Al-Qaeda Hatching Train Plot: Report

NSA allegedly tips off Germany
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2013 1:43 PM CDT
Al-Qaeda Hatching Train Plot: Report
This Oct. 19, 2010 photo from files shows passengers walking by a German Intercity Express (ICE) high speed train, left, and a Eurostar high speed train at St. Pancras International Station in London.   (AP Photo/Lennart Preiss, File)

Al-Qaeda may be plotting to attack Europe's high-speed rail network, according to a report in Germany's Bild newspaper. According to the report, the NSA overheard the plan while listening in on an al-Qaeda conference call, the AFP reports—possibly the same conference call that reportedly led to the US briefly closing embassies around the world.

But German officials downplayed the report, telling Deutsche Welle that "the security situation has not changed" and that security would not, as the report suggested, be beefed up. "There are warnings from time to time, which are followed up," an interior ministry spokesman said. Angela Merkel's administration is no doubt eager to keep the letters "NSA" out of the news. Germany's opposition is hammering Merkel on her alleged complicity with the US spies, Der Spiegel reports, dubbing it "a scandal that just won't die." (More Germany stories.)

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