New York and Washington, D.C., police officers are ramping up security measures Friday in response to what intelligence officials are calling a specific, credible terrorist threat planned for the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
Intelligence officials were alerted to the possibility of a car bomb by a long-term source in Afghanistan who they say has proved reliable in the past. But because the source is said to have picked up the information secondhand, the threat is considered “reliable but unconfirmed.”
In response to the threat, police set up vehicle checkpoints throughout the cities and deployed bomb-sniffing K-9 units. —BF
As New York knuckled down for what promises to be a tense weekend, US intelligence agencies were continuing to try to track down three men who, according to the threat warning, had entered the US since August with the aim of launching an attack.
The report of a plot, which the president was told about on Wednesday night, was said to be plausible and more specific than usual, although it came from one source and was uncorroborated.
The vice-president, Joe Biden, said the intelligence gathered by the CIA suggested the three men might be planning a vehicle-based attack. “We do have talk about using a car bomb. But we do not have confirmation of that – we don’t have a smoking gun,” Biden told ABC News.
The CIA is working with Pakistan to gather information about the men, who may be from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region. One of the men is reported to be a US citizen, and the other two may have had US papers, and intelligence officials are understood to be scouring databases to track several names of individuals who entered the country after mid-August.
AP / Jin Lee
An Amtrak K-9 division police officer stands guard at Penn Station in New York City on Friday.