The US today warned of a “specific, credible threat” ahead of the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
US officials said they were investigating a detailed al-Qaida car bomb plot aimed at bridges or tunnels in New York or Washington.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, pictured below, described the terror threat against the city as credible but not corroborated.
Law enforcement officials were pursuing three people who may be travelling to the US or who recently have entered the country, based on the detailed information received by the US intelligence community late on Wednesday, officials said.
The intelligence suggested that al-Qaida planned to car bomb one of the two cities that were hit ten years ago.
The nation’s terror alert level has not changed, but raising it was under consideration.
Mayor Bloomberg said the New York Police Department was deploying additional resources to keep residents safe ahead of the anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks on Sunday and measures could include checking bags and additional security personnel on public transport.
But he added that the city’s 9/11 observance would go ahead as planned.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said he was increasing the towing of illegally parked cars and said there would be an increased focus on bridges and tunnels.
The FBI assistant special agent in charge of the New York office, Janet Fedarcyk, said: “Al-Qaida has shown an interest in important dates and anniversaries. In this instance it is accurate that there is credible, specific but unconfirmed information.”
Information gleaned from Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan in May indicated al-Qaida had considered attacking the United States on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks and other important dates.
Law enforcement officials in Washington said they were working to corroborate a terrorism threat against the city.
Police Chief Cathy Lanier said that all police officers would be working 12-hour days indefinitely. She said unattended cars parked in odd locations risked being towed away in the next few days.
DC officials also said that they were not planning to cancel any events over the weekend.
President Barack Obama called on the US to “redouble” anti-terror efforts.
nA multi-faith event will take place this Sunday in the garden of Edinburgh’s St Peter’s Episcopal Church to mark the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
The event brings together speakers from the Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths, who will reflect on the theme of peace.
Other speakers include Ian Murray MP, Jim Eadie MSP and Councillor Cameron Rose, who have all been invited to select readings which pick up the themes of peace and hope.
Remembering 9/11 has been organised by St Peter’s Community Outreach Group on behalf of Newington Churches Together and takes place at the church, on Lutton Place, at 1.30pm.
Rev Dr Jared Hay, who chairs Newington Churches Together, said: “9/11 is an event which is etched strongly in people’s memory. Individuals of all nationalities and all faiths watched in horror as the events unfurled.”