FBI warns: Al Qaeda may attack US trains
In the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has issued a warning that Osama bin Laden’s terror network Al Qaeda might be planning to attack passenger trains, “possibly using operatives who have a Western appearance.”
According to the New York Times, the public warning, the second from the US government in the last two weeks, was based on interviews held in mid-October of Al Qaeda followers in custody in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the FBI said.
In its Friday edition, the daily said the intelligence had not provided details regarding the method, place or timing of a possible attack. As a result, the government has decided not to raise the national threat level. But still, while the FBI has passed dozens of threat warnings to law enforcement agencies ever since the September 11 attacks, officials said, the government issued public warnings like this one only six times before Thursday.
Furthermore, officials said the decision was made to issue a public warning because the intelligence was specific - at least in terms of the possible target - and because they hoped that railroad workers and travelers would keep an eye open for suspicious people or activities.
The FBI statement said, "Additional information suggests operatives may try a variety of other attack strategies, such as destroying key rail bridges and sections of track to cause derailments, or targeting hazardous material containers. Recently captured Al Qaeda photographs of U.S. railroad engines, cars and crossings heightens the intelligence community's concern of this threat."
The Times added that there was no indication whether the threat involved commuter or long distance trains, or possibly both. For his part, Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the White House Office of Homeland Security, said the US administration wanted to call on Americans to "continue to ride our nation's rails." (Albawaba.com)
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