British intelligence services increasingly believe that the failed car bombings in London and Glasgow bare the fingerprints of al Qaeda in Iraq, CBS News has learned.
Intelligence sources tell CBS News that the people behind the attempts were directly recruited by Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, the present leader of the terror group's Iraq franchise.
Sources tell CBS News that al-Muhajir recruited the men between 2004 and 2005, while they were living in the Middle East, upon orders from then-al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Al-Muhajir was told to recruit young men who could easily move into Western countries, assimilate and lay low until the time came to attack. Britain has a fast-track visa program for medical students which makes it easier for them to enter the country.
The belief that this small cell of militants was recruited purposely by a major terror organization for their specific qualifications differentiates the group from the cell of "homegrown" attackers who were behind the bloody July 7, 2005 attack that left 52 people dead on London's transport network.
Terrorism expert Paul Kurtz told CBS' Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith Tuesday, "there is concern they used a trusted profession, recently arrived to the U.K., that's a new mode of operation."
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