(Recasts with German comments, changes dateline from Islamabad)
By Dave Graham
BERLIN, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Germany said on Wednesday it wasaware of intelligence pointing to threatened al Qaeda attacks inEurope and the United States, and had exchanged information withallies.
A German security source said there were "increasingrumblings" about potential attacks, but the interior ministrysaid there was no reason to raise the national alert level.
The comments followed a report by Britain's Sky News that intelligence agencies had disrupted plans by Pakistan-basedmilitants for simultaneous strikes in London, as well as incities in France and Germany.
Citing unidentified intelligence sources, Sky said theplanned attacks would have been similar to the commando-styleraids on Mumbai in 2008 in which Pakistan-based gunmen killed166 people.
Sky said an increase in strikes by unmanned U.S. droneaircraft on suspected militants in Pakistan in the past fewweeks was part of Western efforts to thwart the plot, which itsaid was at an "advanced but not imminent stage".
Pakistan's army dismissed the report as "very speculative".
Military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told Reuters:"We don't have any information or intelligence that militantshad gathered there (in North Waziristan) and were plottingattacks. There is absolutely no intelligence on that."
U.S. security officials said they could not confirm that aplot had been disrupted. But they said they believed that thethreat of a plot or plots remained. British security officialsdeclined to comment on the Sky report.
The German interior ministry said in a statement that itknew about the information on possible attacks and that this hadbeen exchanged with other countries with the requisite"sensitivity and intensity".
"At present there are no concrete pointers to imminentattacks in Germany stemming from this. The current pointers donot warrant a change in the assessment of the danger level," itsaid.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, one security official inGermany said the reports had probably been sparked by theinterrogation of a German-Afghan terrorism suspect inAfghanistan.
"We're hearing increasing rumblings, which you have to takevery seriously -- but no concrete pointers," the official said,when asked about the veracity of the reports.
The suspect believed to be behind the revelations wasidentified by media as Ahmed Sidiqi, a German of Afghan origin.German media said he came from Hamburg and had been held in theU.S. military prison of Bagram in Afghanistan since July.
Four U.S. security officials, who asked for anonymity, saidthat initial intelligence reports about the threat firstsurfaced roughly two weeks ago, around the time of theanniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.
Britain in January raised its international terrorism threatlevel to "severe" -- the second highest level of alert. The headof the MI5 security service said on Sept. 16 there remained "aserious risk of a lethal attack taking place".
French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said on Sept. 20France faced a real terrorism threat due to a backlash from alQaeda militants in North Africa, with fears growing of an attackfrom home-grown cells within French borders.
The Eiffel Tower and the surrounding Champ de Mars park werebriefly evacuated on Tuesday because of a bomb alert, the fourthsuch alert in the Paris region in as many weeks, but a searchturned up nothing, police said.
RECORD DRONE STRIKES
U.S. intelligence chief James Clapper said in a statement:"As we have repeatedly said, we know al Qaeda wants to attackEurope and the United States. We continue to work closely withour European allies on the threat from international terrorism,including al Qaeda."
One U.S. official said militants in Pakistan were"constantly" planning attacks in the region and beyond, and theUnited States would react to that.
"It shouldn't surprise anyone that links between plots andthose who are orchestrating them lead to decisive Americanaction. The terrorists who are involved are, as everyone shouldexpect, going to be targets. That's the whole point of all ofthis," the official said.
Remotely piloted drones have carried out 21 strikes inSeptember, the highest number in a single month.
On Sept 26, a senior al Qaeda leader, identified as Shaikhal-Fateh, also known as Shaikh Fateh al-Masri, was believed tohave been killed, Pakistani intelligence officials said.
Pakistan's Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP), or Taliban Movement ofPakistan, has made several threats against American and Europeantargets, but has so far failed to carry out any overseasattacks. (Additional reporting by Sabine Siebold in Berlin, KarolinaTagaris, Estelle Shirbon and William Maclean in London, PhilStewart and Mark Hosenball in Washington and Zeeshan Haider andChris Allbritton in Islamabad; writing by Mark Trevelyan;editing by Janet McBride) (For more Reuters coverage of Pakistan, see:http://www.reuters.com/places/pakistan)