As austerity protests rage across Europe, European security officials say a terror plot to wage a Mumbai-style shooting spree in Britain, France and Germany is still a threat and authorities are monitoring sites in Pakistan where the threat originated.
Intelligence agents intercepted the threat two weeks ago, prompting American forces to increase drone missile strikes against al-Qaida targets in Pakistan.
A British government official said the plot was considered to be in its embryonic stage, and that terror threat levels had not been raised in the U.K.
European officials have warned of an increased possibility in low-budget attacks that require relatively little planning — unlike the Sept. 11 terror attacks in 2001.
Officials gave no other details of the plot, but said the group talked of shooting sprees starting first in Britain, and then in France and Germany.
However Europe is not the only place that could be a terrorist target. According to ABC, President Obama has been briefed about a “credible” terrorist threat in connection to the “Mumbai-style” plot in Europe.
“Intelligence and law enforcement authorities in the US and Europe said the threat information is based on the interrogation of a suspected German terrorist allegedly captured on his way to Europe in late summer and now being held at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan,” ABC reports.
Increasing terrorism threats in the U.S. have been well-documented. Testifying before Congress last week, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano admitted, “We are all seeing increased activity by a more diverse set of groups and a more diverse set of threats.”
That might explain a recent terrorism crack down in Georgia. Reports detail how federal agents stopped tractor-trailers on Interstate 20 just west of Atlanta, inspecting each truck as it passed through a weigh station with radiation monitors and large x-ray machines.
A TSA spokesman told Channel 2 in Atlanta that the event is known as Visible Inter-mobile Prevention and Response, or VIPER, a training exercise that was not in response to a specific threat. However, federal sources told WSB-TV that the the inspections are part of a counter-terrorism operation.
Perhaps in response to increasing threats, Napolitano urged 90 nations yesterday to heighten their aviation security measures with more innovative screening devices. “We need to move to the next stage of screening,” Napolitano told USA Today.
“[Terrorists] have kind of figured out the magnetometer business,” she added.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.