Claim: Officials announced a credible threat was received that New York’s subway may be the target of a terrorist attack
Examples: [Collected on the Internet, 2005]
I do not send out mass emails as games or jokes so PLEASE take this seriously.
As some of you know my father works for Homeland Security, at a very high position and receives security briefings on a daily basis. I received a call from him Monday
I am sorry that I cannot give any more details. He also said that he would inform me as soon as the threat at hand has passed and when we can go back to normal life.
Alarming call from Washington
I have just received a most disturbing call from one of my oldest friends from growing up in Washington, who is the chief of intelligence for the US Coast Guard and the CG’s liason to the Office of Homeland Security – a person I’ve known for
He had no idea what, if any, information the government may make public about the situation – it could be a great deal or it could be none. And of course we will all feel like fools if we completely disrupt our normal
Nothing would please me more than to think of you all laughing at me next week for crying “wolf,” realizing that it means nothing untoward happened. But if you have an alternate means of moving about the city above ground for those four days, I hope very much that you will consider using it.
Origins: Late in the afternoon of Thursday,
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly announced the FBI had shared a “specific threat” with New York officials against its subway system. According to Mayor Bloomberg, there were indications that a terrorist attack on the subway system was in the works. Chief Kelly said the city “may be the target of a terrorist attack in the coming days,” and asked the public to report suspicious people or
A NYPD source told FOX News the threat involved 19 suitcase bombs to be placed in the subway system. ABC News reported a slightly different version of that intelligence, stating the NYPD and FBI were investigating a “credible” tip that
Department of Homeland Security Spokesman Russ Knocke told FOX News that authorities learned of the threat after several individuals were arrested overseas and made claims the city’s subway system was the target of a bomb plot. ABC News reported the information came from one of three Iraqi insurgents apprehended days earlier during a raid by a joint FBI-CIA team in Iraq — one of them let slip the news of the upcoming attack during the arrest.
Knocke also said the intelligence was of “doubtful credibility” and the threats were still being investigated.
While the threat is being taken seriously, the NYPD is urging the public not to be alarmed because while the source is credible, the information has not been verified.
Interestingly, the two e-mails quoted in the Examples section above reached our inbox on the mornings of 5 and
While the threat about terrorists bombing New York City subways was subsequently shown to have no basis, this episode did reveal something potentially troubling about Homeland Security’s handling of sensitive terrorist-related intelligence. Although information from the department was provided to select members of the public days in advance of official warnings, the department itself initially failed to express concern about these leaks. Homeland Security officials confirmed they were told about the early
The New York Daily News had a different take on the
The early warning infuriated several police officials, who noted that Homeland Security officials had challenged the credibility of the threat after the city and FBI warned the public. “We’re briefing the mayor, ratcheting up security, talking about when to go public – and Homeland Security is downplaying the whole thing while their people are telling friends to stay out of the subways,” a police source said. “It’s pretty bad.”
The city’s rich and well-connected were tipped off to last week’s subway terror threat days before average New Yorkers, the Daily News has learned.
The early warning infuriated several police officials, who noted that Homeland Security officials had challenged the credibility of the threat after the city and FBI warned the public.
“We’re briefing the mayor, ratcheting up security, talking about when to go public – and Homeland Security is downplaying the whole thing while their people are telling friends to stay out of the subways,” a police source said. “It’s pretty bad.”
The New York Post reported the two
DHS spokesman Russ Knocke stated the department would be conducting an internal probe into the leaks and the New York Post quoted him as saying: “Any potential leak of sensitive or secret information is taken very seriously by this department.” Both writers of the warning
Barbara “unsecured” Mikkelson
Update: No attacks or attempted attacks were reported on the New York subway system over the
Last updated: 23 October 2005