Three suspected al-Qaida members were arrested Thursday in a Norwegian bomb plot linked to the same terrorist planners behind thwarted schemes to blow up New York’s subway and a British shopping mall.
The alleged Norwegian plot, underscoring changing al-Qaida tactics in the decade since the 9/11 attacks, was said to involve powerful peroxide bombs similar to ones aimed for detonation in New York and Manchester, England.
All three plans were organized by Saleh al-Somali, al-Qaida’s former chief of external operations, who had been in charge of plotting attacks worldwide, Norwegian and U.S. officials believe. Al-Somali was killed in a CIA drone airstrike last year, but officials say the three plots had already been set in motion by the time of his death.
Thursday’s arrests suggested how decentralized and nimble al-Qaida has become since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States. The terror group has recently focused on smaller-level attacks that don’t require the intricate planning that it took to hijack airplanes and fly them into buildings in New York and Washington.