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Ritz and Eton terror 'targets'

The Ritz hotel and Eton public school were among a number of possible terror targets being considered by a senior al Qaida leader who was killed in Somalia last week.

Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, who topped the FBI's most wanted list for nearly 13 years, was shot dead by soldiers in a gunfight.

Mohammed had a five million US dollar (£3.1 million) bounty on his head for planning the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania which killed 224 people.

British intelligence sources said the Ritz and Eton were among a handful of targets he was considering although there was no information to suggest attacks were imminent or any reconnaissance had been carried out.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "As a result of information received the Metropolitan Police Service has contacted a small number of people at premises inside and outside of London to provide reassurance and security advice.

"The threat level to the UK remains at 'severe', which means that an attack is highly likely. It has been at 'severe' since January 2010.

"The MPS continue to urge the public to remain vigilant and aware and to report any suspicious behaviour which may be terrorist-related to the confidential anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321."

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "The threat remains serious. The first duty of Government is to protect national security and public safety."

Speaking after Mohammed's death, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described it as a "significant blow to al Qaida, its extremist allies and its operations in East Africa".

Information minister Abdulkareem Jama said Mohammed, a native of the Comoros Islands, had been carrying sophisticated weapons, maps, other operational materials and tens of thousands of dollars. Family pictures and correspondence with other militants were also found.


From Belfast Telegraph