NEW YORK (CBS 2) — American intelligence officials are gearing up for the possibility of a Christmas terror attack from al Qaeda. CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer has learned there is confirmed intelligence that terrorists would like to disrupt our holiday season.
Al Qaeda-linked terrorists have tried to ruin our Christmas holidays before and they apparently want to try again this year. Intelligence officials have been put on alert for another attempted terror attack some place in the United States timed to the holidays.
“There is intelligence about possible attacks in the United States so our security people are extremely alert. They’re looking. Precautions are being taken. This is a dangerous time of the year,” Rep. Peter King, R-Long Island, told Kramer.
Congressman King also told Kramer an intelligence alert went out last week to hotel and restaurant executives about the possible use of poisons by terrorists.
Of particular concern are Ricin and Cyanide that could be slipped into salad bars and buffets.
Kramer asked King, the incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, what the government is doing to safeguard the country. Though he couldn’t be specific, he offered his assurances that law enforcement officials are doing every think they can to thwart any possible plot.
Kramer: “You said steps have been taken?”
King: “Yeah that I can’t go into. What I can tell you is that various levels of federal government in conjunction with state and local police are increasing surveillance, are looking at areas where we think there could be some cause for concern.”
Last Christmas terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab unsuccessfully tried to explode a bomb in his underwear on a Northwest flight as it neared Detroit. In 2001, shoe bomber Richard Reid was taken off a Paris-to-Miami flight after he tried to ignite a shoe bomb. And while King said there is no specific threat to New York City, he also noted it is a prime terror target — with 11 attempted attacks and two successful ones.
“We have to be aware and alert for everything, whether its subways, planes, buses tunnels, landmarks, infrastructure. We have to be constantly on or guard and more so at this time of year because of the past and because of intelligence reports that are out there.”