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A 'specific, credible' terror threat aimed at 9/11 memorials

September 8, 2011 |  5:57 pm

Memorial_flag_600

The Department of Homeland Security is investigating what it says is a "specific, credible but unconfirmed threat" aimed at disrupting Sunday's Sept. 11 memorials.

The suspicion stems in part from intelligence gathering during the raid that led to the death of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The terrorist organization has shown an interest in important dates and anniversaries as symbol-rich times to stage an offensive.

"In this instance, it’s accurate that there is specific, credible but unconfirmed threat information,"  Matt Chandler, press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, said in a statement.

PHOTOS: The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks

ABC News was reporting Thursday that U.S. authorities are looking for at least three people who entered the country in August by air with the intent to launch a vehicle-borne attack, possibly in New York or Washington, D.C. ABC News said that one of those people may be a U.S. citizen.

Authorities are said to be considering raising the national threat level. ABC News also reported that, according to sources, President Obama had been briefed on the threat and then updated throughout the day.

Here's the rest of the statement from the Department of Homeland Security:

As we always do before important dates like the anniversary of 9/11, we will undoubtedly get more reporting in the coming days. Sometimes this reporting is credible and warrants intense focus, other times it lacks credibility and is highly unlikely to be reflective of real plots underway. Regardless, we take all threat reporting seriously, and we have taken, and will continue to take all steps necessary to mitigate any threats that arise. We continue to ask the American people to remain vigilant as we head into the weekend.

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-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Photo: A construction worker sets up a U.S. flag at the World Trade Center site in Manhattan on Thursday in advance of Sunday's dedication of the National September 11 Memorial. Credit: Oded Balilty / Associated Press

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