qaeda plot to bomb cities in Europe has told investigators the conspiracy was directed by one of the organization's most senior figures, according to European intelligence officials.
Ahmed Sidiqi, an Afghan German, was detained in Kabul in July and has since been questioned at the United States' Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, the officials say. They say he has told interrogators that while in the tribal areas of Pakistan he met with a senior Al Qaeda leader, Younis al Mauretani, who was planning multiple attacks on European countries that would be similar to the attack on Mumbai, India, in 2008.
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A Belgian court has convicted three leaders of an al Qaeda terror cell accused of recruiting Europeans to fight in Afghanistan.
Those found guilty Monday include Malika el Aroud, a 50-year-old Belgian-Moroccan woman whom authorities have described as an "al Qaeda living legend." She was sentenced to eight years in prison for "creating, directing, and funding" the terrorist cell. 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."