NYC Warned of 'Emergency' Threat

ByABC News
June 21, 2002, 9:25 AM

— -- NYC on Alert for Emergency Vehicle Car Bombs

N E W Y O R K, June 20 Police and fire officials in New York are being warned that terrorists may be trying to acquire surplus or replica emergency vehicles to use as car bombs that could be planted near government buildings or landmarks without drawing attention.

A law enforcement source confirmed a report in The New York Daily News today that officials were alerted to the plot when two unidentified Middle Eastern men tried to buy a replica ambulance at a northern New Jersey shop that builds copies of emergency vehicles, police cars and fire trucks.

The owner of the shop became suspicious when the men tried to pay cash, and the pair fled without leaving any identification, the source told the News

"This is a real concern. Terrorists have used ambulances to sneak suicide bombers into areas," the souce told the newspaper.

Among the sites officials fear could be targeted are City Hall, FBI offices, police department headquarters and even fire department facilities.

Fire department and police investigators have already begun efforts to ensure that unauthorized people cannot gain access to facilities where emergency vehicles are stored or repaired, fire department sources told the News.

"We've been told to watch our vehicles, all our vehicles," a fire department source said. "It's the vehicles that can get into areas that we are really concerned about. Who is not going to let a patrol car pass, or an ambulance, especially if we are in a state of emergency?"

The alert comes as the city is gearing up for July Fourth festivities, which generally draw huge crowds to fireworks displays around Manhattan.

9/11 Was Zero Day in Intercepted Warning

June 20 The National Security Agency intercepted two messages the day before Sept. 11 where the participants referred to "zero day" and beginning of "the match," intelligence sources told ABCNEWS.

The public disclosure of the information has angered the White House, which says it compromises national security.