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Fri, Aug 06, 2004

Terror Plot Aimed At Heathrow?

Same Terror Source Reportedly Led To Elevation Of Alert Level In New York, Washington

The same al Qaeda suspect whose computer yielded information leading to the elevation of the terror alert level in Washington in New York may have been involved in a plot aimed at London's Heathrow Airport, according to the London Times. The newspaper reports the plan was in its "final stages."

An anonymous source told the French news agency AFP, "[Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan] was involved in planning for attacks at Heathrow airport London some time ago and was wanted by the US Government."

Khan had reportedly visited London from his native Pakistan several times over the past few years. The Times reported he had passed coded information regarding the British airport to his al Qaeda superiors.

Khan was arrested in Pakistan along with 17 other people, all taken into custody since July 12th. His arrest and the confiscation of his laptop computer have reportedly given intelligence agents "deep insight" into the current structure of the al Qaeda.

Who Gave What To Whom?

But there's controversy surrounding Khan's arrest. British diplomats have said Pakistan turned over information vital to the Heathrow investigation after it was obtained from both Khan and his computer. Pakistan, however, denies providing the UK with any intelligence. The BBC's correspondent in Pakistan, Zaffar Abbas, said that nobody there had confirmed the existence of a Heathrow plot. "Even in the background briefings they have not suggested any plan about Heathrow."

Abbas reports Pakistani intelligence sources have provided no information about exactly what Khan had on his computer, but did confirm the suspect is an al Qaeda communications "expert."

It's also been reported that the same information contained on Khan's laptop, as well as on several CDs found when he was arrested, was the basis for the elevation of the terror alert level in both Washington (DC) and New York from "yellow" to "orange."

FMI: www.baa.co.uk/main/airports/heathrow

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