Al-Qaeda to target royal wedding?
Sources in British PM's office say terror group plans to sabotage Prince William and Kate Middleton's April wedding with massive attack
LONDON - Al-Qaeda intends to carry out a massive terrorist attack during Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding, a senior official in British Prime Minister David Cameron's office told Yedioth Ahronoth Monday
According to the source, the British intelligence service has collected evidence showing that the terror organization plans to sabotage the royal wedding, perhaps staging the attack along the route the couple plans to take on their wedding day. Local police is set to close the route three days prior to the event in order to prevent such a disruption.
According to the intelligence information, the attack would be carried out by al-Qaeda operatives already located in the UK.
As per the tradition, the bride, Middleton, is expected to ride a car from Buckingham Palace, passing by key sites on her way to Westminster Abbey, where the ceremony will take place. Following the service, the couple will return to the palace along the same route, this time riding a horse-drawn carriage. Approximately a million people are estimated to line the sides of the road to watch the historic procession.
Security to cost $55 million
Officials are concerned that should the terrorists carry out the attack while the couple is riding the carriage, it would harm not only hundreds of people but also the kingdom's most treasured asset – the royal family.
Yedioth Ahronoth found out that local police plan to repeatedly comb the route in search of hidden weapons and explosive caches in the days leading up to the wedding. Scotland Yard is also considering different ways to perform security checks on the crowd of spectators.
The unprecedented level of security, which will include snipers standing guard on the top floors of buildings along the road, is estimated to cost $55 million. Moreover, intelligence agents have began collecting information on fanatic admirers of the royal family in order to warn them to avoid arriving on the scene. There are a few hundreds such fans in the UK, and officials fear that one of them might attempt to assassinate Prince William or his future wife.
A record number of tourists are expected in London on the weekend leading up to the April wedding, and many of the hotels in the capital already report nearly full occupancy for those dates. Local security forces have already started monitoring the expected guests in order to make sure none of them attempts to interrupt the monumental event.