NBC News has learned that authorities have new information suggesting the second set of accused London bombers may also be linked to Pakistan.
According to Western counterterrorism officials, authorities now think the apparent leader of the July 21bombing suspects traveled to Pakistan late last year.
Muktar Said Ibrahim obtained a British passport last fall. Officials say that in December he traveled from Britain to Saudi Arabia, then on to Pakistan.
“It raises the possibility that they were involved with Pakistani jihadists and possibly even with al-Qaida itself,” says terrorism analyst Dan Benjamin.
That would put Ibrahim in Pakistan at the same time as two of the July 7 bombers, who were seen arriving in Karachi in November.
In London on Monday, there was massive security in the subways, triggered by what authorities say is intelligence suggesting a third cell of bombers may be ready to strike. There is conflicting intelligence about the nationalities of these individuals.
Investigators have clear evidence tying the July 7 bombers to Pakistan. They’re now trying to determine the extent of the other bombers’ Pakistani connection.
Lisa Myers is NBC’s senior investigative correspondent