Simon Tisdall and Richard Norton-Taylor
Brisbane Times
Posted October 13, 2010

LONDON: A US terrorism alert issued this week about al-Qaeda plots to attack targets in Western Europe was politically motivated and not based on credible new information, senior Pakistani diplomats and European intelligence officials say.

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The warning, which despite its vagueness led Britain, France and other countries to raise their terrorism alert levels, was an attempt to justify a recent escalation in US drone and helicopter attacks inside Pakistan that have ”set the country on fire”, said Pakistan’s high commissioner to Britain, Wajid Shamsul Hasan.

Mr Hasan, a veteran diplomat who is close to Pakistan’s President, Asif Ali Zardari, suggested the US President, Barack Obama, was playing politics with the alert before next month’s mid-term congressional elections.

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He also said Mr Obama was reacting to pressure to demonstrate that his Afghan war strategy and this year’s troop surge, which are unpopular with the American public, were necessary.

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