Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsAirlines

The Nation

FBI Warns of Chechen-Led Al Qaeda Plot

September 19, 2002|From a Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Against a backdrop of missed warnings about the Sept. 11 attacks, FBI officials issued a bulletin Wednesday warning of an alleged plan by Al Qaeda members to hijack an airliner in the U.S. using Muslim extremists of non-Arabic appearance.

"Purportedly, Al Qaeda members have discussed using Chechen Muslims affiliated with Al Qaeda but already present in the U.S. for such operations in order to avoid security scrutiny at airports," it said. "Once aboard the aircraft as many as 10 or 20 hijackers seated in first class would overwhelm the crew and seize control."

Also, the bulletin said, Al Qaeda members purportedly have discussed using "improvised explosive device components transported onto commercial aircraft in carry-on luggage. The components ... would appear to be nonthreatening but would become highly explosive."

The sourcing of the information suggests that it was based upon "discussions" among Al Qaeda members before last year's terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, according to the bulletin.

"The FBI possesses no new information indicating that such operational planning is currently being pursued by the Al Qaeda network or any other group. However, law enforcement and security agencies should remain alert to the possibility," the warning said.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|