Britain on alert for al-Qaida attacks

British security services have been placed on their second highest state of alert over an intelligence report about a possible attack by al-Qaida, British media have reported.

    UK fears an assault by 'al-Qaida supporters from North Africa'

    But the "severe general" alert was not connected to US President George Bush's forthcoming UK visit, the BBC said on Saturday.

    Security measures for Bush's visit were already "without precedent", according to John Stevens, the head of London's Metropolitan police. 

    The additional alert was for the security services, including police, intelligence and the army and was not directed at the public. 

    Unspecified threat

    The BBC said the threat was of a general nature concerning alleged plans by al-Qaida supporters from North Africa.

    The Home Office, Britain's ministry of the interior, declined to comment. A spokeswoman said it never discussed threat levels unless there is a specific threat. 

    She added, "If there is a specific threat, the government would not hesitate to issue an alert." 

    The alert comes just one week after al-Qaida carried out a bomb attack on a residential compound in the Saudi capital Riyadh that left 17 people, mostly expatriate Arabs, dead.

    The group has previously named the UK as a possible target because of the government's support for US intervention in the Middle East and the wider Muslim world.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    Al Jazeera examines three weeks of war from which both Arabs and Israelis claimed to emerge victorious.