Plot to Bomb NY Hotels : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Fox News Confirms Plot to Bomb NY Hotels Thursday, October 26, 2000 NEW YORK B The FBI opened an investigation into a possible terrorist plot to bomb New York hotels and other targets within the city, a law-enforcement source confirmed to Fox News Thursday evening.

Corbis Terror threats were reportedly contained in letters received by the Marriott Marquis and the Seventh Avenue Sheraton, both in or near Times Square in Manhattan.

Two New York hotels received letters on Oct. 17 warning them that an unspecified group was planning to bomb their businesses and others in the city during the first two weeks of November. A copy of the letter was also sent to the Washington Post.

Although the New York Post initially reported that the FBI was investigating the threat officials in the city B home to large Jewish and Arab populations B said there were no plans to further enhance security, already increased in recent weeks because of the violence in the Middle East.

"We've had forwarded to us one or more letters that have been received by hotels in New York, and we're investigating," said FBI New York spokesman Jim Margolin.

The law-enforcement source told Fox News that the threats must be put into context as part of many threats made against U.S. targets during the recent escalation of Middle Eastern violence.

"At this point the message sent out to law-enforcement entities from FBI headquarters is basically a precautionary step, and shouldn't be taken as any indication of an evaluation of the seriousness of the threat or imminence," Margolin said.

Threats First Reported by the Post

The New York Post reported Thursday that according to a copy of the FBI memo obtained by the newspaper, the threats were contained in letters received Oct. 17 by the Marriott Marquis on Broadway and the Seventh Avenue Sheraton, both in or near Times Square.

The letters also made reference to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, host to a hotel and motel trade show on Nov. 11-14, the newspaper said.

It also reported that an identical threatening letter was received by the Washington Post. The Post's public-relations director, Virginia Rodriguez, confirmed the report and said: "As is our practice, we immediately contacted the FBI, which took possession of the letter."

The letters arrived five days after the Oct. 12 attack on the USS Cole in the port of Aden in Yemen which killed 17 sailors and wounded 39 others.

There is, as yet, no reason to believe that the threats are related to the bombing attack upon the USS Cole or the Saudi millionaire alleged terrorist Osama Bin Laden at this time, the law enforcement source told Fox News.

The New York Post quoted the FBI memo as saying, "the letters contained a warning that a group of Palestinians is planning to bomb several locations in New York during the first two weeks of November. The letters stated that bombs would be detonated at crowded areas, such as Times Square, and hotels near Times Square."

Mayor: No Cause For Alarm

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani told reporters at his daily press briefing Thursday that there was "no reason why people should in any way panic" over the letter.

Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik said the Middle East crisis had prompted heightened security around New York "as much as we feel we need to and that's the way it's going to remain for the time being."

B Fox News' Rita Cosby and Andrew Hard, and Reuters contributed to this report

-- Martin Thompson (, October 27, 2000

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