Some of the first information gleaned from material found at Osama bin Ladens compound indicates al-Qaeda considered attacking U.S. trains on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, but counterterrorism officials say they believe the plot was only aspirational and have no recent intelligence about any active plan for such an attack.
As of February 2010, the terror organization was considering tampering with an unspecified U.S. rail track so that a train would fall off the track at a valley or a bridge, according to an intelligence warning sent to law enforcement officials around the country Thursday. The warning, marked for "official use only," was obtained by The Associated Press.
This information appears to be the first widely circulated intelligence pulled from the raid this week on bin Ladens secret compound in Pakistan. After killing the terror leader and four associates, Navy SEALs confiscated a treasure-trove of computers, DVDs and documents from his hiding place of six years.
Intelligence analysts have been reviewing the material, looking for information about pending plots and other terror connections.
"We want to stress that this alleged al-Qaeda plotting is based on initial reporting, which is often misleading or inaccurate and subject to change," Homeland spokesman Matt Chandler said.
The FBI and Homeland Security has warned that bin Ladens death could inspire retaliatory attacks in the U.S. and the transportation sector, including rail, remains an attractive target.