French se­cret ser­vice warn that 20 Al Qaeda sleeper agents plan wave of ter­ror at Olympics

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By JON LIVESEY

BRI­TAIN’S top spies are hunt­ing a group of Is­lamic ex­trem­ists hell bent on launch­ing ter­ror at­tacks dur­ing the Olympics.

As many as 20 ter­ror sus­pects are feared to have en­tered Bri­tain from France.

Of­fi­cers work­ing for Ren­seigne­ments Généraux – France’s equiv­a­lent of MI5 – had been search­ing the home of crazed killer Mo­hamed Merah when they made the dis­cov­ery.

The Al Qaeda ter­ror­ist, 23, was sur­rounded by armed cops in Toulouse and shot dead as he jumped from an apart­ment win­dow fir­ing at of­fi­cers fol­low­ing a 32-hour siege last week.

In the days be­fore he’d killed seven peo­ple across south west France in­clud­ing three chil­dren shot in a Jewish school, a rabbi and three para­troop­ers.

Af­ter his death, French in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cers spent hours trawl­ing through data on his com­put­ers.

They’ve since warned MI6 agents that up to 20 out of 50 known ter­ror sus­pects had left the coun­try for Bri­tain.

An in­sider said: “There was all kinds of stuff on his com­puter con­ver­sa­tions with other ji­hadists, say­ing things like the Olympic sta­dium will run with rivers and blood and call­ing for a holy war on London 2012.

“It is clear that there is a con­certed plan to at­tack the sta­dium, but there was so much stuff to get through we won’t be sure ex­actly what is hap­pen­ing for a few more weeks.”

Se­cu­rity bosses in Bri­tain have al­ready put all 3,800 MI5 agents on red alert amid con­cerns sleeper cells based in the UK will strike dur­ing the Olympics.”

It’s feared that res­i­dents, who came over from Iraq, Kur­dis­tan, Afghanistan and North Africa more than five years ago and have been granted Leave to Re­main, will turn out to be ter­ror­ists.

A se­cu­rity source said: “We went through a pe­riod when hun­dreds en­tered Bri­tain ev­ery week through Heathrow and many were not chal­lenged or de­tained.

“It’s easy for these in­di­vid­u­als to gain em­ploy­ment with lo­cal au­thor­i­ties or the Na­tional Health Ser­vice, which are un­der pres­sure to pro­vide staff cheaply and quickly.

“Once they en­ter this slip­stream it is dif­fi­cult to keep track.

“They keep on the right side of the law and gen­er­ally do not draw at­ten­tion to them­selves. That is why they’re re­ferred to as ‘clean skins.’”

It’s also been re­vealed that Merah met Bri­tish-based ex­trem­ists in Afghanistan in 2010. And he re­mained in con­tact with the Ji­hadists plan­ning ter­ror at­tacks across the world.

Last week MI5 di­rec­tor-gen­eral Jonathan Evans briefed the Cab­i­net on the ter­ror­ist threats fac­ing the UK in the run-up to the Games, which start on July 27.

WARN­ING: French in­tel­li­gence ser­vices have re­vealed the Olympic Sta­dium

is a tar­get

TER­ROR­IST: Mo­hamed


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