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Indian hijack plot caused new UK terror alert

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David Leppard
London Times
Sunday, January 24th, 2010

FEARS that Islamist terrorists plan to hijack an Indian passenger jet and crash it into a British city helped to prompt this weekend’s heightened terror alert.

MI5 was told by the Indian authorities early last week about a suspected plot by militants linked to Al-Qaeda in Pakistan to hijack an Air India or Indian Airlines flight from Mumbai or Delhi.

The warning, which came after the capture of a suspected Islamic leader, was contained in a detailed “threat assessment” sent to MI5 by the Indian Intelligence Bureau. It did not state that Britain was a specific target. But police security sources said it had raised fears in London that a British city might be attacked.

The warning revived long-running concerns following an Al-Qaeda plot in 2003 in which a hijacked aircraft was to be flown into Heathrow airport. That incident led Tony Blair, then prime minister, to make the largely symbolic move of dispatching armoured vehicles to guard the airport perimeter.

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This article was posted: Sunday, January 24, 2010 at 5:23 am





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