US Intel: No threat tied to bin Laden anniversary
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. counterterrorism officials see no specific threat tied to next week's one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden. But they're concerned about violence from al-Qaida's affiliate in Yemen because of increased intelligence chatter in the past six months, The Associated Press has learned.
The Yemen group, known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, has been a persistent concern since 2009, when one of its adherents nearly brought down a jetliner over Detroit on Christmas. In the past six months, counterterrorism officials have seen what they consider an increase in intelligence about potential threats from the group, according to an intelligence official speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information.
Officials are worried that the terror group "intends to advance plots along multiple fronts, including renewed efforts to target Western aviation," according to a joint intelligence bulletin circulated Wednesday from U.S. Northern Command, the FBI and Homeland Security Department. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the bulletin.
The terror group has twice tried to attack U.S.-bound flights and is considered the most active al-Qaida affiliate, recruiting Westerners.
Other al-Qaida affiliates, including the group al-Shabab in Somalia, have pledged to avenge bin Laden's death. But intelligence officials have not seen signs of current plots against the U.S. Still, officials urged law enforcement to be on the watch.
"We remain concerned that terrorists not yet identified by the intelligence community and law enforcement could seek to advance or execute attacks with little or no warning on or about the anniversary of bin Laden's death," the intelligence bulletin said.
Bin Laden was killed last year in a May 2 raid by the U.S. military. The terror leader was living in a compound in one of Pakistan's suburbs, having evaded capture for nearly 10 years.