CST Blog

Possible al-Qaeda targeting of London's Jews

11 July 2012

The Toronto Star has revealed previously confidential information relating to possible terrorist targeting of the well known North London Jewish neighbourhoods, Golders Green and Stamford Hill, perhaps during the festival of  Chanukah.

The two articles relate to documentation found on the body (and in the car) of a senior Al Qaeda leader, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, who was killed at a checkpoint by Somali troops in June 2011. Golders Green and Stamford Hill are both mentioned, as are the Ritz and Dorchester hotels and Eton College.

The full article may be read here. It includes:

NAIROBI—A cache of intelligence found on the body of Al Qaeda’s African leader, and inside the bullet-ridden Toyota truck he tried to ram through a Somali government checkpoint, provides a chilling look at the global aspirations of Somalia’s al Shabab.


the meticulously prepared documents that detail plots for a kidnapping and attacks on the prestigious Eton College, Jewish neighbourhoods and the posh Ritz and Dorchester hotels in London, were uncovered last year when senior Al Qaeda leader Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, 38, was shot dead by Somali forces.

Fazul was indicted in the United States for the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya that killed 224. He was a close ally of Osama bin Laden


The documents are chilling, both in the level of terror they describe and in their tone. They were written with a business-case formality that analyzes the pros and cons of proposed attacks. It is not clear who authored the reports.

“Our objectives are to strike London with low-cost operations that would cause a heavy blow amongst the hierarchy and Jewish communities,” begins the document labelled “International Operations.”


The next two pages show specific plans for the hotels, for Eton school on opening day and for London’s Stamford Hill and Golders Green neighbourhoods, which are populated with “tens of thousands of Jews crammed in a small area.”


Although time periods are specified, such as striking the Jewish community during Hanukkah, there is no mention of London’s Olympics — which starts this month and has security agencies worldwide on high alert.

CST's public comment on this story is as follows:

CST was briefed on a confidential basis by the police about this information suggesting the potential terrorist targeting of London’s Jewish communities when it was discovered last year. Whilst the specific nature of the information is of course worrying, it does not fundamentally change the general threat that we have faced for some years now, and which guides all our security procedures and our work with the police.

We urge the Jewish community to remain alert, but not to be alarmed and to ensure that it continues leading its communal life to the full. We ask the community to fully co-operate with existing security measures and to report any suspicious activity to the police and to CST.

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