US Investigates ‘Credible’ 9/11 Anniversary Threat

Posted September 9th, 2011 at 3:45 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

U.S. counterterrorism officials are investigating what they call a credible but unconfirmed terror threat planned to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

Authorities said Thursday they had discovered information suggesting the “credible threat” may focus on Washington or New York. Officials say they suspect three individuals, including a U.S. citizen, entered the United States in August intending to attack with a car bomb.

Late Thursday, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city has heightened security in response to the threat. But despite the potential danger, he encouraged New Yorkers to continue their lives as usual.

The head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's New York Division Jan Fedarcyk also refused to name any specific group behind the threat. But she said information gathered in the U.S. raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan last May showed that groups such as al-Qaida have an interest in specific dates.

Washington Mayor Vincent Gray said city authorities were taking precautions, working alongside federal agencies, to combat the threat. He declined to provide specific details, but urged residents to remain vigilent.

The mayors of both cities said the threat of an attack would not disrupt ceremonies on Sunday for the September 11 anniversary.

Meanwhile, the White House said President Barack Obama has been continually updated on the threat. A White House official told reporters the president called on counterterrorism authorities to redouble their efforts to protect the U.S. from any attacks.

Officials say the threat is unconfirmed and that they are continuing to investigate. They say they are considering whether to brief local police about what to look for and whether to make the information public. The government is also considering whether to raise the country's terrorist alert level.

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

Earlier this week, the U.S. government raised the alert level at its domestic military bases as a precaution.