- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 11, 2003

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 (UPI) — U.S. intelligence sources said their information indicates that al Qaida, the group blamed for carrying out the 9/11 attacks on the United States, is planning another major attack, the Washington Times reported Tuesday.

The newspaper, citing unnamed sources, said the attack could come in either the continental United States, Southeast Asia or the Persian Gulf. It also reported that the CIA is worried that the next al Qaida attack will involve chemical, biological or radioactive weapons.

Al Qaida, a suspected network of terrorist cells, is believed to have been responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, airliner hijackings in which the planes were crashed into the World Trade Center twin towers and the Pentagon. A fourth jet went down in rural Pennsylvania after passengers apparently tried to retake control of the craft. Some 3,000 people died in the attacks.

Al Qaida has also been linked to Osama bin Laden, the dissident Saudi who has been connected with a series of attacks on U.S. interests, including the bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa.

The Times said the recent increase in alert level in the United States was tied to several events, including the buildup of U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf in advance of military action against Iraq and the Hajj, the Muslim observance that began Sunday.

There have been several reports that terrorist attacks would likely target areas such as hotels or apartment buildings.

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