After releasing a statement on Friday saying that the United States government is not aware of any definite threat of attack by terrorist to coincide with the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001, the FBI and Homeland Security issued a nation wide warning on al-Qaida threats to small aircraft.
But in the most recent alert reported by Fox News on Saturday evening, FBI and Homeland Security warned about al-Qaida threats to small aircrafts stating that they have stepped up security nationwide as a precaution.
According to the more recent five-page law enforcement bulletin, as recently as early this year, al-Qaida was considering ways to attack airplanes. The alert, issued ahead of the summer’s last busy travel weekend, said terrorists have considered renting private aircrafts and loading them with explosives.
“Al-Qaida and its affiliates have maintained an interest in obtaining aviation training, particularly on small aircraft, and in recruiting Western individuals for training in Europe or the United States.” according to the bulletin.
Threats to small airplanes are nothing new. After the 2001 attacks, the government grounded thousands of crop dusters amid fears the planes could be used in an attack.
In 2002, U.S. officials said they uncovered an al-Qaida plot to fly a small plane into a U.S. warship in the Persian Gulf. And in 2003, U.S. officials uncovered an al-Qaida plot to crash an explosives-laden small aircraft into the American consulate in Karachi, Pakistan.
With Friday’s earlier statement the Secretary said that “In the past, terrorist organizations have on occasion planned their attacks to coincide with significant dates on the calendar”.
With ceremonies for observing the 10th anniversary of the attacks scheduled for New York, Washington as well as many other communities throughout the country Napolitano further stated “While there is no specific or credible intelligence that al Qaeda or its affiliates are plotting attacks in the United States to coincide with the ten year anniversary of 9/11, we remain at a heightened state of vigilance and security measures are in place to detect and prevent plots against the United States should they emerge.”
The Department of State travel alert continues a worldwide caution issued in July alerting travelers to the threats posed by the May killing of Osama bin Laden by United States forces as well as the ongoing instability in many countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Such alerts are usually issued when any short-term conditions “pose imminent risk to the security of U.S. citizens,” according to a State Department explanation.
After the raid on the bin Laden compound, information was discovered suggesting that attacks around the anniversary of 9/11 had been discussed by members of the al Qaeda organization but since that raid nothing specific or credible has been discovered.
- Feds issue warnings on small plane terrorism threat (capitolhillblue.com)
- Feds: Al-Qaida eyes small-plane terror threat (msnbc.msn.com)
- U.S. warns of small airplane threats before 9-11 (ctv.ca)
- Feds Warn of Small Airplane Terror Threats (socyberty.com)