Jihadi Calls For 'Suspicious Bags' To Be Left Throughout DC and NYC

FBI warns of potential new terror tactic as summer tourist season begins.

ByABC News
May 26, 2010, 11:53 AM

June 7, 2010 — -- A recent internal FBI report warns federal, state and local authorities to be alert for a potential new tool in the jihadi terror arsenal – the placing of suspicious, but harmless, bags in public places to inspire fear, disrupt public transportation and tie up police and bomb squads.

The so called "battle of suspicious bags" was encouraged by an unknown poster to a known jihadi website. On May 12th, the poster suggested an "invasions suspicious bags (sic)" in "the heart of Washington and New York," as the FBI's Washington Field Office Intelligence Division noted in its May 27th "Situational Information Report." The bags would contain not bombs, but innocuous items, a tactic that has been used by other political extremists in the U.S. in the recent past.

"The stated goal of the campaign," said the report, "was to exploit desensitization of first responders caused by response fatigue to suspicious, but harmless items."

The FBI report did not include the full text of the jihadi forum post, but said "the poster suggested packing bags with innocuous items and placing them in public areas has the capability to occupy response assets and disrupt public infrastructure and transportation." The poster's credibility was not known, according to the FBI, but the site where the information was posted was listed as a "known jihadi web site."

The information had also been shared among numerous law enforcement agencies in advance of the bulletin's circulation. The jihadi posting came within two weeks after an attempted car bombing in Times Square. The man charged in the case, Faisal Shahzad, has alleged link to Islamic fundamentalists overseas.

So far, no evidence of any "suspicious bag" campaign has been found in either Washington or New York.

In New York, there was a spike in calls to police about suspicious packages in the immediate aftermath of the May 1 Times Square bombing attempt, law enforcement officials said. During the week right after the failed attack there were 140 calls a day to the New York City Police Department of suspicious packages, compared with 90 per day in the week prior to the attack.

The information had also been shared among numerous law enforcement agencies in advance of the bulletin's circulation. The jihadi posting came within two weeks after an attempted car bombing in Times Square. The man charged in the case, Faisal Shahzad, has alleged link to Islamic fundamentalists overseas.

So far, no evidence of any \"suspicious bag\" campaign has been found in either Washington or New York.

In New York, there was a spike in calls to police about suspicious packages in the immediate aftermath of the May 1 Times Square bombing attempt, law enforcement officials said. 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