Daunting news recently surfaced in regards to al Qaeda plans in a CNN article posted yesterday titled “Documents reveal al Qaeda’s plans for seizing cruise ships, carnage in Europe.” Through investigations obtained from an Austrian last year, it has been discovered that the terrorist group had plans to seize cruise ships. On May 16 of last year, an Austrian man named Maqsood Lodin was investigated by police in Berlin. The police found in his underpants memory cards and a digital storage device. After several weeks of trying to encode what was in these devices, the German investigators discovered over 100 al Qaeda documents which included some of their plans for future attacks. This included plots to seize cruise ships and initiate attacks in Europe.
Also discovered in these devices were terrorist training manuals. According to the CNN article, “one source says that they are the most important haul of al Qaeda materials in the last year, besides those found when U.S. Navy SEALs raided Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a year ago and killed the al Qaeda leader.”
Yassin Musharbash was the first to report on this incident in Germany. He stated how the documents said they would seize the cruise ship and use this action to pressure the public. Musharbash interpreted this to mean that “the terrorists would then start executing passengers on those ships and demand the release of particular prisoners. The plan would include dressing passengers in orange jump suits, as if they were al Qaeda prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, and then videotaping their execution.”
Lodin and another man named Yusuf Ocak, who was traveling back to Europe with Lodin, are both on trial in Berlin. They are both pleading not guilty. They both had been on a watch list, which led to their capture. The prosecutors believe that Lodin and Ocak met at a terrorist training camp in Pakistan and were going back to Europe to scout out suicide bombers. This kind of attack, as scary as it sounds, had occurred before. 25 years ago the PLO hijacked a cruise ship, killing an American on board.