Infrastructure could be in the front line – report warns

Once again, warnings of attacks on infrastructure have been published, highlighting the vulnerability of vital services in transport and power.

According to Bild, the German mass circulation daily, Al-Qaeda is plotting attacks on Europe’s high-speed rail network. The publication reports that the information came from the National Security Agency (NSA) in the US.

The paper reported that, earlier this month, the NSA listened in on a conference call between Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri and more than 20 of his operatives in which attacks on Europe’s rail network was a “central topic”.

Bild said that the extremist group could “plant explosives on trains and tunnels or sabotage tracks and electrical cabling”.  Authorities in Germany have responded by deploying plain clothes police officers at key stations and on main routes.

Since intercepting the conversation, the Americans and several of its allies have shut embassies across the Muslim world, fearful of a major attack.

The Local, a publication reporting “Germany’s news in English”, says it contacted Deutsche Bahn but “a spokeswoman declined to comment beyond stating that they work closely with the security services”. Meanwhile, Germany’s interior ministry said that the security situation regarding terrorist threats had “not changed”.