According to Sky News, the recent spike in US Predator strike in Pakistan (21 this month) can be attributed to an attempt to foil Mumbai-like terror assaults in major European cities:
Intelligence agencies have intercepted a terror plot to launch Mumbai-style attacks on Britain and other European countries, according to Sky News sources.
Sky’s foreign affairs editor Tim Marshall said militants based in Pakistan were planning simultaneous strikes on London and major cities in France and Germany.
He said the plan was in the advanced but not imminent stage and the plotters had been tracked by spy agencies “for some time”.
Intelligence sources told Sky the planned attacks would have been similar to the commando-style raids carried out in Mumbai.
Sky News continues:
I am led to believe a number of these attacks were designed against the leadership of this particular plot, which had an al Qaeda and possibly some sort of Taliban connection projecting into Europe,” Marshall added.
“And they have killed several of the leaders – which is why the terror threat has not risen.”
Several al Qaeda affiliates would likely be involved in such a plot. The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and its splinter faction the Islamic Jihad Group both have a presence in Germany. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has a strong presence in France. And a multitude of Pakistan-based terror groups, such as Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group that executed the original Mumbai assault, would be involved in Britain.
There has been one report of an Islamic Jihad Group commander killed in a Predator strike in Pakistan this month. The IJG commander, called Qureshi, “used to receive foreigners especially the Germans in North Waziristan and then train them and resend them to their country of origins,” according to AKI. More on the IJG and its foreign recruits from LWJ‘s Sept. 9 report of Qureshi’s death.
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.