Second wave of attacks planned : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

'Second wave of attacks planned'

by Hugh Muir in London and James Langton in New York Fears that Osama bin Laden terrorists had planned a second wave of attacks this Saturday have sparked alarm in Britain and the United States.

Terrorism: intelligence experts fear a second wave of attacks More on this Story Calls grow for Giuliani to stay on as mayor Aid workers tell of 'nervous' Afghanistan Vote now The FBI and government authorities have grown increasingly certain - from intelligence intercepts, witness interviews and evidence gathered in hijackers' cars and homes - that a second wave of violence was planned by collaborators.

The date 22 September has emerged as important in the evidence, although officials have refused to say what was planned. The FBI believes that the targets might have included buildings, bridges and even chemical attacks on the water supplies to some cities.

Reports in the US suggest that one new attempt to hijack an airliner on Saturday may already have been foiled. The five people booked to fly on United Airlines service from San Antonio to Denver on Saturday were on a confidential FBI list of associates of the 19 hijackers.

Alader Alhazmi, 34, a medical student from San Antonio, has been detained and is being questioned in New York. Last week it emerged that two men Ayub Ali Khan, 51, and Mohammed Jaweed Azmath, 47, were taken off a train in Texas after being found without legal identification and carryingbox cutters like those used in the hijackings.

It is now thought last week's attacks were arranged as part of a larger plan with other acts of terrorism. Senator Bob Graham, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said: "There has been credible evidence gathered since that Tuesday's attacks were not designed to be a one-day event. There were other acts of terrorism in the US and elsewhere that were part of the plan. These acts were going to occur in the United States and elsewhere in the world."

Attorney General John Ashcroft added to the concern. "We are looking at the possibility that there may have been more than four planes targeted for hijacking," he said.

It is understood that investigators are focusing on American Airlines Flight 43, which was due to leave Boston's Logan Airport for Los Angeles shortly before the other hijackings began, but was cancelled at the last minute because of mechanical problems. The FBI was reported to have drawn up a list of several men with Arabic-sounding names who failed to rebook their cancelled seats once flights resumed on Thursday.

Like the four crashed aircraft, Flight 43 was laden with fuel for the six-hour flight to California. Investigators have recovered evidence from the cars and homes of the dead hijackers indicating if the 19 hijackers failed in their mission they had an alternative target which would have been hit with more conventional weapons.

The authorities have filed the first criminal charges after finding three men with false immigration papers and airport diagrams. The men, from Morocco and Algeria, were arrested in Detroit on charges of identity fraud and misuse of visas. The men are Karim Koubriti, 23; Ahmed Hannan, 33; and Farouk Ali-Haimoud, 21. Authorities said they believe some of the men may have worked at one time for a company that provides food service to airlines at the Detroit airport.

The FBI now has 4,000 agents and 3,000 support staff working on the case, making it the biggest inquiry in its history. Yesterday the bureau issued a warning to fire departments across America to increase security on emergency vehicles, saying they could be stolen by terrorist groups and used as rolling bombs.

Intelligence agencies in Britain and America had been expecting a terrorist attack with biological weapons, writes Robert Fox.

They believe it could still happen. US agents believe terrorists have been trying to acquire anthrax. Another danger is thought to be the smallpox virus.

According to satellite reports the area around terrorist camps near Jalalabad has been littered with dead animals, suggesting chemical experiments.

-- Martin Thompson (, September 19, 2001


That's what scares me the most, the possibility of chemical attacks. Seeding of a major city's water supply could kill far more the the 5,000 in New York. Casualties could run into the millions.

-- Loner (, September 19, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