The US switched to a heightened state of preparedness as its security apparatus sought suspects believed to be plotting terrorist strikes here in the capital and New York City on the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
Security personnel were out in large numbers, armed and mobile in the two cities, screening bags, people, cars and trucks for suspicious objects. The checking was more stringent at vulnerable and crowded places, with the help of sniffer dogs.The security agencies are looking for two individuals — both Americans of Arab descent — on the basis of information provided by a source in Pakistan. The tip-off is considered "specific, credible, but unconfirmed", an official said.
They might have arrived in the US last week, and are reported to be planning to target tunnels and bridges using car bombs. One of the men is called Suliman, according to reports. The third member of the team might have gone off to Europe.
Officials said though the information had not been corroborated yet by other sources, it was being taken seriously as al Qaeda has shown interest in significant dates such as anniversaries. In fact, there was a reference to a plan in a diary seized from Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad last May. Intelligent man’s guide to fighting terror | Resilient city
The anniversary plot could also be an attempt by Ayman al Zawahiri to announce his leadership of the terrorist outfit. Also, he had in a recorded message vowed to avenge the killing of Osama bin Laden. Rise of the drone | Captive to suicide bomber
The threat is being taken seriously. President Barack Obama is being briefed regularly by his national security adviser Tom Donilon, said White House press secretary Jay Carney.
Obama called for national unity ahead of Sunday’s anniversary and reflected on a decade that tested America’s character. “The terrorists who attacked us that September morning are no match for the character of our people, the resilience of our nation or the endurance of our values,” the President said in his weekly radio and internet address Saturday. Two fighters, one battlefield