Eiffel Tower terror 311 AP.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
The United States State Department could issue a travel alert on Sunday, warning Americans to stay vigilant as they travel through Europe due to new al-Qaida threat information, US officials said.
RELATED:US officials: Bin Laden involved in European terror plotFrance: Railway station evacuated after bomb scare
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley declined to comment on the
matter. But he said the administration remains focused on al-Qaida
threats to US interests and will take appropriate steps to protect
A European official briefed on the talks said the language in the US alert is expected to be vague and will not address a specific country or specific landmarks.
European and US officials have not identified any specific targets that terrorists might be considering, the official said. The US has told European leaders that the State Department alert would be intended to raise the guidance to match the information about the would-be attack that surfaced last week, the European official said.
Some US allies in Europe have expressed concern about the proposed guidance, saying it is an overreaction to the threat information, a position shared by some in the administration, the officials said. The US initially considered warning US citizens to stay away from public places in Europe, but decided to tone down the guidance, one of the officials said.
Intelligence officials believe Osama bin Laden is behind the terror plots to attack several European cities.
Eight Germans and two British brothers are at the heart of an al-Qaida-linked terror plot against European cities, but the plan is still in its early stages, with the suspects calling acquaintances in Europe to plan logistics, a Pakistani intelligence official said Thursday. One of the Britons died in a recent CIA missile strike, he said. The Pakistani official said the suspects are hiding in North Waziristan, a Pakistani tribal region where militancy is rife and where the US has focused many of its drone-fired missile strikes.
The Italian Interior and Foreign Ministry, German Foreign Office, French
Foreign Ministry, Interior Ministry, the national police and the Paris
police all declined immediate comment. Calls to the Paris tourism office
and the French government's tourist office in the United States went
unanswered Saturday and there was no immediate response to e-mail
requests for comment.