THREAT UPDATE – AT 11:54 A.M. ET: We are continuing to follow the "credible" terror threat against the U.S., linked to tomorrow's 9-11 anniversary. New information is being reported all the time. From the New York Post:
The tip on the terror threat that had New Yorkers on high alert yesterday came from a reliable CIA informant in Pakistan who “has not been wrong before,” sources told The Post.
The informant told the agency that new al Qaeda boss Ayman al-Zawahiri personally recruited three terrorists -- at least two of whom are believed to be US citizens or have US traveling papers -- to launch car bomb attacks in the city or Washington, DC, to avenge the killing of terror lord Osama bin Laden.
US authorities suspect one American “is here” already, a counter-terrorism source told The Post.
Officials also believe the plot calls for the bombers not to commit suicide -- as the 9/11 hijackers did -- but to flee after setting the explosives as those who pulled off the 1998 attacks on two US embassies in Africa did, the source said.
The informant told US intelligence the trio may attempt an attack similar to Faizal Shahzad’s failed Times Square car bombing last year, according to an FBI bulletin.
“This person has not been wrong before,” an official said. “That source has been reliable in the past.”
The trio “may have met up with a small cell or other suspects” in the United States, a source told the iPad news mag The Daily.
COMMENT: I was struck by one assessment that concluded that the team was instructed that, if they could not pull off the kind of attack that was planned, they were to create as much mayhem as possible. That could mean simply planting a suitcase somewhere, or even firing at random from a concealed position, from which escape is possible.
I'm also concerned that a terror team, if blocked in New York and Washington by high security, might simply travel to another location. Los Angeles and Chicago are said to be on increased alert as well.
September 10, 2011