Intelligence uncovered by the FBI indicates al-Qaida terrorists plan to hijack an aircraft in Britain within the next two months and fly it
into an ”important” building.
British Airways and other leading airlines operating in and out of Britain have been put on alert. The report says the most likely targets for the hijackers were aircraft taking off from London’s
Heathrow and Gatwick airports, according to a report in the London Telegraph.
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security circulated a warning to American and British airlines on July 30, saying
terrorists working in teams of five were likely to try to attempt hijackings using common items carried by travelers, reports the paper.
”Recent reporting on al-Qaida from intelligence sources indicated that terrorists might try to modify electronic items for use as weapons in order to circumvent improved security screening, ”
the warning said, according to the paper.
American officials say the intelligence was collected during a raid on an overseas al-Qaida residence in recent months.
Information about converting camera-flash attachments into stun guns or explosive devices was found in the home of a suspect in the May bombings in Saudi Arabia. Another al-Qaida experiment detailed attempts to disguise a detonator and explosive inside a camera.
The suspect is understood to be behind the warnings. Intelligence officials say intercepted terrorist communications have corroborated the man’s claims.
An FBI spokesman, quoted by the newspaper, said information about possible attacks identified Italy, Australia and the United States as ground targets for the hijacked plane.