NYPD Continues Security Blitz Ahead Of 9/11; Sources Say No Sign Of US Entry For Terror Plot


nypdU.S. intelligence agencies have found no evidence that al-Qaeda has sneaked any terrorists into the country for a strike coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, senior officials said today.

But authorities kept a high alert as investigators looked for proof of a plot possibly timed to disrupt events planned Sunday in Washington or New York.

Since late Wednesday, counterterrorism officials have chased a tip that al-Qaida may have sent three men to the U.S. on a mission to detonate a car bomb in either city. At least two of those men could be U.S. citizens, according to the tip.

The tipster says the would-be attackers are of Arab descent and may speak Arabic as well as English. Counterterrorism officials were looking for certain names associated with the threat, but it was unclear whether the names were real or fake.

No intelligence supported that tip as of Saturday, and officials continued to question the validity of the initial information.

The U.S. government has long known that terrorists see the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and other uniquely American dates as opportunities to strike. Officials have also been concerned that some may see this anniversary as an opportunity to avenge bin Laden’s death.

That the threat is credible but not corroborated means that the information came from a single source, Mayor Bloomberg explained Friday during his weekly WOR radio address.

“Corroboration means you get multiple sources, which increases the likelihood that it’s real,” he said. “Credible means that it’s possible to do.”

These sorts of vague descriptions are typical intelligence talk in an environment where tips come from all places and in all shapes, a stolen diplomatic cable, a satellite image showing tribesmen gathering in an area that’s typically isolated, a snatched bit of conversation between two terrorists overheard by a trusted source, a phone number, a document, an email, an airplane ticket.

“Figuring out who would-be attackers are, or even whether they exist, could take months, where the drumbeat of national security wants answers in minutes or days,” said Phillip Mudd, a former top counterterrorist official at the CIA and the FBI. “You have to tell everyone what you heard, and then try to prove the information is legitimate.”

In the meantime, security is tight in New York City.

From Penn Station, where officers are doing random bag checks and swiping them for gun powder, to the West Side highway, where police are checking nearly every truck that goes by. Officers are also checking vehicles with radiation detectors and license plate scanners.

“We’re prepared to be first responders, but we’d much rather be first preventers,” said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

NYPD officers are working 12 hour shifts for at least the next few days and officials say don’t be surprised if you run into check points around the city. Police and military personnel aren’t taking any chances.

“We’re going to crack down on everything you know that we see” said National Guardsman Chris Cardinali.

One advisory that went out Saturday morning was a report of a Budget rental van stolen from Jersey City. The advisory told all area police departments to be on the lookout for the white 2007 van with the words “Budget Rental” on the side.

The NYPD also says they’ve received a higher than normal number of calls about suspicious cars and packages around the city and late Friday night, police closed the upper level of the Queensboro Bridge for more than an hour as they checked out some construction equipment.

Long Island police have also heightened security in response to the terror threat.

Officers from the Tactical Unit in Nassau County are patrolling malls, museums, downtown areas and at the Hicksville train station with bomb sniffing dogs.

“We’re doing radiation patrols at the New York City line. We’re currently doing one Hempstead Turnpike and the state police are doing one on Sunrise Highway,” said Nassau County police chief Frank Kirby.

New Yorkers say they find the extra security measures comforting, but most say they’re just going about their daily lives.

“I’m not overly concerned,” said Tuckahoe resident Bob Zamorski. “I think we have threats all the time that we probably don’t hear about.”

“I’m not going to let no one make me afraid of anything,” said one woman. “This is America. We cannot live in fear.”

But Gov. Andrew Cuomo says with all the extra security around the city, New Yorkers shouldn’t forget the importance of this weekend.

“We shouldn’t allow this threat to diminish the import of the 9/11 anniversary because that would be doing just what the terrorists want us to do,” he said.

{CBS Local/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. well ok, but are they checking into the many sleeper cells here in the US? They are everywhere, including the northwest, etc.
    HaShem yerachem.