Washington, D.C.—United States officials have indicated a “specific, credible but unconfirmed” threat against the United States on the 10th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
The Department of Homeland Security and the C.I.A. have stated that at least three individuals have entered the United States within 24 hours with the intent to execute a terrorist attack on New York City and Washington, D.C. Matthew Chandler, spokesman for The Department of Homeland Security released this statement on the threat:
“In this instance, it’s accurate that there is specific, credible but unconfirmed threat information. As we always do before important dates like the anniversary of 9/11, we will undoubtedly get more reporting in the coming days. Sometimes this reporting is credible and warrants intense focus, other times it lacks credibility and is highly unlikely to be reflective of real plots under way.”
President Obama was briefed about the threat Thursday morning, and received updates on the threat all day. A White House official stated that the president “directed the counterterrorism community to redouble its efforts in response to this credible but unconfirmed information.”
Matthew Chandler also stated that Homeland Security’s intelligence reports on Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda conclude that the extremist leader and his organization had already shown an interest in planning terrorist attacks on anniversaries such as 9/11. Nevertheless, the United States government is acting fast on the threats.
The New York Police Department has already begun taking extra precautions. Thousands of policemen are guarding Ground Zero, armed with rifles and radiation detectors. The New York City subways are under 24/7 surveillance as well. Thousands of police, equipped with cameras and weapons, have been sent to New York City, Washington, D.C. and western Pennsylvania.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano stated that “in the intel world, there’s lots of chatter, and we’re taking it all seriously. And should there be something that rises to the level where I have to issue a threat advisory, we will issue a threat advisory.”