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The US Homeland Security Department has acknowledged a ‘credible and specific’ report that al Qaeda is planning to blow up infrastructure in New York on the anniversary of the national tragedy that struck the United States 10 years ago on September 11.
New York’s mayor Michael Bloomberg told the press that the intelligence of the threat was uncorroborated but because of the nature of the situation, nobody was willing to take 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 according to British newspaper The Guardian.
Intelligence agencies are behind the warning. To the Huffington Post, a US intelligence official said, “US counterterrorism entities have been alert for any leads, and for the first time we’ve received specific and credible – but unconfirmed – threat information linked to the 9/11 anniversary.
Any and all leads related to possible plots are of course being run to ground, and the US will bring every resource to bear to ensure the security of the American people.” The assistant director of the FBI in New York, Janice Fedarcyk, told The Guardian that initial suspicion was raised during the raid at Abbottabad, Pakistan that killed Osama Bin Laden.
The obtained intelligence showed that al-Qaida had an interest in several important dates – including 9/11. President Barack Obama has requested redoubled effort from the counter-terrorism forces in order to clarify the nature of the threat and Fedarcyk was sure to stress 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.”
Citizens of New York will have to deal with tightened security around the city. Sky News reports that extra police will carry out checks on cars around tunnels and bridges while there will be more bag inspections on the subway and more resources put into radiation and bomb monitoring.
Mayor Bloomberg said that while the authorities are taking additional measures to protect the city in anticipation of the weekend, he would like New Yorkers to go about their business as usual. “The best thing we can do to fight terror is to refuse to be intimidated by it.