New intelligence from Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan has revealed that Al Qaeda had considered targeting the US rail network this September 11th, which will be the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks
According to US government officials, some evidence indicated that the Al Qaeda leader were planning for a possible attack on a train inside the United States on 11 September 11.
Spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, Matthew Chandler, said: “We have no information of any imminent terrorist threat to the US rail sector, but wanted to make our partners aware of the alleged plotting.”
The department and other US agencies have been reviewing the new information from Bin Laden’s hide-out in Pakistan.
According to The New York Times, an initial review of the information by U.S. intelligence analysts indicates that Bin Laden had continued to play a direct role in plotting terror attacks, and was not just an inspirational figure to al Qaeda, despite being in hiding in Abbottabad.
“He wasn’t just a figurehead,” the Times quoted a US official as saying. “He continued to plot and plan, to come up with ideas about targets, and to communicate those ideas to other senior Qaeda leaders.”
Since the raid, the Department of Homeland Security has taken a number of steps in reviewing measures at all potential terrorist targets, including transportation systems across the country. It has heightened security at airports and at the borders.
Chandler told Reuters the alleged al Qaeda plot was based on “initial reporting, which is often misleading or inaccurate and subject to change.”
He added, “We remain at a heightened state of vigilance,” but said there were no plans to raise the national threat level.
Officials have long been concerned that al Qaeda might try to carry out attacks on the US rail system.
Last year, an Afghan immigrant pleaded guilty in New York to plotting a suicide bombing campaign on Manhattan’s subway system in what U.S. authorities described as one of the most serious threats since the September 11 attacks.