Sources: Authorities Concerned About Possible Dirty Bomb, Times Square Strike

Say Al Qaeda Eager To Hit Where They Failed, Just Like 9/11 Following 1993

Updated 12:31 a.m., Sept. 10, 2011

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Just two days before the 10th anniversary, New York City is on high alert.

Federal and local authorities have beefed up security after receiving intelligence about a credible threat. The alleged plot by al Qaeda involves detonating car bombs on bridges and in tunnels in New York and Washington D.C. to coincide with the anniversary of 9/11.

CBSNewYork Special Report: Remembering 9/11/01: 10 Years Later

Chopper 2 HD got a look at the NYPD in action on Friday — police cruisers and orange cones marked one checkpoint on the George Washington Bridge. On the West Side Highway, at one of the many checkpoints, police were stopping drivers and searching vehicles, specifically vans and trucks. There is also a threat to bridges and tunnels.

Security was equally tight at Penn Station, where armed guards were keeping watch over travelers as Transportation Security Administration agents performed random bag checks, swiping packs for gunpowder.

The crossroads of the world came to a grinding halt at various times Friday because for police Times Square has become the ground zero of the latest terror threat. Sources told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer that another attempt to explode a bomb there is a key concern, and the intelligence suggests it could be a dirty bomb.

Based on informant information authorities are looking for three suspects. One is believed to be an American citizen. Two others apparently have U.S. travel documents.

Some of the information on the latest threat could be coming from Younis al-Mauritani, the man hand-picked by Osama bin Laden to develop terror targets in the United States. He’s a “most wanted list” senior al Qaeda operative who was arrested in Pakistan last week with his computer, BlackBerry and other tools.

“Remember, an awful lot of the security we have you don’t see,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. “I’m satisfied that Commissioner Kelly has deployed all of our resources doing everything that we should be doing.”

“Terrorism is theater and this is the stage,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said. “This is right now probably the world’s biggest stage. ”

There was a lot of security you could see Friday in the Big Apple, especially in Times Square, because, as sources told Kramer, the intelligence includes information that al Qaeda wants to finish the job that started with Faisal Shahzad’s failed car bomb attempt in May 2010.

Top security officials told Kramer this is the al Qaeda way. Their 1993 attempt to topple the World Trade Center failed, so they came back again on 9/11. Shahzad’s car bomb fizzled, so now they want to try again.

But that’s only half of the problem. Officials are worried that this time it could be a dirty bomb.

“We have to think about a dirty bomb, where you take radiological material and mix it with conventional explosives,” Kelly said.

Kramer recently talked exclusively with Kelly about the possibility of a dirty bomb, but now sources said the classroom drills might have to be put into practice. Intelligence sources said the terrorists could be trying to make a dirty bomb this time my mixing radiological isotopes with an explosive device.

That’s why the NYPD is deploying all kinds of radiation detectors, panel trucks with sophisticated instruments. On Friday, cops had personal radiation detectors on their belts, and radiation detectors are being used by police within a 50-mile radius of New York City — in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania and on Long Island.

Kelly told Kramer the NYPD has units trained to deal with terrorists who have bombs.

“We think about how to handle these people. How do we approach them if we believe they have some device, a bomb, something that’s going to explode,” Kelly said. “We have to think about tactics and strategies.”

On Friday night, tourists and residents in Times Square didn’t seem too concerned with the threat of an attack.

“I think it’s the safest place on the planet right now,” Andre Vriese of California told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey.

“Keep the country safe and keep terrorists out,” added Ken Jennings of Brooklyn.

“I mean, it’s been how long since 9/11? So we kind of get used to having the security around,” said Nigel McFarland of Brooklyn.

What do you think? Sound off below in our comments section…

More from Marcia Kramer
  • Kazoo

    The only dirty bomb that is on American soil is OBAMA. What a joke and poor excuse for a president. DUMP THE BUM IN 2012!!!!!!!!!

  • Fred

    Everyone talks a good game about a dirty bomb yet the fact remains the only people on earth with the actual ability to manufacture a dirty bomb is a state. Also it was the states that came up with the idea in the first place there has never been one deployed by terror factions anywhere on the earth at any time in history. A dirty bomb is most dangerous(solely in theory) when it is unexploded because that is when it has the largest mass of radioactive material assembled in one spot and can deliver the most radioactive dosage. And guess who would receive the biggest dosage from it? The actual people who transport it and place it unless of course it is properly shielded then it becomes ungodly heavy (once again in theory only). Now once it is deployed and exploded as soon as it is set off the danger of it goes to nil because the mass has been dissipated over a wide area so that the radiation effect drops proportionately. It is kind of like jump in a swimming pool vs stand in a very slight mist of a rain one drop every 2 feet or more which makes you wetter? Ah the myth of the dirty bomb a veritable snipe hunt for cops and security experts while playing on the uneducated fears of the general public.

  • JFK

    Read some more never told stories:

    “Destruction of the Twin Peaks: 9/11 Stories”

  • Bobby_o

    There is no threat.
    The new police state in america is flexing it’s muscles, creating fear which leads to more and more funding for the shadow army. Soon the number of police will outnumber those of the patriots.
    Check your magazine springs and clean your weapons for soon they will be coming for you.

