Law enforcement worries of Bin Laden anniversary retaliation

Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 1:47pm

Law enforcement issued an intelligence bulletin late Wednesday saying there is "no credible information" that terror groups will try to mount attacks to coincide with the upcoming one-year anniversary of the U.S. raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, according to U.S. officials.

But the advisory says extremists have not lost their desire to hit the U.S. A government official who was briefed on the matter tells CNN the bulletin sent to various law enforcement agencies warns of "renewed efforts to target Western aviation."

The bulletin issued by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Northern Command says individuals have posted messages on "violent extremist Web forums" vowing attacks on the U.S. around the anniversary but adds that "such threats are almost certainly aspirational."

"However, we assess that al-Qa'ida's affiliates and allies remain intent on conducting attacks in the Homeland, possibly to avenge the death of bin Ladin, but not necessarily tied to next month's anniversary," according to the document.

Law enforcement has issued advisories like these in the past, including shortly after the death of bin Laden on May 1, 2011 in Pakistan. Another one was done after Anwar al-Awlaki was killed by a drone strike in Yemen in late September. Officials said al-Awlaki was a key figure in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and helped direct the plot by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to use a bomb hidden in his underwear to take down an airliner over the U.S. on Christmas Day in 2009.

A law enforcement official said such bulletins are distributed "all the time for situational awareness for our law enforcement partners." Federal officials use the advisories to encourage law enforcement partners to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity which could indicate a plot is in the works.


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