BLOODTHIRSTY masterminds behind the devastating 9/11 terror attack are developing new technology to blow up passenger planes, a security chief warns.
Al-Qaeda are also planning to use drones packed with explosives to bomb targets as they spread tentacles of terror across the Middle East.
Security minister Ben Wallace told The Sunday Times terrorists had been developing technology that would capable of bringing down a jet.
His warning comes after Gatwick was brought to its knees by drone attacks – causing travel chaos for more than 140,000 passengers this week.
And Mr Wallace, who met with airport bosses before the Gatwick carnage, said al-Qaeda are keeping ministers “awake at night”.
He said: “The aviation threat is real. Aviation is still a blue riband event for these terrorists.
“Al-Qaeda are resurgent. They have reorganised. They are pushing more and more plots towards Europe and have become familiar with new methods and still aspire to aviation attacks.”
The government has spent £25million on research to protect planes from “chemicals, different methods of explosion and insider threats”.
Al-Qaeda have lay in wait for ISIS to decline and have recently been popping up in Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya and other countries in the Middle East.
Osama bin Laden’s son – Hamza bin Laden – has now reportedly started to grow into his father’s shoes and has taken control of the terror group.
It comes after Donald Trump last week withdrew US troops from Syria – with spooks now worried this will create a safe haven for extremists to plot attacks on the West.
And security sources say a recent terror investigation in the UK exposed plans to mount bomb attacks on the UK using drones.
Mr Wallace has also revealed 13 Islamist terror plots have been thwarted in Britain since March 2017.
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Airport security was beefed up in the wake of the devastating 9/11 attacks that killed almost 3,000 people in 2001 but Mr Wallace says this has made terrorists more creative.
He added: “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.”