World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Sara K. Schwittek)
WASHINGTON - The United States has credible but unconfirmed information about a possible terrorism threat surrounding the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, US officials told Reuters on Thursday.
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The threat appeared connected to Washington and New York City, but other cities could not be ruled out.
US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, used strong caveats when discussing the threat information privately, with one saying, "The context is still forming."
One US national security official said experts thought it was likely the threat information would ultimately not check out. The official stressed the threat was definitely "unconfirmed."
The US Department of Homeland Security, which said only last week that there was no credible information that al-Qaida was plotting an attack around the Sept. 11 anniversary, confirmed the new threat assessment.
"It's accurate that there is specific, credible but unconfirmed threat information," spokesman Matt Chandler said.
Still, he added that the United States "always" gets threat reporting
before important dates like the anniversary of the September 11, 2001,
"Sometimes this reporting is credible and warrants intense focus, other
times it lacks credibility and is highly unlikely to be reflective of
real plots under way," he said.
"Regardless, we take all threat reporting seriously, and we have taken,
and will continue to take all steps necessary to mitigate any threats