Jihadists are getting into the spirit of the season. And according to AP, they’re still upset over the Danish cartoons and the Pope’s remarks. You see, for Santa Omar Adel Rahman, we in the West have been very, very bad. By Paul Haven for Associated Press:
MADRID, Spain – Western intelligence and security officials say the threat of a terror attack by Islamic militants over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday travel season is extremely high, with the greatest concern focusing on a possible plot targeting Europe.
While the year-end period is always a time of concern because of the vast number of travelers, authorities’ anxiety is palpable this year.
European fears that terrorists might be planning something come in the waning days of a convulsive year of foiled plots and inflammatory moments. Terror schemes were thwarted in Britain, Germany, the Czech Republic and Italy.
Islamic anger over the publication of cartoons depicting images of the Prophet Muhammad caused riots throughout the world in January and February, with some Muslim protesters in London holding up banners urging “Behead those that insult Islam.” Pope Benedict XVI’s Sept. 12 comments that seemed to equate Islam with violence also caused outrage and mass protests.
And of course, there were the daily images of carnage in Iraq, Israel’s bloody war with Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon, and continued controversy over the U.S. holding facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
A senior French counterterrorism official told The Associated Press that intelligence agencies throughout the continent are on “tenterhooks” and that “all of the warning lights are red,” though they have yet to uncover any specific plan for attack.
“The threat is at its highest level,” said the French official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the secretive nature of his job. “All (security) services are on tenterhooks. And it’s not just us (in France). Work is under way everywhere but nothing concrete is emerging. Ends of the year are often bad. This year we haven’t managed to distinguish a precise plot.”
Those fears were echoed in Britain, already on edge after the failed August plot to bring down commercial jetliners over the Atlantic.
John Reid, Britain’s top law enforcement official, said Sunday that it was “highly likely” that terrorists would attempt to mount an attack over the holiday period, when the number of travelers swells. He gave no other details….
This year, concerns have been heightened because of the deteriorating health of terrorist cleric Omar Abdel-Rahman, known as the blind sheik, who is serving a life sentence in the United States for his advisory role in a plot to blow up New York City landmarks, including the United Nations.
Abdel-Rahman has called for retaliation by terror sympathizers if he dies in prison.