- - Sunday, September 4, 2011

FBI

Feds warn of threats to small airplanes

The FBI and Homeland Security have issued a nationwide warning about al Qaeda threats to small airplanes, just days before the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Authorities say there is no specific or credible terrorist threat for the 10-year anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. But they have stepped up security nationwide as a precaution.

According to a five-page law enforcement bulletin issued Friday, al Qaeda was considering ways to attack airplanes as recently as early this year.

The alert, issued ahead of the summer’s last busy travel weekend, said terrorists have considered renting private planes and loading them with explosives.

Al Qaeda and its affiliates have maintained an interest in obtaining aviation training, particularly on small aircraft, and in recruiting Western individuals for training in Europe or the United States, although we do not have current, credible information or intelligence of an imminent attack being planned,” according to the bulletin obtained by the Associated Press.

The bulletin also says al Qaeda would like to use sympathetic Westerners to get flight training, then get them to become flight instructors.

Matt Chandler, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, described the bulletin as routine.

“We shared this information with our partners to highlight the need for continued awareness and vigilance,” he said.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Perry tells supporters no to border fence

MANCHESTER — He may have been 2,000 miles from the border, but Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry’s immigration record in Texas quickly became the focus in New Hampshire on Saturday.

Speaking to hundreds of Granite State voters at a private reception, the Texas governor was asked whether he supported a fence along the Mexican border.

“No, I don’t support a fence on the border,” he said. “The fact is, it’s 1,200 miles from Brownsville to El Paso. Two things: How long you think it would take to build that? And then if you build a 30-foot wall from El Paso to Brownsville, the 35-foot ladder business gets real good.”

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