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Qaida planned raid on Pervez

Islamabad, Aug. 5 (Reuters): Al Qaida planned suicide attacks on Karachi airport and an airbase used by Pervez Musharraf, Pakistani intelligence sources said today.

Al Qaida suspect Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a Tanzanian, who was arrested almost two weeks ago, told interrogators of the plans for suicide attacks inside Pakistan, an intelligence source said. “During interrogations Ghailani revealed plans for suicide attacks at Chaklala airbase and Karachi’s international airport,” the source said.

A high-level government source commented on al Qaida’s two-pronged strategy. “They want to carry out a big attack in Europe. In Pakistan they want to target government officials,” the source said.

Musharraf, who survived two assassination attempts in December, uses Chaklala airbase at the garrison town of Rawalpindi, next door to the capital Islamabad.

Pakistani militant groups were infuriated by Musharraf’s withdrawal of support for Taliban rule in Kabul and backing for the US led-invasion in the aftermath of al Qaida’s attacks on US on September 11, 2001.

Information from Ghailani and Khan was cited as a reason for the US decision to issue a high alert against a possible attack.

The high-level government official enthused over the quality of the information captured. “This is a big catch,” he said. “Even their mid-level operatives disclose very frightening information.”

Ghailani was found with a computer and more than 150 disks which one intelligence source said contained maps of “important places” in the US and Pakistan. “The CDs they decoded contained maps of important places in the US and Israel as well as Chaklala airbase, Karachi international airport and key military installations in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad,” the source said.

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