debkafile counter-terror sources cite US intelligence Saturday night, Oct. 2, as using the term "imminent" for a possible Mumbai-style multiple terrorist attack following a high alert declared this week in four European countries, the UK, Germany, France and Sweden said to be planned in Pakistan.
In the coming hours, the State Department plans to publish an advisory to American travelers to avoid public places in Europe. The terror threat is described as credible but not specific and appears to draw on intercepted phone calls and the interrogation of at least one European witness of dual Pakistani nationality.
According to a US intelligence source, the two audiotapes released by Osama bin Laden in thelast 24 hours, calling on Muslim countries to do more to help Pakistan's flood victims may have acted as a coded trigger for an al Qaeda team to go into action.
debkafile reports that Osama bin leader has never released two audiotapes in such quick succession; neither has he ever focused his published messages on human disasters such as floods.
The Washington advisory will warn American travelers to avoid using public transport, town centers, tourist sites and shopping malls in European countries. It too is unusual for not specifying endangered countries in Europe – just the continent at large.
The attack on Mumbai in November 2008 broke new ground for al Qaeda in that it was carried out by five teams of gunmen trained in urban guerrilla warfare who landed by sea before heading for separate simultaneous targets, 3 big hotels, the local station and the Jewish Habad center in the Indian port city. At least 174 people, including six Israelis, died in the rampage. London and Paris, where the Eiffel Tower was this week evacuated for the second time, are situated on large rivers and may also therefore be easily accessed by water.