Terror cell 'smuggled missiles into Europe'

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Lefty Wilbury, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. Lefty Wilbury

    Lefty Wilbury Active Member

    Nov 4, 2003
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    Terror cell 'smuggled missiles into Europe'
    By Henry Samuel in Paris
    (Filed: 29/10/2005)

    An Islamic terror cell has smuggled two surface-to-air missiles into Europe in a plot to shoot down planes at one of France's main airports, it was claimed yesterday.

    French and Algerian extremists with links to al-Qa'eda bought the Russian SA-18 Grouse missiles from Chechens in 2002 and smuggled them via Georgia and Turkey, according to French anti-terror sources quoted in Le Figaro.

    Both missiles and several of the extremists are reportedly still at large.

    French anti-terrorism investigators learned of the missile terror plan while interrogating a Jordanian al-Qa'eda operative close to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of the Islamic terror group in Iraq.

    Adnan Muhammad Sadik, alias Abu Atiya, is now being held by the Jordanian authorities.

    He is believed to have been al-Qa'eda's chief in the Caucasus and responsible for training foreign "holy warriors" - many of whom returned to their countries of origin to set up sleeper cells.

    According to Abu Atiya, one such group, the so-called "Chechen network", returned to France with the missiles and chemical and biological agents such as botulin, ricin and cyanide.

    Some of its members had allegedly been involved in a plan to explode a bomb during a Christmas market in Strasbourg in 2000.

    Others were linked to a conspiracy to blow up Los Angeles airport in 1999.

    In 2002 the group wavered between attacking a symbolic target such as Russia's embassy in Paris, to punish its Chechen policies, or a higher profile location, such as the Eiffel Tower.

    Before homing in on a preferred target, most of the group was arrested in a swoop by the French terrorist brigade, the DST, in two Paris suburbs late in 2002. But some escaped.

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