Government officials reported that two U.S. citizens may be involved in the terror threat announced Friday for New York and Washington, D.C.
Officials believe that Al-Qaida may have sent American men carrying U.S. travel documents to launch an attack on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
An official has said Al-Qaida dispatched three men, of whom two could be U.S. citizens, to detonate a car bomb in either of the cities, AP has reported.
“As we know from the intelligence gathered from the [bin Laden] raid, al-Qaida has shown an interest in important dates and anniversaries, such as 9/11,” Matthew Chandler, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, said in a statement.
“In this instance, it’s accurate that there is [a] specific, credible but unconfirmed threat information,” Chandler said.
The “unconfirmed” terror threat was announced Friday as both cities prepare to commemorate the tragedy. A CIA informant reportedly notified intelligence officials overseas that new al-Qaida leader Ayman al Zawahri ordered men to initiate attacks on U.S. soil.
It is believed the attackers are of Arab descent and perhaps speak Arabic and English, said the informant.
Counterterrorism officials are working to determine if the threat is accurate, but have not been able to corroborate the information, AP reported.
Officials in both cities have implemented security measures in preparation for Sunday.
"We’re watching,” James McJunkin, FBI assistant director in charge of the Washington field office, said Saturday, according to AP. “We expect we’re going to get an increase in threats and investigative activity around high-profile dates and events.”
McJunkin added, “This is a routine response for us. It’s routine because it’s muscle memory.”