Al-Qaeda said plotting attack on European trains

German tabloid, citing NSA sources, describes methods Islamic terror group could use to sabotage rail system

Berlin East railway station in Berlin, Germany. (photo credit: CC BY Daniel Foster/Flickr original photo)
Berlin East railway station in Berlin, Germany. (photo credit: CC BY Daniel Foster/Flickr original photo)

Al-Qaeda is preparing to carry out a significant attack on Europe’s high-speed rail network, according to a report Monday in the popular German tabloid Bild.

According to the report, which cited unnamed sources in the US National Security Agency, top-ranking members of the Islamic terror group recently participated in a conference call in which various methods of attacking railways in Europe were extensively discussed, including planting bombs in tunnels or on the trains themselves and sabotaging train tracks and electrical systems.

Reportedly, in response, German authorities have stepped up security and surveillance on the country’s national rail system.

The report comes after the temporary closure this month of US and Western embassies throughout the Middle East, in response to a secret message between al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri and his deputy in Yemen, Nasser al-Wahishi, about plans for a major terror attack, which was intercepted by US intelligence.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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