FBI alerts officials of possible fuel tanker attack

| 6/21/2002

The FBI is advising law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for terrorists who may be plotting to use fuel tankers in attacks against Jewish neighborhoods and synagogues, a federal law enforcement official said, as reported by AP.

This official, who asked not to be identified, said the warning was sent out to local police agencies June 21.

Another official, also speaking on grounds of anonymity, said the warning was not based on a specific threat, but on interviews with captured al-Qaida and Taliban fighters who indicated such a plot had been discussed. The interviews did not reveal a target city or time, this official said.

''Even if unconfirmed, we analyze incoming information as quickly as possible and if we think there is any chance it could be helpful, we make the decision to send it,'' one official said.

The official said the advisory was sent across the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System, an electronic system that allows the FBI to send alerts or messages to police in all 50 states simultaneously.

The Homeland Security office approved the message before it was sent, according to the official. The FBI's 56 field offices also were made aware of the advisory.