Terror Threats to U.S. Cities Reported

ByABC News
December 19, 2003, 11:23 AM

Dec. 19 -- Authorities are evaluating a surge of information related to possible terrorist threats to a number of cities in the United States, including New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., ABCNEWS has learned.

Threat information is coming from intelligence intercepts, interrogation of recent detainees and other methods, sources say.

Sources say the threat to New York City possibly involves a female suicide bomber, but no specific target has been identified and intelligence sources are still evaluating the credibility of this threat. The New York City Police Department released a statement saying it has "no credible intelligence pointing to a specific or imminent terrorist threat" in the city.

In the threats received for other cities, including Los Angeles and Washington, no mode of attack has been identified and no location or specific cells were named.

Senior officials from the Department of Homeland Security, intelligence and law enforcement have a planned meeting Monday to evaluate the recent surge in information related to possible terror threats.

"We have remained concerned about the volume of reporting of threats and that is why the Department of Homeland Security has sent out several bulletins over the past few weeks to homeland security officials and law enforcement personnel, urging all to continue be on heightened state of alert especially, as we enter the busy holiday season," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said today at a news conference.

Preparations Already Under Way

Officials around the nation were already actively engaged in serious discussions with the Department of Homeland Security about whether events, chatter and the time of year warrant elevating the threat level inside the United States to orange, or high, for the upcoming holiday season that starts tonight at sunset.

Considerations underpinning the discussions include the capture of Saddam Hussein, information gleaned from online chat rooms, classified information arising from one of the former Soviet republics and increased concerns of authorities in Italy, the United Kingdom and Poland, sources say.