– AL QAEDA SOUGHT OF POISON FOOD IN THE U.S
A source with knowledge of the situation said authorities obtained information “a while ago” indicating a possible plot by associates of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to target food at hotels and restaurants inside the United States, perhaps slipping harmful agents into salad bars or buffets. “We don’t have a specific target or time frame, just the intent,” the source said.
“We get reports about the different kinds of attacks terrorists would like to carry out that frequently are beyond their assessed capability,” DHS spokesman Sean Smith said, noting that Al Qaeda “has publicly stated its intention to try to carry out unconventional attacks for well over a decade” and recent AQAP “propaganda” has followed suit. CBS News was the first to report the threat information, saying that the plot may involve the use of ricin or cyanide.
Officials from DHS, the Department of Agriculture, and the Food and Drug Administration have briefed a small group of corporate security officers within the hotel and restaurant industries about the food-borne threat, according to the CBS News report.
The White House’s chief counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, recently described AQAP as “now the most operationally active node of the Al Qaeda network…The group’s leadership clearly seeks to apply lessons learned from past attacks, including those of other groups,” Brennan said, on Friday 12/17/2010, during a forum on Yemen at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.
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