A SUSPECTED al-Qaeda terrorist was grabbed yesterday when he pounced on staff outside the British Embassy in Romania wielding a sword. The Iraqi, named as Karim Friad, was blocked by cops as he brandished the razor-sharp, 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. Sources said his mission was to kill British or American officials. The man was watched earlier near the US embassy in Bucharest but he appears to have been deterred 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 from Romania, UK and USA.
A 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.”