Al-Qaeda Threats: More, Smaller Attacks in US and Europe

Washington Post: 'Al-Qaeda and its allies are likely to attempt small-scale, less sophisticated terrorist attacks in the United States, senior Obama administration officials said Wednesday, noting that it's extremely difficult to detect such threats in advance. "Unlike large-scale, coordinated, catastrophic attacks, executing smaller-scale attacks requires less planning and fewer preoperational steps," said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. "Accordingly, there are fewer opportunities to detect such an attack before it occurs." '

Telegraph, UK (September 20):
French intelligence services are hunting a female would-be suicide bomber who they believe could be planning to target the Paris metro.

The alert followed a tip-off from a friendly intelligence agency - thought to be Algeria’s - warning of an imminent al-Qaeda threat.

Five French nationals have been kidnapped close to a French uranium mine in Niger in the last week, while a bomb scare caused alarm at the Eiffel Tower.

In a separate development armed guards were deployed to protect prominent Islamic moderate Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Paris mosque.

“The terrorist threat is real and today our vigilance, therefore, is reinforced,” said Brice Hortefeux, the interior minister. ...

Debka: 'The high level of preparedness for terrorist attack - "reinforced red" - maintained in France since Sept. 16 was quietly expanded this week to most of the big international air hubs of Europe, including London's Heathrow, Amsterdam's Schiphol andairports in Moscow, Berlin and Rome. Security measures were also redoubled at the important railways and subway stations of Europe. The commander of French police and security services Frederic Pechenard went on the air Wednesday Sept 22 with a statement for the public: "I'm not here to frighten people," he said, "but we have serious evidence coming in from reliable intelligence sources telling us that there is a risk of a major attack." He declined to say whether the alert level had been raised from "reinforced red" to "reinforced scarlet." He said the danger could come in the form of "the assassination of an important figure or an attempted mass casualty attack on a crowded public area like a metro train or department store." ...'