Dozens of white Europeans have trained in terrorist camps in Pakistan's tribal regions in recent months, U.S. intelligence sources tell ABC News, in what officials fear may be the beginnings of a new breed of al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorism.
Government officials suspect the terrorists, recruited in Europe, have been dispatched to plan attacks against Europe and possibly the United States. The alleged terrorists hail from Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Romania and Estonia, sources said.
There is growing evidence that some European recruits may have already gone operational. Two of the suspects arrested in a September 2007 plot to kill American soldiers in Germany were native Germans, and U.S. officials say they are investigating whether they were trained in Pakistan.
Pakistan is the new Afghanistan:
Terrorist attacks against noncombatants more than doubled in Pakistan from 2006 to 2007, reflecting the growing violence in the country's turbulent tribal areas and new bombings against Pakistani government officials and security services, according to a report released Wednesday by the State Department.
The report also said the number of deaths from the attacks in Pakistan quadrupled in that time period, to 1,335 fatalities, casting doubt on the American-backed counterterrorism policies of President Pervez Musharraf that the new government in Islamabad is now reshaping.
The new statistics show that terrorist strikes against nonmilitary targets worldwide remained virtually unchanged in 2007 from 2006, at roughly 14,500 attacks, but the number of deaths from those attacks increased to 22,685 from 20,872, according to statistics compiled by the National Counterterrorism Center.