Weekend alert as FBI warns of new attackgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 20 2001 Weekend alert as FBI warns of new attack BY DOMINIC KENNEDY AND DAMIAN WHITWORTH AMERICA and the West are bracing themselves for another potential “Day of Infamy” this Saturday, when accomplices of the hijackers are suspected of having plotted new outrages. The most solid evidence so far is the discovery that five associates of the suicide gang had booked seats on two internal passenger flights, taking them from Texas to California, in two days’ time.
FBI agents are trying to capture as many key operatives as possible before any plot can be put into action.
Water, gas and electricity suppliers, bridges, tunnels and underground railways have increased security because of the perceived threat of biological, chemical or physical attacks.
In a dramatic development, three Arab airport workers in Detroit were arrested after FBI agents found them in a house with handwritten sketches of an airport, aircraft and runways. They had a notebook containing information about the “American base in Turkey”, “Alia Airport” in Jordan and the “American foreign minister”, legal documents state. The three, Ahmed Hanna, 33, Karim Koubriti, 23, and Farouk Ali-Halmoud, 21, from Morocco and Algeria, worked at Detroit Metropolitan Airport preparing food for airlines.
FBI agents stumbled across the trio while searching the address of Habil al-Marabh, a suspected associate of the World Trade Centre hijackers. The Arabs said that they did not know him. They have been charged with conspiracy and having false immigration papers.
The FBI is concentrating its energies on deterring more attacks this Saturday. “Yes, we have heard something about September 22 but nothing specific,” an investigative source told America’s Knight Ridder news service.
“We have information that leads us to believe that there could be more attacks very soon. The same murky sources that indicated something might be happening in the weeks before the attacks have indicated something may be happening this weekend.”
Bob Graham, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that the New York and Washington suicide strikes were “part of a larger plan with other terrorism acts, not necessarily the hijacking of airplanes”.
The FBI has issued a “watch list” of 223 people suspected of being associates of the hijackers. Nearly a quarter of the people on the list are able to fly aircraft.
-- Martin Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 20, 2001