Intelligence agencies have disrupted plans for multiple attacks on European cities by a group thought to be linked to al Qaeda, Britain’s Sky News said on Tuesday.
Asked about the Sky News report, U.S. security officials said they could not confirm that a plot had been disrupted. But they said they believed that the threat of a plot or plots was continuing.
U.S. counter-terrorism agencies are poring over intelligence reports suggesting a major attack plot is currently in the works against unspecified targets in Western Europe or possibly the United States, they said.
Four U.S. security officials, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information, said that initial intelligence reports about the threat first surfaced roughly two weeks ago, around the time of the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.
British security sources declined to comment on the Sky News report.
Britain in January raised its international terrorism threat level to “severe” — the second highest level of alert in the five-tier system.
The head of Britain’s MI5 Security Service, Jonathan Evans, said on September 16 there remained “a serious risk of a lethal attack taking place.”