Karim Friad: Suspected al-Qaeda terrorist arrested outside the British Embassy in Romania wielding a sword

Suspected al-Qaeda terrorist arrested outside the British Embassy in Romania wielding a sword
Iraqi national pounced on by security services in BucharestAmbassador Martin Harris not harmed

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UPDATED:

10:35 GMT, 17 December 2012


Safe: Ambassador Martin Harris was not harmed in the terror scare at the British Embassy in Romania

Safe: Ambassador Martin Harris was not harmed in the terror scare at the British Embassy in Romania

British Embassy staff in Romania were targeted by a suspected al-Qaeda terrorist brandishing a sword.

The Iraqi, named as Karim Friad, was pounced on by police as he brandished the nine-inch blade near the building's gates in the capital, Bucharest.

Romania's SRI intelligence service are understood to have had the suspect under surveillance for days after he entered the country, according to The Sun.

Sources told the paper his mission was to kill British or American officials.

A
spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed the
incident to MailOnline, saying: 'We can confirm an individual was
detained by the Romanian intelligence service.

'This matter is now for the SRI. We would like to thank the Romanian authorities for their help.'

The
man was watched earlier near the US embassy in Bucharest but appears to
have been put off by the layers of security round the complex.

He headed for the less secure British
compound yesterday morning but was arrested by undercover SRI agents the
moment he posed a threat to staff

No British or foreign embassy workers were hurt and ambassador Martin Harris was never in danger.

Friad was being quizzed by anti-terrorist specialists last night.

The source said: 'His intentions were known the moment he entered the country — to kill American or British citizens at the embassies.

'He was put under 24-hour surveillance in case he led police to other terrorists inside Romania.

'He was being so closely watched that he never posed a serious threat but he had to be seen to commit an offence before he was arrested.

'It shows the Islamist terrorist threat to Britons abroad remains very real.'