Revealing chatter

Washington Times:

"The nation was put on high alert after officials intercepted phone calls and e-mail between al Qaeda and associates along with newly evaluated intelligence from sources suggesting multiple attacks are imminent, federal law-enforcement officials said yesterday.

"Los Angeles and San Francisco are mentioned as potential targets, along with Washington and New York, authorities said. General targets include bridges, tunnels, nuclear power plants and dams.

"The communication intercepts originated in several foreign countries and suggest that al Qaeda is seeking to repeat the attacks of September 11, using passenger or cargo jets hijacked from foreign airports to strike unidentified U.S. targets, the authorities said.


"In addition to the calls and e-mail, new intelligence data was obtained from al Qaeda detainees. A captured Saudi cleric suspected of having ties to al Qaeda disclosed to Saudi authorities that the terrorist network was planning new attacks using aircraft against U.S. targets, officials said.


"Another alert trigger was a statement issued last week from Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's chief deputy, saying al Qaeda is 'still chasing the Americans and their allies everywhere, even in their homeland.' "


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