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Advisory 02-007

Possible Threats to U.S. Interests
September 10, 2002

Today, the U.S. Government raised the Threat Condition level from Elevated (yellow) to High (orange).

As previously described in NIPC Information Bulletin 02-007 ("First Anniversary of the September 11th Attacks And Other Dates of Interest"), there remains no specific and credible information indicating that a particular event or location in the United States will be targeted for terrorist activity.

However, the raised Threat Condition level is deemed appropriate due to credible intelligence and recent statements by terrorists in custody indicating a high threat of near term strikes against U.S. interests.

Al Qa'ida preparations for terrorism have continued in past months and at least some of the plots appear ready for implementation. Based on past experience, the most attractive targets to Al Qa'ida leaders would be strikes against:

  • The transportation or energy sectors, which they have regarded as key to U.S. economic health.
  • Facilities or gatherings that would be recognized worldwide as symbols of American power or security. (For example, U.S. military facilities and U.S. Embassies, monuments and U.S. Icons).

In addition, it appears that lower-level Al Qa'ida operatives and sympathizers see the September 11th period as a suitable time to conduct even small strikes as a demonstration of their worldwide presence and resolve. Therefore, widely dispersed and unsophisticated strikes remain a possibility.

The specificity of some of this information has contributed to a decision to close four Embassies in Southeast Asia, and to elevate security at all overseas diplomatic and military facilities. Additional closures may be forthcoming.

Critical infrastructure owners and operators are urged to implement appropriate protective measures that correspond to the Orange Condition under the Homeland Security Advisory System.

NIPC encourages individuals to report information concerning suspicious activity to their local FBI office, http://www.fbi.gov/contact/fo/fo.htm the NIPC, or to other appropriate authorities. Individuals may report incidents online at http://www.nipc.gov/incident/cirr.htm, and can reach the NIPC Watch and Warning Unit at (202) 323-3205, 1-888-585-9078, or nipc.watch@fbi.gov.