Domestic terror alert shifts concerns to American soil

August 8, 2013 4:59:00 PM PDT
The terror threat that has shut down American embassies and put foreign travelers on edge is now a domestic alert. New warnings have gone out to Chicago police and law enforcement across the U.S.

That dire warning of a seemingly imminent al-Qaeda attack overseas seemed to have expired, and many foreign embassies are looking to reopen.

But on Thursday night, homeland security officials and the FBI have sent a new warning to local law enforcement officials in the U.S.

This new bulletin shifts specific concerns to American soil, with an array of potential targets from buildings and infrastructure to tourist attractions.

Here in Yemen where al-Qaeda on the Arabian peninsula is headquartered- and where the most potent threat seemed to be focused a week ago, when U.S. Diplomatic staff was evacuated on an Air Force C-17.

That and the temporary closure of other U.S. embassies, follows intercepted terrorist's communication suggesting a big attack of strategic significance, according to U.S. officials, directed by Yemen's Nasser Al-Wuhayshik, who concocted the Detroit underwear bomb and the printer cartridge bombs destined for Chicago.

The current fear is now surgically implanted bombs that could be placed inside a human abdomen.

"If you're a terrorist you want to attack something that's gonna strike at our nation's heart and so I think there's something like 13 critical infrastructures , you're gonna attack a facility has some connection to that," said Arnette Heintze, Hillard-Heintze Security.

On Thursday night, federal counter-terror officials have sent a warning to local police to be on guard for pre-operational surveillance and attack planning by terror cells here in the U.S.

  • Especially attempts to gain sensitive information about security measures of personnel, entry points, peak days, access controls, alarms or locks

  • Unusual interest in speaking with building maintenance personnel

  • Discreet use of cameras or video recorders sketching, or note-taking; especially at building barriers, restricted areas, cameras and intrusion detection systems

  • And authorities warn of al-Qaeda's interest in attacking significant infrastructure, economic, and symbolic targets.

U.S. authorities said Thursday there are no specific known plots against American targets. But the warnings this past week indicate that al-Qaeda's leadership structure is like a lizard's tail: cut it off and it will grow back.


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