TEL AVIV – If the U.S. or Israel strikes Iran, fringe elements of the Pakistani intelligence apparatus that allegedly work with al-Qaida may attempt to coordinate terrorist attacks internationally, including using unconventional weapons, according to Arab diplomats in Pakistan.
The Arab diplomats, speaking to WND, said they did not have specifics on the nature of the attack, such as whether it would employ chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. The diplomats also said they did not have specifics about the exact location of any possible terrorist threat.
The Arab diplomats said there is little fear that Pakistan itself would get directly involved in any conflict involving Iran.
Elements of Pakistan's intelligence agencies long have been accused of working with al-Qaida, a charge parroted worldwide after Osama bin Laden was discovered living in Pakistan near a military facility less than two hours from the country's capital.
It is unknown whether al-Qaida itself possesses unconventional weapons. In 2009, there were unsubstantiated reports that an al-Qaida affiliate in Algeria closed a base after an experiment with unconventional weapons went awry, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official.
Many terrorism analysts have reported on al-Qaida attempts to purchase or obtain unconventional weapons over the years, or to steal material from nuclear sites. Just last year, Reuters reported that radioactive material was stolen from the site of a nuclear power plant in Egypt during protests outside the site.
Some fear the future possibility that al-Qaida, working with a state actor such as Iran, could carry out an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, attack off America's coastline, if the terrorist group could obtain both a nuclear device and a missile.
The information from the Arab diplomats in Pakistan comes after ABC News reported last week that Jewish and Israeli institutions in the U.S. are on high alert over Iranian-supported terrorist threats.
Precautions were put into place by the institutions, ABC reported Feb. 3, citing a letter from the head of security for the Israeli consul general for the Mid-Atlantic Region.
The letter reportedly related a higher security threat to "guarded sites" such as Israeli embassies and consulates, and "soft sites" such as synagogues, as well as Jewish schools, restaurants and Jewish community centers.
ABC reported that local and regional law enforcement and intelligence officials in U.S. and Canadian cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Toronto have increased security at Israeli and Jewish institutions.
Also last week, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned in written congressional testimony that "some Iranian officials – probably including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei – have changed their calculus and are now more willing to conduct an attack in the United States."
Iran, meanwhile, has long faced accusations of working with al-Qaida.
Last week, U.S. officials expressed concern that Iran may have freed a group of al-Qaida members held for almost a decade under house arrest in the Islamic Republic.
As early as 2009, WND quoted an Egyptian security official warning that Iranian agents and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia were working with cells of al-Qaida to carry out attacks in Egypt.
In November, WND reported that in response to any future Israeli military strike on its nuclear sites, Iran has been training al-Qaeda elements in the Egyptian Sinai desert on how to coordinate retaliatory attacks, according to a senior Egyptian security official.
The al-Qaida attacks are meant to target both Israeli and Egyptian installations, the security official said, as part of an Iranian plot to widen any Israeli-Iranian conflict to involve other countries.
The Egyptian official said there is also information Iran has been working with Islamic Salafist groups in Jordan that are allied with al-Qaida.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guards helped to train al-Qaida elements in the Sinai and Gaza Strip to carry out large-scale attacks, including missile attacks, cross-border incursions, suicide bombings and explosions targeting infrastructure, such as oil and gas pipelines, the official said.