As promised, Mayor Bloomberg took the subway this morning in the wake of last night’s announcement of a “specific, credible, but unconfirmed” threat of an attack in New York City or Washington D.C. timed to the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. There is photographic evidence now, including this picture from the Mayor’s own Twitter, with the inspiring message “The best thing we can do to fight terror is to refuse to be intimidated by it.” This is true, of course, as true as the expression on Mayor Bloomberg’s face — wary, watchful, slightly bemused? — is priceless. But wait, there’s more!
There’s also video of Bloomberg taking the subway, and lots of people following him around and recording him doing it.
As for the latest in the terror threat announced yesterday, which is still being described as credible but not corroborated, counterterrorism officials are reportedly searching for at least two men who may have been ordered by new Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri to set off a truck or car bomb in New York or Washington, DC.
Via the New York Times,
Two senior American law enforcement officials said the tip came from an informant in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region who passed word of the purported plot, intended to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, to American intelligence officers on Wednesday. The informant said two American citizens of Arab ancestry had left Afghanistan, traveled through one or other countries and reached the United States as recently as last week.
The officials said they had only a vague physical description of the two men — one described as 5 feet tall, the other 5-foot-8 — and a first name for one of them that is common in the Middle East. The tipster also described a third conspirator, but he appeared to have traveled to Europe.
“All this information is very, very sketchy,” one of the law enforcement officials said.
Other senior law enforcement officials demonstrated skepticism, saying “It’s 9/11, baby. We have to have something to get spun up about,” but also, “no one wants to take any chances.”
As for that credible vs. corroborated distinction,
That the threat is credible but not corroborated means that the information came from a single source, New York Mayor Bloomberg explained Friday during his weekly WOR radio address.
“Corroboration means you get multiple sources, which increases the likelihood that it’s real,” he said. “Credible means that it’s possible to do.”
Which means, as Mayor Bloomberg has demonstrated, we should continue to keep calm and carry on — and, you know the drill, say something if you see something.
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