Al Qaeda threats on extremist web forums reveal plans to attack Euro 2008

The Euro 2008 football tournament is in danger of a terrorist attack from Al Qaeda. Swiss police have said that the terrorist group is threatening to target the games, taking place in Switzerland and Austria next month. Security experts have said the countries are in a “terrorist danger zone” and police are monitoring internet chat forums linked to Al Qaeda. Juerg Buehler, of the Swiss Federal Police, said: “The Euro 2008 tournament is a potential target cited by the Islamist terrorist network.” Messages interpreted as threats have been posted on two Islamist websites favoured by Al Qaeda. Mr Buehler said: “We are taking these threats seriously. We are on alert and we are following these jihad forums very closely. “It is through these that Osama bin Laden’s agents awaken dormant cells. The situation is serious even if it is frustrated people hiding behind these sites.” According to the official, one site said: “Let’s transform the two most secure countries in Europe into hell, like the hell in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Other messages said: “The hour has come for fighters of the faith. They must make themselves heard” and “Austria must withdraw from Afghanistan”. Swiss Federal police spokesman Guido Balmer stressed that there was “no concrete evidence” that an attack was being planned but said all threats were taken seriously. He said: “The tournament is a potential aim, as are the Olympics and other big sporting events. They are in terrorist danger zones.