'Al Qaida planned to cut Brooklyn Bridge cables'

WikiLeaks Guatanamo Bay files reveal plot to attack "US symbols;" terrorist gives up plan after NYPD increases security around bridge.

April 27, 2011 10:41
1 minute read.
Brooklyn bridge (illustrative)

brooklyn bridge 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Al Qaida planned to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge by cutting its suspension cables, according to a 2006 file from the Guatanamo Bay prison released to The New York Times by WikiLeaks on Wednesday.

The plot was reportedly revealed in 2003, when Iyman Faris, a naturalized American citizen from Kashmir, was arrested.

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Other high-ranking al Qaida operatives also mentioned bridges as potential targets, the Times reported. For example, Abu Zubaydah, thought by the CIA to be a senior lieutenant to Osama bin Laden, told Guatanamo Bay interrogators that the terror organization planned to attack "US symbols" such as the Statue of Liberty, the UN building and "major hanging bridges."

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told the Times that he "climbed down and looked at the room where the cables came together, after the Faris plot," adding that "it was doable [to] cut or physically weaken the center cables of the bridge."

However, Kelly said, after Faris saw the increased security on the bridge after 9/11, which includes police cars on the ramps and a boat in the East River, Faris sent a message to al Qaida whch read: "The weather is too hot."

Two of the Brooklyn Bridge's support cables broke in 1981. One broke the pedestrian walkway, and another swung into and killed a pedestrian. However, the bridge remained stable.

The New York Times, The Guardian and El Pais began publishing details of over 750 leaked documents from Guatanamo, provided by WikiLeaks, earlier this week.

Click here for full Jpost coverage of the latest Wikileaks

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