Police thwart air terror attack on Gibraltar

  • @juliuscavendish

Details of an audacious plot to attack a shopping mall in Gibraltar from the air have begun to emerge following the arrest of three suspected al-Qa'ida terrorists by Spanish police last week. Spanish security officials believe the group planned to stage an attack on British soil during the Olympic Games, maximising publicity for their assault.

Terrorism experts say the three men — a Turkish engineer and two Chechens — are one of the most formidable al-Qa'ida cells apprehended. Police seized explosives and equipment for three motorised paragliders at the home of Cengiz Yalcin, the cell's Turkish facilitator, who had reportedly asked a paragliding instructor for pictures of the shopping mall "whatever the cost".

Cell member Ahmad Avar, is a former member of Russia's special forces, skilled in marksmanship and use of poisons. He and fellow Chechen Muhammad Adamov, an explosives expert, fought alongside Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba in Afghanistan.