US reveals ‘credible but unconfirmed’ terror threatSeptember 9th, 2011 - 9:36 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Sep 9 (IANS) US officials say they have “specific, credible but unconfirmed” information about a potential Al Qaeda threat against the country coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attack.
“We have received credible information very recently about a possible plot directed at the homeland that seems to be focused on New York and Washington,” an administration official told CNN.
The official said the plot probably involves three individuals, including a US citizen. The three individuals “had not yet entered the US”.
“The intelligence picture is not completely formed. Not enough is known about the potential operatives and their plotting,” he said.
Another official involved in counter-terrorism efforts said authorities “aren’t sure if this is or real or just chatter”.
A joint intelligence bulletin issued by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security indicated that Al Qaeda may be considering an attack using a car or truck bomb.
The report, however, said other methods, including attacks with small arms, homemade explosive devices and poisons, could be used.
Al Qaeda would probably provide its operatives with enough autonomy to select the particular target and method of attack, and an attack may involve operatives carrying US documentation, it said.
The death of Osama bin Laden in a US raid in Pakistan in May could add to the terror outfit’s desire to stage an attack on a symbolic date such as Sep 11, it said.
Such an attack would be a means to “reassert the group’s relevance” and avenge bin Laden’s death, it added.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said additional police will be deployed around the city.
Governor Andrew Cuomo urged residents to be cautious, but said there was no reason to panic.
In Washington, officials said the city has been on heightened alert since Sep 1.
Mayor Vincent Gray said: “I want to urge all of our citizens to remain calm and let our law enforcement professionals do their job. At the same time, we ask people to remain vigilant. If you see something, say something.”
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Tags: 10th anniversary, administration official, andrew cuomo, city governor, cnn, counter terrorism, department of homeland, department of homeland security, governor andrew, intelligence bulletin, law enforcement professionals, mayor michael bloomberg, michael bloomberg, new york city mayor, target, terror attack, terror threat, truck bomb, vincent gray, washington officials