LONDON – A newspaper reported Sunday that police have uncovered evidence that Al Qaeda plotted to interrupt Internet services in Britain.
Raids by Metropolitan Police detectives found computer files indicating that terrorist suspects had targeted a high-security Internet "hub" in London that handles most of the Internet information that passes in and out of Britain, including London's businesses and stock exchange, the Sunday Times said.
It quoted an unidentified government security official as saying the Internet plotters apparently planned to infiltrate the "hub," possibly to blow it up from the inside, according to evidence on a computer hard drive seized in raids on the homes of terror suspects in southern England last year.
London's Metropolitan Police Service was not immediately available to comment on the newspaper report and failed to answer to recorded messages left with its media department on Sunday.
Last year, the MI5, Britain's domestic spy agency, uncovered intelligence that suggested Islamic terrorist suspects had carried out reconnaissance of the huge Bacton complex of gas terminals on the Norfolk coast of eastern England, the Sunday Times said. Armed guards were deployed around the plant.
Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, director of the MI5, Britain's domestic spy service, has said the threat of terrorism in the U.K. is very real and includes the intent to kill people and damage the country's economy.
Last year, she said that 1,600 people were suspected of involvement in terrorist plots against British targets.
Four homicide bombers killed 52 commuters in July 2005 transit attacks in London, and security officials say they have foiled at least six other plots.