Pakistan dismisses Qaeda terror plot report
Pakistan on Wednesday dismissed leaked Western intelligence reports purporting to have uncovered an Al-Qaeda plot hatched by extremists in Pakistan to attack Britain, France and Germany.
"We don't have any credible information from sources that any such planning is taking place or terrorists are planning anything in North Waziristan," military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told AFP.
Media in Britain and the United States said the militants were planning simultaneous strikes in London and major cities in France and Germany.
It was "one of the most serious Al-Qaeda attack plans in recent years" and was inspired by the terror group's fugitive leadership in Pakistan's tribal areas, said the BBC.
"There is no credible information about this," Abbas said.
Local officials believe the report could increase pressure on Pakistan to fight in North Waziristan, considered a stronghold for the most dangerous militants in the world and a possible hiding place of Osama bin Laden.
The North Waziristan mountains are also a refuge for Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which escaped a Pakistani military offensive in neighbouring South Waziristan, and for networks fighting US forces in Afghanistan.
Pakistani security forces have been reluctant to launch an operation in North Waziristan, fearing a backlash of increased attacks on civilians by Islamist militants.
Pakistani security officials have reported 21 US drone strikes targeting Al-Qaeda and Taliban-linked militants in Waziristan this month.
On Tuesday, Pakistani security officials said that Al-Qaeda's operational chief for Afghanistan and Pakistan had been killed in one such recent attack.
Among those based in North Waziristan are the Haqqani network, created by Afghan warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani and run by his son Sirajuddin; Afghan Taliban; Pakistani warlord Hafiz Gul Bahadur and his ally Maulvi Sadiq Noor.
© 2010 AFP