EILEEN SULLIVAN and DEVLIN BARRETT
November 26, 2008
Federal authorities are warning police of a possible terror plot against the New York City subway and train systems during the holiday season, prompting local officials to beef up security at stations.
An internal memo obtained by The Associated Press says the FBI has received a “plausible but unsubstantiated” report that al-Qaida terrorists in late September may have discussed attacking the subway system.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
A person briefed on the matter, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the intelligence-gathering work, said the threat may also be directed at the passenger rail lines running through New York, such as Amtrak and the Long Island Rail Road, which are particularly busy with Thanksgiving holiday travelers.
A U.S. counterterror official, also speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to do so publicly, said senior government officials have been briefed because the FBI very recently received credible information about possible attacks over the holiday season, and authorities are particularly concerned about this long holiday weekend.
FBI spokesman Richard Kolko confirmed only that his agency and the Homeland Security Department issued a bulletin Tuesday night to state and local authorities, and the information is being reviewed.
Department of Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke said the warning was issued as a routine matter, but added that there may be an increased police presence in New York and other large cities.