  • David

    I think that before nitwits start throwing around terms like ” Police State ” they should learn what one really is. The U.S. isn’t even close to that even since 9/11.

    It’s ironic that these paranoid dolts rambling on with their unsubstantiated and uninformed conspiracy claims of a police state are the same ones accusing others of fear mongering.

    I’m telling you, RJ Reynolds could make a fortune actually manufacturing tin foil hats instead of just selling the raw material.

    • bobby_o

      Hey idiot.
      RJ Reynolds is a tobacco company.
      You are so stupid I must assume that you are a public sector employee, sucking at the tit of the taxpayer.

  • Benchmark

    Soooo, any chance here the motive is to continue the paranoia that allows us to perpetuate military expenditures and a militaristic mentality based on fear? My guess: the threat is more propaganda than anything. Could be wrong,but the media is certainly playing it all up 24/7.

  • Eric P Turner

    be scared run hide while the cops rake in tons of cash on overtime taking you freedoms away great plan.

  • Diego Roswell

    Forget all of the hyped up terror alerts you are reading about today. These alerts are simply to distract you from the Obama administration’s dismal failures. What you should really be worried about are the hundreds if not thousands of shoulder fire heat seeking missile launchers that went missing from Libya after the collapse of its central government that our president helped facilitate. Using air power alone to aid an “ally” of undefined members and political goals, allowing them to secure these potential weapons of mass destruction is paramount to treason. Forget the bickering and fear mongering, President Obama is a clear and present danger to the security of the United States.

    • Paul Kronfield

      Right on, Diego!

    • pficta

      you are nuts!

  • Dianne from CA

    Double AMEN!!

  • CppThis

    If I was a terrorist, I’d be looking at delivering a dirty bomb by sea. West coast, probably, since the wind would be working against me in Chicago or the eastern seaboard. Hopefully the authorities are keeping tabs on the nation’s waterways and not just assuming that terrorists always drive truck bombs and hijack airplanes.

    • Mossad 911

      Odigo says workers were warned of attack
      By Yuval Dror 26.09.2001 Haaretz
      Odigo, the instant messaging service, says that two of its workers received messages two hours before the Twin Towers attack on September 11 predicting the attack would happen, and the company has been cooperating with Israeli and American law enforcement, including the FBI, in trying to find the original sender of the message predicting the attack.
      Micha Macover, CEO of the company, said the two workers received the messages and immediately after the terror attack informed the company’s management, which immediately contacted the Israeli security services, which brought in the FBI.

      “I have no idea why the message was sent to these two workers, who don’t know the sender. It may just have been someone who was joking and turned out they accidentally got it right. And I don’t know if our information was useful in any of the arrests the FBI has made,” said Macover. Odigo is a U.S.-based company whose headquarters are in New York, with offices in Herzliya.

      As an instant messaging service, Odigo users are not limited to sending messages only to people on their “buddy” list, as is the case with ICQ, the other well-known Israeli instant messaging application.

      Odigo usually zealously protects the privacy of its registered users, said Macover, but in this case the company took the initiative to provide the law enforcement services with the originating Internet Presence address of the message, so the FBI could track down the Internet Service Provider, and the actual sender of the original message.

    • Kahne O

      If I were a terrorist, I’d join my Hamas brethern on the Mexican border or in Cuba, where I could give a fake out about NYC and DC, and go ahead and dirty bomb Houston or Miami. Too easy since the Mexican border is not secure and the destruction to the largest healthcare complex in North America and the Oil / Energy business would be a fait accomplie. Miami is easy to get to with a boat. One can walk into downtown, and let loose. Houston is a sanctuary city where child molesting criminal aliens have killed several children and these guys had been deported several times….if it is that easy to get here, then a terrorist can walk across like it’s a cake walk.

    • Ron

      True. I also worry about a radiological or chemical bomb being deployed just outside the border, such as in Tijuana. Any such device would certainly wreak havoc in San Diego County, and I doubt that Al Qaida has any sentimental reason not to kill thousands of Mexicans in the process.

  • Patricia Randise Hinchliff

    Please Folks out there . give peace a Chance .. this little blue marble that we all live on needs some TLC .. N. O.W work union live Better and remember to God Bless everry one ‘s of all of U.s out there… ESP N> Y.C> U ROCK>>>>>>…All You Need Is Love 3:53 The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour Pop 60 9/10/11 7:59 AM

    • Paul Kronfield

      Right. Why don’t you take your little message of love over to Pakistan and see how long you last?

  • Patricia Hinchliff

    All You Need Is Love 3:53 The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour Pop 60 9/10/11 7:59 AM
    all bomb ar dirty to the earth so please be happy and healthy and well fead and god bless the small little marble we live on

  • Robert Marvin Smith

    Let us HOPE that the gov’t didn’t get this intel by Bush’s torture techniques.

    That would not be in keeping with our best traditions as a nation.

    I demand that Obama order Holder to investigate.

    • Kahne O

      Give it up. I guess you think Bush bombed the WTC, Pentagon, and Pennsylvania. Waterboarding is not torture, but just responding to your post is. Move on with your life.

  • Robert Marvin Smith

    Heaven forbid that the gov’t got this intel by enhanced techniques.

    Obama and Holder will do a St. Vitus dance.

1 2
blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live