The U.S. has “credible but unconfirmed” intelligence on a terror threat surrounding the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, news media are reporting.
“The context is still forming,” an unnamed counterterrorism officials told the AP on Thursday, adding that the terror threat involved New York or Washington.
The threat was so specific, and coming at a time of already heightened security just days before the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, that it could not be ignored, the official reportedly said.
Officials would not tell the AP what specifically is being targeted in New York or Washington or the timing of a potential attack.
A government official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said the terror alert had not been raised, the AP reports.
However, NBC News said police in New York City and Washington had been alerted.
NBC quoted a Department of Homeland Security statement as saying:
“As we know from the intelligence gathered from the Osama bin Laden raid, Al Qaeda has shown an interest in important dates and anniversaries, such as 9/11.
“In this instance, it’s accurate that there is specific, credible but unconfirmed threat information.
“As we always do before important dates like the anniversary of 9/11, we will undoubtedly get more reporting in the coming days. Sometimes this reporting is credible and warrants intense focus, other times it lacks credibility and is highly unlikely to be reflective of real plots under way.
Regardless, we take all threat reporting seriously, and we have taken, and will continue to take all steps necessary to mitigate any threats that arise. We continue to ask the American people to remain vigilant as we head into the weekend.”