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U.S. says al-Qaeda plotted to derail U.S. train on 9/11 anniversary

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U.S. says al-Qaeda plotted to derail U.S. train on 9/11 anniversary

2011-05-07 04:27:08 GMT+7 (ICT)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) -- Information obtained during the U.S. raid on al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan has revealed that the militant organization was considering to attack the U.S. rail system.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an intelligence message on Thursday to its federal, state, local and tribal partners to inform them about the information. It indicates the group was considering the attack as of February 2010, but it is unclear if any further planning has been conducted since.

According to one bulletin issued by the FBI and DHS, al-Qaeda was contemplating conducting an operation against trains at an unspecified location in the United States on the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001. "As one option, al-Qaeda was looking into trying to tip a train by tampering with the rails so that the train would fall off the track at either a valley or a bridge," the document said.

It indicates that Bin Laden still played an active role in plotting attacks against the United States and elsewhere, despite being virtually confined to his compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad.

"We want to stress that this alleged al-Qaeda plotting is based on initial reporting, which is often misleading or inaccurate and subject to change," said DHS Press Secretary Matt Chandler. "We remain at a heightened state of vigilance, but do not intend to issue an NTAS alert at this time. We will issue alerts only when we have specific or credible information to convey to the American public."

Chandler referred to the new National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) which issues a statement if there is an elevated or imminent threat of a terrorist attack. No alerts have yet been issued.

DHS said the department and its organization have taken a number of actions since Sunday such as the reviewing of protective measures for all potential terrorist targets, deploying additional officers to non-secured areas at airports in the United States, and identifying any new targeting rules that should be instituted to strengthen the ways the U.S. assess the risk of both passengers and cargo coming to the United States.

"As always, we urge our state, local, tribal and private sector partners, as well as the general public, to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to federal, state or local law enforcement," Chandler added.

Bin Laden, who is believed to have ordered the attacks of September 11, 2001, was killed on Sunday during a secret U.S. mission at a compound in Abbottabad. It is believed to be a major blow to the organization but also raised fears of possible revenge attacks.


-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-05-07

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