Homeland Security: No Specific Threat Against NYC At This Time

WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — Some of the first information gleaned from Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan indicates al Qaeda considered attacking U.S. trains on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. However, counter terrorism officials say they believe the plot was only aspirational and have no recent intelligence about any active plan for such an attack.

A Homeland Security intelligence warning sent to law enforcement officials around the country says that as of February 2010, the terror organization was considering tampering with an unspecified U.S. rail track so that a train would fall off the track at a valley or a bridge. The warning was obtained by The Associated Press and marked for official use only.

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“We’re vulnerable.  We don’t get checked. We have the freedoms we have and obviously that would leave us exposed to an attack,” Bridget McAlphin of Freeport told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.

This information appears to be the first widely circulated intelligence pulled from the May 1 raid. After killing bin Laden, Navy SEALs took computers, DVDs and documents from his house.

Intelligence analysts have been reviewing and translating the material, looking for information about pending plots and other terror connections.

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“We want to stress that this alleged al Qaeda plotting is based on initial reporting, which is often misleading or inaccurate and subject to change,” Homeland spokesman Matt Chandler said.

The government has no plans to issue an official terror alert, he said.

“While it is clear there was some level of planning, we have no recent information to indicate an active ongoing plot to target transportation and no information on possible locations or specific targets,” the May 5 warning said.

“We’ve gotten more intelligence from this operation than we’ve gotten in the previous 10 years,” Rep. Peter King said.

However, King said that it would be impossible to have the security mechanism used in airports on mass transit.

“It would bring the entire city, the entire country to a halt,” King said.

On Monday the FBI and Department of Homeland Security warned law enforcement around the country that bin Laden’s death could inspire retaliatory attacks in the U.S. They said the transportation sector — including U.S. rails — remain attractive targets.

In 2009, officials arrested Najibullah Zazi, who admitted to receiving al Qaeda weapons and explosives training in Pakistan. Zazi was born in Afghanistan and later moved to Queens with his family.

Zazi planned to use explosives to attack major New York City transit hubs — including Grand Central Station and Times Square Station — while riding 1, 2, 3 and 6 lines during rush hour. Zarein Ahmedzay also has admitted to a role in the plot.

The men said they were angered by U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.

Zazi pleaded guilty to conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country and providing material support for a terrorist organization in 2010.  He will be sentenced later this year.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (16)
  1. Major Variola (ret) says:

    Ankle bracelets for all the untrustworthy livestock! And that means all of them!

    Of course, politicians and their families don’t take trains.

  2. jkl; says:

    I am so tired of hearing about OBLaden. Enough already!! We dont need to hear oh he had kidney disease, his biography, his children A&E channel the news. He is gone let it go. He was a horrible human being.

  3. nyc says:

    How about the Muslim community protecting us from there extremist brothers ? After all, there are what 2 billion muslims in the world ? They certainly have the numbers and their Iman’s to find out who the fanatics are and stop them !!

  4. Daniel Escurel Occeno says:

    The article disproves my theory that 9/11 was an assassination attempt on George W. Bush and the reason why another airplane had redirected to the Pentagon because Bush the Son was not in the White House. Supposedly the aircraft went in search of the president, but the fighter jets had scrambled and the diversion tactics of Ground Zero was no longer working as a terrorist threat only on the financial district so a suicide crash on the Pentagon became the only option. If I remember correctly waking up to the news, it was reported that National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice, had changed the itinerary of Bush the President that very morning and she did not tell anyone where the President was going. Florida might have been a safe haven with little brother running the state. All the airports had to be shut down because the president had flown the coup and could not be located. It was necessary since airplanes were being used as the weapon to kill the president who can be hidden on Air Force One. The assassination scenario was already being portrayed in Hollywood movies. Good thing I saw it before 9/11. It made more sense as it happened. But the use of three airplanes to attack Air Force One was new to me, but four or four corners were coverage like a box full-court trap press to look for Air Force One once the alert is what I thought really was planned, only a theory.

    1. Nick says:

      Been drinking a little too much Kool-Aide, haven’t you?

      1. Daniel Escurel Occeno says:

        Naw, just a redbull fueled moment of clarity.

      2. Daniel Escurel Occeno says:

        You can break into my account. You are cool – clarity. You must be at the Vatican or the Pentagon. But ask John Ashcroft what I am talking about; he was the Attorney General on TV. It was REALLY an assassination attempt. You are out of the loop. Not terrorist games of psychological fear.

        Donny for president

        CBS is not really the EYE to protect our Internet.

        Theta Kappa Nu

  5. Gregory says:

    People who want to kill Americans and who themselves are willing to die trying, pose the age old moral question: “Should I shoot first and ask questions later”? Unfortunately, that assumes that you know your would be attacker. With terrorism the only option is to be lucky enough to avoid or evade. Whinning, wetting your pants, wrining your hands and making nice won’t exempt you from mayhem. The only deterent to terrorist and their supporters is massive death and destruction of their belief systems / places.

  6. Rodin says:

    See? This is EXACTLY why we don’t need the military. All they do is go and get people mad at us.

  7. Nick says:

    Who is going to be attacking? Will that be FBI agents dressed up as terrorists as every other supposed plot that was supposed to be launched.

    If you are going to compose a sham such as this you have to have the script in place, and you have to stick to it. How many times have they changed the story on this already?

    If George Orwell was around today he be saying, I told you they were going to do all this nonsense.

    1. nathan says:

      What in God’s name are you babbling about?

      1. Nick says:

        Just another nobody trying to pretend to be a somebody, a Nick. That’s expected. Kind of funny reading it’s rambling imbecilities.

  8. theZig says:

    huh? that made zero sense, try again.

  9. kendra says:

    i hate to ask but what kind of trains cause i see here lirr does that include mta trains also?i just really want to play it save post traumatic stress disorder….and its not good for people like me to go through this type of stuff cause then it could trigger other emotional problems that should be avoided …ya see what i am saying the us of a thinks this is a joke when they should look into this type of thing a little deeper you already see how many people we lost in the 9/11 attacks this is not a joke this is real talk from real people…

    1. G says:

      Kendra: Start taking your car for awhile if you can. They are bound to attack us soon if they are able. I feel for you on your PTSS having been there. Don’t think many of us think anything is a joke right now. Be well.

    2. Garth says:

      Your post makes absolutely no sense, but if you suffer from post traumatic stress disorder it is no wonder.. 9/11 was not a joke then or now, and will never be forgotten. Remember your rambling the next time you get patted down at an airport, or your luggage is opened either by Amtrak or an airline……….

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