Al-Qaeda came within days of terror attack on Britain last year, court hears

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An alleged al-Qaeda terrorist cell arrested in the North West was within days of launching an attack on Britain a senior officer in MI5 has told a tribunal.

The men, who were arrested in Manchester and Liverpool in April last year, were said to be in direct contact with al-Qaeda in Pakistan, using coded email messages that talked about cars and girls.

They were said to be “operating in a similar manner” to those planning the mass casualty attacks of July 7 2005 and the trans-Atlantic airline plot of 2006.

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