Nightly News | September 29, 2010
WILLIAMS: Good evening.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: We haven't had to talk about terrorism for a while now, though in this new post-9/11 era it's never that far from our thoughts, especially in big cities. And tonight, in parts of Europe , it's quite evident that officials believe something might be up. There's a lot of intelligence floating around, so-called chatter from various sources, indicating various people might be planning something. As far as how far this reaches, why now? Well, that gets a little bit tougher. We're going to begin, however, in Paris tonight, where they have raised the alert status. Our own Jim Maceda is there. Hey, Jim . Good evening.
JIM MACEDA reporting: Good evening, Brian . Well, first off we have to say that this alleged simultaneous terror plot across Europe does not affect the United States . But that's little comfort to Europeans who are reading all these tea leaves and feeling extremely unnerved. High anxiety in the streets of Paris since French authorities raised the terror threat level to severe two weeks ago based on increased intelligence chatter that al-Qaeda was planning a major attack. Since then, several bomb threats with thousands of additional police and military evacuating train and subway stations, even iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower .
Mr. GREG KINCADE (Tourist): Every time you tried to get close, they routed you back away from it. So we know something was on...
MACEDA: The tower shut down twice now in just two weeks. And even as the French are dealing with the terror threat here, there are reports in Germany warning of coordinated terror attacks both inside Germany and in other European countries , this coming from a 36-year-old German-Afghan source named Ahmed Sidiqi . He's currently being interrogated by Americans inside Bagram prison in Afghanistan .
MACEDA: According to German intelligence sources, dozens of German jihadists who fought alongside the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan are returning to continue the fight back home.
Mr. GEORGES MALBRUNOT (Le Figaro): The German authority are concerned that these people can build sleeping cells ready to make bombing in German or somewhere else.
MACEDA: Then, on Tuesday, new reports quoting British intelligence suggesting a plot by a terrorist commando team had been foiled, similar in style to the Mumbai massacre where 10 gunman attacked two Indian hotels, killing at least 170. But despite all the speculation, sources say there have been no specific or imminent threats. Still, counterintelligence experts are connecting the dots.
Mr. ANDY HAYMAN (NBC News Terrorism Analyst): Put all those things together, that gives me the feel that this was a credible threat that was thwarted by the authorities.
MACEDA: But, Brian , what's really disturbing European intelligence analysts tonight is that this plot, even if it's intercepted, may not have been completely stopped. That's really upsetting them. Back to you.
WILLIAMS: All right, Jim Maceda , as you see, in Paris , starting us off tonight. Jim , thanks for that.