UK Security Minister Ben Wallace said in an interview with The Sunday Times that the threat coming from al-Qaeda* hasn't vanished and it once again threatens the civil aviation. According to him, the terrorist group has been quietly scheming up new ways of taking down planes and attacking airports.
"Al-Qaeda sat quietly in the corner and tried to work out what the 21st century looked like, while Islamic State became the latest terrorist boy band, but they have not gone away — they have reorganised", he said.
Wallace added that al-Qaeda* had learned new ways to carry out aviation attacks, including the use of miniature explosives and infiltrating airport personnel with sleeper agents.
"They have explored other ways of getting bombs on planes. We've talked publicly about an insider threat issue. If you can't get in the front door, you're going to try to get in the back door", the minister explained.
The security minister also expressed concern with the US decision to withdraw the country's forces from Syria, noting that al-Qaeda* and other terrorist groups may use the Arab country as a safe heaven and a base for their operations.
US President Donald Trump announced earlier this week that the US troops will be returning home from Syria within the next 100 days. Trump noted that the goal to eliminate Daesh* in the Arab Republic had been achieved and thus the US military presence in the country was no longer needed.
The US and its allies deployed their troops in Syria without a UN mandate or the consent of Damascus, which slammed the move as an act of intervention.
The al-Qaeda* terrorist group is known for its numerous terror attacks with the largest being the hijacking of the planes, which were used to bring down the twin towers of the World Trade Center and to attack the Pentagon on 11 September 2001. The 9/11 attack claimed the lives of almost 3,000 people, leaving over 6,000 more injured.
*Terrorist organisations, banned in Russia