Washington, Sep.17 (ANI): United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities earlier this year quietly broke up a major terrorist ring affiliated with al Qaeda that had plotted to blow up targets in Dubai.
According to the Washington Times, three U.S. intelligence officials and one former senior U.S. government official confirmed that the terrorist scheme originated in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), a relatively poor member of the seven-emirate country.
According to these officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the incident, UAE authorities found evidence that the terrorists had conducted video surveillance of targets in Dubai including Dubai Towers, which will be the tallest building in the world when it is completed in December.
The officials also said the plotters had designated suicide bombers for the operations, but had not yet made so-called martyrdom videos.
Juan Zarate, a former deputy national security adviser in the George W. Bush administration, called the arrests a "significant ... disruption. It demonstrates al Qaeda's presence and perhaps even ill intent in the Emirates, but also signals strong cooperation from the Emirati authorities."
A spokeswoman for the UAE Embassy in Washington said the embassy "doesn't comment on internal security matters."
Present and former U.S. officials described the plan to target the towers and several other high profile locations in the country as a significant shift in how al Qaeda operates in the Emirates. (ANI)