“In my opinion, the jihadi threat from Pakistan is the biggest emerging threat we are facing in Europe. Pakistan is an ideological and training hotbed for jihadists, and they are being exported here.”
“Terror Threat From Pakistan Said to Expand,” by Elaine Sciolino for the New York Times (thanks to Davida):
BARCELONA, Spain “” As the terrorism suspects congregated in the largely Pakistani neighborhood here over the past few months, they were joined by a young man who called himself Asim. He had come from the Pakistani borderlands where the leadership of Al Qaeda is said to have regrouped.
The suspects, he later told Spanish investigators, envisioned a wave of spectacular attacks: Coordinated suicide bombings would start in this city”s vast subway system and then sweep through Portugal, Germany, France and Britain if certain demands were not met.
Asim had been sent to Spain to be a suicide bomber, but he also was an informant for French intelligence working in the no man’s land of Waziristan in Pakistan. After he got word to his handlers of an impending attack, Spain’s military police swooped into the neighborhood of Raval in the early hours of Jan. 19 and arrested 14 men. Now the officials unraveling the case say it demonstrates the growing threat of terrorist activities migrating to Continental Europe from Pakistan.
The largely Pakistani cell formed quickly in Barcelona with support, and perhaps direction, from the tribal areas of Pakistan, the authorities said. According to the arrest warrant in the case, three suicide bombing suspects arrived in Spain within the last four months and the bomb making suspect had recently spent five months in Pakistan. […]
“That these people were ready to go into action as terrorists in Spain “” that came as a surprise,” said Judge Baltasar GarzÃ³n, Spain’s highest antiterrorism magistrate. “In my opinion, the jihadi threat from Pakistan is the biggest emerging threat we are facing in Europe. Pakistan is an ideological and training hotbed for jihadists, and they are being exported here.”
That threat has been felt elsewhere. Two of four suicide bombers who attacked London’s transit system in July 2005 had trained at a camp in Pakistan. Four of the five British men convicted last April in a plot to blow up targets in London using fertilizer bombs were of Pakistani origin and some had trained at a makeshift terrorist camp there.
Read it all.