Ed Pilkington, The Guardian
The mayor of New York warns of ‘unconfirmed’ intelligence that a terrorist attack is being planned on the 10th anniversary of 9/11Â Link to this video
New York will be in a state of heightened alert over the 9/11 anniversary weekend, with extra bomb sweeps, dog patrols, surveillance of tunnels and bridges and even vehicle checkpoints, following what is being described as “credible but unconfirmed” information that a terrorist attack is being planned in the city or in Washington.
Only sketchy details have been given of the nature of the threat and Michael Bloomberg, New York’s mayor, emphasised in a late-night press conference that the intelligence of the threat was uncorroborated. But with the world’s eyes on New York ahead of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, nobody is taking any chances.
“We know the terrorists regard the anniversary as an opportunity to strike again. We do live in a world where we must take these threats seriously,” Bloomberg said.
Warnings of a plot to launch a vehicle bomb attack in New York or Washington, believed to be in the form of a single piece of intelligence, were first received on Wednesday night. President Obama and key intelligence personnel were briefed from Thursday morning.
ABC news said intelligence agencies received information that three people had entered the US with the intention of launching a “vehicle-borne” attack on the anniversary of September 11.
In a report on its website, ABC said officials believed the suspected attackers began their journey in Afghanistan, and may have passed through Iran.
Janice Fedarcyk, assistant director of the FBI in New York, said that intelligence obtained during the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden at Abbottabad in Pakistan in May had shown that al-Qaida had an interest in important dates and anniversaries such as 9/11. She said she expected more intelligence to come in over the next few days but stressed that “sometimes this reporting is credible and warrants intense focus, other times it lacks credibility and is highly unlikely to relate to real plots that are underway.”
Despite the lack of certainty on the nature or the seriousness of the latest threat, New Yorkers are likely to notice a dramatic beefing up of security at least until Monday. Ray Kelly, the city’s police chief, said he has ordered increased bag checks on the subway, a 30% increase in police patrols and rapid response teams, added deployment of officers specialising in detecting nuclear radiation and extra sweeps at religious and government buildings.
There will also be exercises involving several security agencies at Grand Central, Penn station and Times Square on Friday.
The city is used to the inconveniences and stresses that frequent scares of this sort have brought over the past 10 years. Bloomberg said that the NYPD was also well prepared, having helped to thwart at least 12 possible terror attacks since 9/11.
To read more, visit:Â http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/09/9-11-terror-threat-anniversary-new-york
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