DOD Watchful as 9/11 Anniversary Approaches

WASHINGTON, Sept. 2, 2011 — Defense Depart­ment offi­cials are “keen­ly aware” that ter­ror­ist attacks are pos­si­ble as the 10th anniver­sary of 9/11 approach­es, a depart­ment spokesman told Pen­ta­gon reporters today.

Marine Corps Col. Dave Lapan also told reporters that DOD’s threat assess­ment is in line with that of the Depart­ment of Home­land Security. 

He quot­ed a state­ment by DHS Sec­re­tary Janet Napoli­tano, released today: “There is no spe­cif­ic or cred­i­ble intel­li­gence that al-Qai­da or its affil­i­ates are plot­ting attacks in the Unit­ed States to coin­cide with the 10-year anniver­sary of 9/11.”

From the DOD per­spec­tive, Lapan said, “We will obvi­ous­ly be … watch­ing close­ly [and main­tain­ing] increased vig­i­lance. We may take addi­tion­al secu­ri­ty steps based on information.” 

There is always a risk of “aspi­ra­tional” ter­ror­ist attacks against the Unit­ed States from al-Qai­da and oth­er groups, he noted. 

“After the raid on the bin Laden com­pound, we turned up infor­ma­tion that sug­gest­ed that attacks around the anniver­sary of 9/11 is some­thing they were pur­su­ing,” Lapan said. 

That infor­ma­tion was very gen­er­al, how­ev­er, and no spe­cif­ic attack plans have come to light, the colonel added. 

Lapan not­ed that offi­cials at U.S. mil­i­tary instal­la­tions may increase force pro­tec­tion mea­sures based on infor­ma­tion they review regularly. 

Napolitano’s state­ment con­tin­ued: “Home­land secu­ri­ty is a shared respon­si­bil­i­ty, and every­one plays an impor­tant role in help­ing to keep our com­mu­ni­ties safe and secure. We remind our fed­er­al, state, local part­ners and the pub­lic to remain vig­i­lant and to report any sus­pi­cious activ­i­ty to local law enforce­ment authorities.” 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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