WASHINGTON – The FBI is warning law enforcement in a new security advisory to be alert for signs of a biological or chemical attack against the homeland by
al-Qaida terrorists over the next few weeks.
Unexplained or unusual odors, such as the smell of “bitter almonds,” are among “potential indicators of threats involving” weapons of mass destruction,
according to the advisory issued earlier this week by the FBI counterterrorism division.
WorldNetDaily obtained a copy of the report labeled “law enforcement sensitive.”
An earlier homeland security report, dated Nov. 21, said the terrorists have designed a “crude chemical
dispersal device” fabricated from commonly available materials, which is designed to asphyxiate its
victims, as WorldNetDaily first reported. The device can
produce both cyanogen chloride gas and hydrogen cyanide gas, which gives off a bitter almond smell.
“These gases are most effective when released in confined spaces such as subways, buildings or other
crowded indoor facilities,” the closely held report said, adding that al-Qaida has shown a continued interest in targeting subways.
“Al-Qaida remains intent on using chemical or biological agents in attacks on the homeland,” it said.
The new advisory, coming alongside an increase in the terror-threat alert to high, reiterates the concern over such weapons.
“The acquisition, production or theft of chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear materials and subsequent dissemination is a top al-Qaida objective,”
the FBI warned this week.
To guard against such attacks, the agency is advising law enforcement and security personnel to be on the
lookout for suspicious packages or containers, as well as “unusual powders or liquids,” near air-intake systems or enclosed spaces. Discovery of unusual spray devices or bottles is also a priority.
In addition, it lists several odors which are telltale signs of a WMD attack.
“Smells may range from fruity/flowery to sharp/pungent, garlic/horseradish-like, bitter almonds, peach kernels and new-mown grass/hay,” according to the FBI advisory.
U.S. intelligence has determined that al-Qaida plans to attack America again within the next few weeks, possibly around the New Year’s holiday.
“Reliable sources suggest the possibility of attacks against the United States by early 2004,” the FBI said. “Extremists abroad are anticipating near-term attacks that they believe will rival the terrorist attack of Sept. 11 in scope and impact.”
The feds are also worried about al-Qaida using aircraft again in suicide attacks.
“Intelligence reports show that al-Qaida continues to develop plans to use aircraft as a weapon in suicide
attacks, and continues to study countries to determine those that have the least stringent aviation security
measures,” the FBI report said.
“Operatives still at large view attacks on U.S. territory as a priority,” it added.