US Investigates 9/11 Anniversary Threat

Posted September 9th, 2011 at 12:35 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama has no plans to change his schedule despite what authorities are calling a credible but unconfirmed terror threat against the United States planned to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Mr. Obama is scheduled to mark the anniversary Sunday at the sites of the attacks in New York City, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Friday the president is not changing those plans.

Authorities in New York City and Washington say they have increased police staffing in response to the threat, which is reportedly focused on those cities.

Few details have been released about the nature of the threat, but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton indicated al-Qaida is behind it. Delivering a speech on counterterrorism in New York Friday, she described the threat as a report that “al-Qaida again is seeking to harm Americans and in particular to target New York and Washington.”

On Thursday, the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's New York office, Janice Fedarcyk, refused to name any specific group behind the threat. But she said information gathered in the U.S. raid on Osama bin Laden's Pakistan compound in May showed that al-Qaida has an interest in specific dates.

The White House says President Obama has been continually updated on the threat and that he has called on counterterrorism authorities to redouble their efforts to protect the U.S. from any attacks.

In her speech Friday, Clinton said the country must do more to fight terrorism, but said it cannot and will not live in fear, sacrifice its values or pull back from the world.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has encouraged New Yorkers to continue their lives as usual but to remain vigilant.

Washington Mayor Vincent Gray said authorities in the nation's capital are also taking precautions.

Both mayors said the threat of an attack would not disrupt Sunday's ceremonies for the September 11 anniversary.

Earlier this week, the U.S. government raised the alert level at its domestic military bases ahead of the anniversary.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Thursday that intelligence officials have picked up more “chatter” lately on terrorist websites. She said the United States is taking all of the talk seriously.