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WASHINGTON D.C.-Security has been stepped up by authorities in Washington D.C. and New York today as they act on credible information that a terrorist attack by car bomb as the anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 draws near.
Vehicle checkpoints have been set up on streets and bag checks are in place at the subway stations around the city of New York, authorities there have also stepped up security around the bridges and tunnels of the city.
According to a senior U.S. official, they have received information from an Al Qaeda operative source in Pakistan, who has provided accurate information in the past, that there are plans for an anniversary attack. The attack is said to involve three individuals, one of which is reported to be an American citizen. Although there hasn’t been any other corroborating evidence of an attack, intelligence officials report “chatter” that the new Al Qaeda head, Ayman al-Zawahiri is involved.
Vice President Joe Biden said today that some of the information was collected from documents found during the May raid against Osama Bin Laden. He also states that it is most likely that any attack will be carried out by a “Lone Wolf” rather than an elaborate plan by a larger group. But, he also added, “It doesn’t mean they couldn’t happen, but it’s much less likely. The lone actor is the more worrisome thing because there are fewer trails to follow, there are fewer leads to move on.”
Yesterday, the Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg told reporters that there is no reason for New Yorkers to change their routines.
In Washington, officials there say that plans are in place and that they have been on a heightened alert since September 1st. They also added that any unattended vehicles around key areas will be towed. Mayor Grey of Washington says, “I want to urge all of our citizens to remain calm and let our law enforcement professionals do their job. At the same time, we ask people to remain vigilant.”
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