Iran has improved its ties with al–Qaeda as part of a campaign to target Western interests around the world that could lead to a spectacular attack in Europe, The Daily Telegraph has learned.
The Islamic regime, which was accused of attempting to assassinate Israeli diplomats in three countries this week, is seeking to expand the network of Western enemies it assists, officials believe.
As a result, Tehran has loosened restrictions on high level al–Qaeda operatives under its controls as well as offering financing and training to the terrorist group’s senior planners.
Security experts said that recent intelligence suggested Iran and al–Qaeda could attempt to find a common project in Europe, possibly targeting the London Olympics, which opens in July.
“This is a warning to the West that ‘if you consider attacking our facilities then there will be consequences’,” said Anthony Skinner, the director of the political risk consultants, Maplecroft. “This would be a significant development that would represent a massive upgrade in al–Qaeda’s capacity to strike.”
The warning came as Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, said Iran’s “terrorist activities” had been “exposed” by three apparently linked attacks this week targeting Israeli diplomats in India, Georgia and Thailand.