Thursday, May 5, 2011

Al Qaeda had U.S. trains in its sights, U.S. officials say

Evidence collected in the Osama bin Laden killing in Pakistan indicates that the terrorist network considered attacking America's rail system.

Evidence collected from Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan indicates that Al Qaeda considered launching a terrorist strike against America's rail system, U.S. officials said Thursday, though there was no sign of concrete plans to carry out an attack.

The plot was "aspirational," said a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information.

The apparent plot was discovered amid the documents, computers, hard drives, flash drives, DVDs and other material that U.S. commandos recovered after they killed Bin Laden in his hide-out Monday. It is the first information made public from the vast haul.

In response to the new intelligence, the Department of Homeland Security sent a bulletin to state and local police officials Thursday urging them to remain at a "heightened state of vigilance," said Matt Chandler, a spokesman for the department.

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