Jim Kouri
Osama and al-Qaeda's planned attacks revealing, say security experts
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By Jim Kouri
May 7, 2011

The details of computers and documents retrieved by Navy SEALs from Osama bin Laden's Pakistani compound have already provided valuable information such as bin Laden's contemplating another 9/11, this time targeting railway transportation in the United States.

The Department of Homeland Security issued an intelligence message on May 5 to its federal, state, local and tribal partners about plots against the U.S. rail sector. For the same reason, the Transportation Security Administration will issue a bulletin to transportation and law enforcement officials.

Homeland Security Press Secretary Matt Chandler in a press statement confirmed that the DHS had issued an intelligent warning to law enforcement officials around the nation, informing other agencies that as of February 2010, al Qaeda was considering tampering with unspecified U.S. rail tracks so that a train would fall off the track of a valley or a bridge.

DHS states thet have no information of any imminent terrorist threat to the U.S. rail sector, but wanted to make law enforcement and other interested parties aware of the alleged plotting; it is unclear if any further planning has been conducted since February of last year.

Chandler said, "DHS issued an intelligence message May 5 to its federal, state, local and tribal partners about potential al Qaeda contemplation in February 2010 of plots against the U.S. rail sector. For the same reason, the Transportation Security Administration will issue a bulletin to rail sector stakeholders."

According to sources familiar with the memos recovered from bin Laden's hideout, the top terrorist leader was thinking big, with references to potential attacks against major American cities such as New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles.

Although al Qaeda is not known to favor anniversaries, the sources confided that the memos were suggested the next strikes were planned on important specific dates like July Fourth, September 11th and New Year's.

U.S. security posture, which always includes a number of measures both seen and unseen, will continue to respond appropriately to protect the American people from an evolving threat picture both in the coming days and beyond, according to Chandler.

All the memos suggest that bin Laden was in the loop of ongoing planning and running of al Qaeda while the information threw a lot of light on the financial transactions and the intelligence officials expect to dig deep into the funding mechanisms and the connections within the Pakistani military and intelligence circles.

Based on the information coming out of the memos, the DHS is tightening its security belts as the DHS press secretary Chandler noted, "Since Sunday, DHS and its partners have taken a number of actions, including but not limited to: reviewing protective measures for all potential terrorist targets, including critical infrastructure and transportation systems across the country; deploying additional officers to non-secured areas at our nation's airports; and identifying any new targeting rules that should be instituted to strengthen the ways we assess the risk of both passengers and cargo coming to the United States."

© Jim Kouri

 

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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)

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