‘Terror groups in Pakistan focus on Britain’

April 28th, 2008 - 1:36 pm ICT by admin  

By Muhammad Najeeb
Islamabad, April 28 (IANS) The Al Qaeda and pro-Taliban elements in Pakistan and Afghanistan are one of the main drivers of Islamic extremism and terrorism in the European Union, according to a report of European police. The Europol annual report on the terrorism situation and trend said terrorist plots linked to groups in Pakistan were focussed on Britain. It comes after the disclosure last week that 15 plots to attack the UK were foiled in three years since the London bombings.

Germany and Denmark reported that several suspects in the attempted terrorist attacks in 2007 had received training in Pakistan.

Afghan Taliban and pro-Taliban groups in Pakistan have links with the increasingly active core structure of the Al Qaeda that is currently based in the Pashtun Tribal areas in western Pakistan. There the terror network is believed to have re-organised command and control functions.

With Britain becoming the main focus of terrorism in Europe, more Muslim extremists were detained there last year on terror-related charges than in the rest of Europe, according to the report.

The number of arrests rose steeply and involved “young, radicalised British citizens”, sparking fears that the threat of an attack is growing, the report said.

British authorities said that 203 people were arrested on suspicion of terror offences in 2007, representing a 30 percent increase.

The majority was motivated by Muslim extremism. In contrast, 201 people were detained in the rest of the Europe. The French police made 91 arrests. The number of suspects under investigation in Britain has risen from 500 in 2004 to 2,000 last year.

The report also says that the frequency of the terrorist attacks in Pakistan and its three-fold increase from 2006 to 2007 was the result of the Lal Masjid operation in Islamabad last year.

Europol, an European law enforcement organisation, in its 2008 report concluded that immediately after the siege of the Lal Masjid July 11, 2007, an unprecedented wave of suicide attacks struck the capital city of Islamabad and other parts of the country, mainly targeting the Pakistan armed forces and intelligence services.

More than 300 people were killed and several injured in the Lal Masjid operation that started after students demanding implementation of Islamic law took into custody some policemen and locals and also abducted five Chinese nationals for “promoting vulgarity”.

The report available on Internet says fighting escalated in Pakistani tribal areas, especially in Waziristan, where Pashtun militants clashed with the government troops as well as fighters from Uzbekistan.

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