WASHINGTON -- The FBI issued a worldwide alert Friday for four men linked to al-Qaida, including a suspected terror cell leader and an avowed suicide attacker, after new intelligence indicated they might be plotting attacks against the United States.
The bulletin came amid an increase in intelligence chatter that suggested heightened terrorist activity as the second anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks nears. Still, the government has not uncovered a specific threat or plot that would warrant raising the national threat level from its current elevated status.
Intelligence corroborated by multiple sources, including foreign governments and law enforcement officials, led the FBI to post on its Web site the names and photographs of two Saudis, a Morrocan and a Tunisian sought for questioning.
Federal law enforcement officials said the FBI is hoping someone in the United States or abroad will recognize one or all the men. Officials have no evidence any are in the United States, but because they all have used false names and travel documents in the past, the possibility cannot be ruled out.
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, cautioned that it was unclear if the four men were working together. There was no information they were involved in a specific terrorist operation.
The four being sought are Adnan G. El Shukrijumah, 28; Abderraouf Jdey, 38; Zubayr Al-Rimi, 29; and Karim El Mejjati, 35.
Posting the names and photos of all four on the Internet also allows the FBI to spread the word globally, including into lawless areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan where many al-Qaida operatives are believed to be regrouping, officials said.
The alert follows a bulletin from the Homeland Security Department that stressed al-Qaida "continues to develop plans for multiple attacks" against U.S. interests using commercial aircraft. More than 3,000 people died on Sept. 11, 2001, when four hijacked jets were crashed into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field by 19 al-Qaida operatives.
Intelligence has revealed that al-Qaida has been studying ways to hijack airliners as they flew over or near the United States and has been examining international airports to identify those with the least stringent security and visa requirements.
Al-Qaida also may try simpler methods it has used overseas, such as a suicide truck bomb, and it may try to target infrastructure such as nuclear plants, transportation systems, water reservoirs or dams, food supplies or the nation's electric grid, the bulletin said.
On the Net