Wednesday, November 26, 2008
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Federal authorities are warning of a possible Al Qaeda-orchestrated terror plot against New York City subway and other transit systems during the holidays, FOX News has confirmed.
The potential threat — described in an internal FBI memo as "plausible but unsubstantiated" — does not extend beyond the New York City area, sources told FOX News. But commuters could see security tighten across the country.
The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security issued a joint bulletin late Tuesday night to local and state law enforcement authorities about the possible plot, a Homeland Security official told FOX News.
The report states that in late September, Al Qaeda may have talked about attacking transit systems in and around New York City during the holiday season.
"These discussions reportedly involved the use of suicide bombers or explosives placed on subway/passenger rail systems," the bulletin says.
The FBI said it had no indication that any such plot was beyond the very earliest stages of planning.
"We have no specific details to confirm that this plot has developed beyond aspirational planning, but we are issuing this warning out of concern that such an attack could possibly be conducted during the forthcoming holiday season," states the warning, which is dated Tuesday.
While federal agencies regularly issue all sorts of advisory warnings, the language of this one is particularly blunt.
Intelligence and homeland security officials are working with local authorities to try to corroborate the information "and will continue to investigate every possible lead," according to the memo.
A source with close knowledge of the bulletin says the information has links to the tribal areas of Pakistan.
"Every resource is being brought to bear on corroborating this information," the source told FOX News.
FOX News' Catherine Herridge and The Associated Press