February 10, 2007

France targeted by al-Qaeda

Excerpted from YnetNews:

A French intelligence report says that France is being targeted by al-Qaeda, the London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Hayat reported Friday. The report was recently submitted to the French authorities and was titled 'Situation report on the radical Islamic terror threat in France.'
The report was composed by various intelligence and security organizations in the country for three months. According to the report, al-Qaeda affiliated websites contain "threatening messages by the organization, which include pictures from the French presidential campaign."

The report detailed four "threat centers" from which the activists would emerge. The first is "the Iraqi networks": Hundreds of Muslims with a European citizenship who volunteered to fight in Iraq against the US army and returned last summer to Europe. Since their return, they have been working on building secret cells or preparing terror attacks.

The second source of threat mentioned by the report was "the Afghan-Pakistan networks." Contrary to the prevailing belief that these networks completely disintegrated after September 11, 2001 and the war in Afghanistan, these organizations' training camps have reappeared near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

A third source of concern for the French intelligence is "the Caucasian terror networks." According to the information, these networks are supervised by the al-Qaeda representative in Central Asia and include graduates of secret training camps in different places in Asia, including Kashmir, China, Uzbekistan, Georgia and Chechnya.

A fourth source of concern for France, and perhaps the most severe, is the organizations in North Africa, mainly those affiliated with a radical Islamic organization in Algeria. The leader of this organization has threatened France several times in the past two years.