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[cdn-nucl-l] Nuclear plants targeted
January 31, 2002
Nuclear plants targeted
By Bill Gertz
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
U.S. intelligence agencies have issued an
internal alert that
Islamic terrorists are planning another
spectacular attack to
rival those carried out on September 11.
The detailed warning was
issued within the past two weeks
in a classified report that said one
target was a U.S. nuclear power
plant or one of the Energy
Department's nuclear facilities.
The alert was based on
sensitive intelligence gathered
overseas that revealed discussions
among terrorism suspects.
The latest warning was similar
to other terrorist threats that
prompted public alerts in October
Officials familiar with the report said it
potential methods and targets of attack, among
•A bombing or airline attack on a nuclear
power plant or
other U.S. nuclear facility, such as a weapons
designed to cause mass casualties and spread
•A bombing against a U.S. warship in Bahrain,
headquarters of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, where
ships are based. The attack would be similar to
2000 suicide bombing attack on the USS Cole.
•Another airliner attack on a building using
commercial jet as a suicide bomber.
•A vehicle bombing in Yemen. Authorities in
acting on intelligence gathered by the United
Afghanistan, recently averted a car bombing of the
Embassy in San'a by finding the explosives-laden
A public alert had been issued Jan. 14 that
said al Qaeda
terrorists were planning an attack in Yemen.
President Bush said in his State of the Union
Tuesday night that U.S. intelligence agencies had
plans of U.S. nuclear power plants at terrorist
Afghanistan, an indication attacks on the
"We have found diagrams of American nuclear
plants and public water facilities, detailed
making chemical weapons, surveillance maps of
cities, and thorough descriptions of landmarks in
throughout the world," Mr. Bush said.
"What we have found in Afghanistan confirms
that — far
from ending there — our war against terror is only
A defense official said yesterday that
from Afghanistan had led to the thwarting of three
attacks, including the arrests of terrorists in
Yemen. A third operation is still "being rolled
up," the official
"We have been getting a lot of indications
[of an attack]
but no specific threat information," the official
Yemen's foreign minister, Abubaker al-Qirbi,
Washington Post on Wednesday that authorities in
have tracked down two key al Qaeda suspects in
Mr. al-Qirbi said Yemen was working to
capture a group
of suspects wanted by the United States for
about their links to Osama bin Laden, blamed for
September 11 attacks.
A U.S. intelligence official said the
is constantly receiving new threat data.
"It's a heightened threat environment, and we
information on a regular basis," this official
No public announcement has been made of an
terrorist attack based on recent assessments. But
information related to a potential new attack
first came to the
attention of intelligence agencies last week,
The last time the Bush administration issued
warning of a potential terrorist attack was Dec.
Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge announced
Americans should be alert to the danger of an
attack. It was
the second such warning.
"We remain on alert," Ridge spokesman Gordon
Johndroe said yesterday, adding that the FBI also
a warning to law enforcement around the country to
on high alert through March 11.
"Subsequent warnings for heightened vigilance
utilities, nuclear power plants, water treatment
issued a couple of weeks ago," Mr. Johndroe said
interview. "The threat remains, and therefore we
Attorney General John Ashcroft said Friday,
in releasing a
photograph of a suspected suicide terrorist, that
"I want to
advise the public to exercise vigilance and common
the face of the terrorism threat."
On Jan. 17, Mr. Ashcroft released photographs
of five al
Qaeda terrorists whose statement made on
in Afghanistan "suggest future terrorist acts,
Energy Department spokeswoman Lisa Cutler
security has been stepped up at nuclear-weapons
throughout the United States since September 11.
In San Francisco yesterday, security guards
bomb residue on the shoes of a passenger seeking
through a security checkpoint. The man disappeared
he could be questioned.
On Dec. 22, Richard C. Reid, a British
national linked to
the al Qaeda terrorist network, was arrested after
he tried to
light the fuse of an explosives-laden shoe on a
flight, authorities said.