Terror Alert: Airports Top Targets

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There have been a reported 21 drone attacks targeting suspected terrorists along the Pakistan/Afghanistan border since September, making that the highest number for one month of unmanned strikes However, new Monday night, news that on Sunday an American missile strike against a suspected terrorist safe house killed between five and eight militants.

Are the drone attacks related to the European terror scare? Right now, that's unknown.

More of what's new Monday includes a narrowing of the possible target list. Reports emerged that pre-screening areas in five European airports are key targets in the terror plot. The specific airports have not been named but the countries of Britain, France, Germany and Italy have been mentioned by intelligence officials as under threat.

Other soft targets like shopping malls or subways could also to be locations for the possibly imminent major terrorist assault. On Sunday, Americans were warned to watch their backs when traveling to Western Europe; told to take common sense precautions and remain alert.

Security forces around the world are on edge, anticipating that Al Qaeda (or an affiliated group) is planning commando-style raids similar to the one that rocked India two years ago.

The unusual American alert kicked off a cascade of international warnings with intelligence officials concerned that a so-called 'active shooter' scenario could erupt at any moment, similar to what happened in Mumbai, December 2008. Back then ten attackers armed with semi-automatic rifles, three hundred rounds of ammunition, grenades and a bomb attacked soft targets in india's financial hub killing over 160 people.

On Monday, a British newspaper reported intelligence agents are tapping telephones, listened in on suspected terror plotters and think their accents come from a small English town. That could narrow down the location where the plot may have been hatched.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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