[ISN] FBI Issues New Terror Warning

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Tue Feb 12 2002 - 00:57:08 PST

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    [Just to be on the safe side, I'm posting this to get everyone on the 
    same page.  - WK]
    By John Solomon
    Associated Press Writer
    Monday, February 11, 2002; 11:05 PM 
    WASHINGTON .. The FBI issued an extraordinary terrorist alert Monday
    night, asking law enforcement and the American public to be on the
    lookout for a Yemeni man and several associates who might be plotting
    a terrorist attack as early as Tuesday.
    The FBI scrambled to put the warning out after information emerged
    that one or more people were involved. Officials said the
    intelligence, while deemed credible, was not specific about possible
    The alert identified one possible attacker as Fawaz Yahya al-Rabeei, a
    Yemeni national born in Saudi Arabia in 1979. It listed about a dozen
    associates of al-Rabeei, most from Saudia Arabia and Yemen. One
    associate was listed as possibly coming from Tunisia.
    The bureau at mid-evening posted the alert on its public Web site,
    www.fbi.gov, to help Americans identify the possible perpetrators. The
    Associated Press obtained the initial alert from government sources.
    "Recent information indicates a planned attack may occur in the United
    States or against U.S. interests on or around Feb. 12, 2002. One or
    more operatives may be involved in the attack," the alert to 18,000
    law enforcement agencies said.
    The alert asked police "to stop and detain" any of the named
    individuals in alert and that all "should be considered extremely
    Although the alert was issued on the fourth night of the Winter
    Olympics in Salt Lake City, officials said there was no intelligence
    suggesting the games were a possible target. Instead, they urged that
    all locations in the United States and abroad with Americans to be on
    Law enforcement officials said there was no evidence that al-Rabeei
    had entered the United States. The alert did not say whether the
    attack was planned by or involved Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network.
    The FBI's alert indicated the information came from interviews of
    detainees in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where several
    al-Qaida operatives are being held along with Taliban fighters.
    Officials said the information was specific enough to be deemed
    credible but had come in so recently that it could not be corroborated
    yet. The warning was nonetheless issued out of an abundance of caution
    and because Tuesday was near, they said.
    Before Monday, FBI and Homeland Security officials had issued three
    general alerts urging all Americans to be cautious and on the lookout
    for possible terrorist activities.
    The last was issued Dec. 3 and was supposed to last through the
    holidays. It has since been extended through the Winter Olympics in
    Salt Lake City and is supposed to expire around March 11.
    In addition, the FBI has issued numerous narrower alerts to specific
    industries when uncorroborated information about threats to their
    facilities emerges. In the last month, such alerts went to nuclear
    power plant operators and to operators of Internet sites cautioning
    about possible threats.
    Often times, FBI officials later conclude the information that
    prompted such alerts is not credible or could not be corroborated.
    On some occasions, local law enforcement officials have complained
    they learned from news media about the warnings before they saw the
    alerts over the FBI communications system.
    Monday's warning was carefully organized to ensure that police, news
    media and the public learned about them at the same time, officials
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