Al Qaeda leader is aiming for Atomic Attack
Al Qaeda is trawling the world for the technology to mount a nuclear strike on the West, a senior Foreign Office official has warned.
The unnamed official said Osama bin Laden's terrorist network is determined to get the materials and know how for an attack using atomic, chemical or biological weapons.
The latest warning echoes MI5 director general Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller's remarks last week.
She said future terror attacks in Britain could involve weapons of mass destruction. When asked if she had any doubt that al Qaeda wanted to obtain the materials for a nuclear attack, the official said: "No doubt at all".
She added: "We know that the aspiration is there, we know attempts to gather materials are there, we know that attempts to gather technologies are there."
The Government is preparing to make security a key theme of its legislative programme for the forthcoming Parliamentary session.
The programme will be set out in the Queen's Speech on Wednesday. Officials have been monitoring jihadist websites which underline the determination of al Qaeda and related groups to mount such attacks.
The network of the Pakistani nuclear scientist AQ Khan, which supplied technology to Libya, Iran and North Korea, was broken up three years ago. But there are concerns that other illegal networks are continuing to evade export controls.