Europol Director Robert Wainwright during an Interpol - EU Symposium in Brussels, 30 Sep 2010
Europol Director Robert Wainwright during an Interpol - EU Symposium in Brussels, 30 Sep 2010

Europe's top police chief warns that Islamist terror groups are "active" in Europe.

Europol director Rob Wainwright said Thursday that a decline in the number of attacks in Europe "hides" the reality that Islamist militant groups are still active and the threat of attacks "is still out there."

Wainwright was responding to reports that intelligence officials had uncovered a terror plot to strike multiple European cities.

Western intelligence officials have said they had information that terrorist groups operating from Pakistan's lawless tribal regions had been plotting the attacks.

Some of the details may have come from a German national, Ahmed Siddiqui, who was captured in Afghanistan in July.

A U.S. government official said Wednesday the current threat is "credible but not specific."

Europol's terrorist report for 2010 says that European Union nationals traveling to conflict areas or attending terrorist training camps could pose a "serious threat" to the security situation in European states on their return.

U.S. and British news reports quoting unnamed security officials say the suspected terror plot called for attacks similar to those launched in Mumbai, India in 2008.  Heavily armed Islamic militants who stormed multiple sites in the Indian metropolis killed 166 people.

Missile attacks against suspected hideouts used by terror groups in Pakistan's tribal regions have sharply increased recently.  By some estimates, there have been at least 20 deadly strikes so far this month.  The VOA Pentagon correspondent says military officials will not confirm news reports that the Central Intelligence Agency uses unmanned aircraft to carry out attacks on militants based in Pakistani border areas.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.