Simon Tisdall and Richard Norton-Taylor
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.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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.
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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