Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • EU leaders choose Tusk and Mogherini for top jobs, discuss Russia sanctions

    Read more

  • Dozens of UN peacekeepers still held by Syrian jihadists

    Read more

  • Opposition protesters clash with Pakistani police outside PM's house

    Read more

  • Austerity row overshadows French Socialist’s annual rally

    Read more

  • Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to life

    Read more

  • Ceasfire allows Gaza families to relax on the beach

    Read more

  • S. Africa condemns 'military coup' in Lesotho

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

Europe

Al Qaeda 'targeting European rail network'

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-08-19

Al Qaeda is plotting attacks on Europe's high-speed rail network, German newspaper Bild reported on Monday, citing a leaked National Security Agency (NSA) report.

Al Qaeda has been plotting attacks on Europe’s high-speed railways, according to a leaked National Security Agency (NSA) report to a German daily.

The group was potentially targeting trains and tunnels, or planning to sabotage railway tracks themselves and the electric cabling serving them, according to Germany’s widely-read Bild newspaper.

The NSA report is based on an intercepted conference call between top al Qaeda operatives, in which the terrorist attacks were reportedly a “central topic”. 

Berlin has responded to the threat with discreet measures such as deploying plain-clothed police officers at key stations and on main routes, Bild reported.

France’s TGV, Spain’s AVE and Germany’s ICE high-speed trains are popular means of domestic and intra-European travel, especially during public holidays.

In 2012, France’s TGV transported over 127 million passengers, according to the country’s national SNCF railway company.

Public transport systems in Europe have been a prime target for Islamist-linked terrorists in recent years.

The deadly Madrid train bombing in 2004 and the 2005 London underground bombing were reportedly carried out by al Qaeda-inspired terrorist cells, although there has been no evidence the group was directly involved in plotting or executing the attacks.

The United States temporarily closed 19 diplomatic missions in the Middle East and Africa on August 4, citing an al Qaeda threat based on an intercepted telephone call by al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Date created : 2013-08-19

  • UNITED STATES

    US embassies start to reopen after terror alert

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French police arrest soldier over mosque attack plot

    Read more

  • IRAQ

    Iraqis slam authorities in wake of al Qaeda bombings

    Read more

COMMENT(S)