Wall Street banks ‘warned of terror threat’
NEW YORK – US officials have warned the leaders of Wall Street banks that the firms and their executives may be the targets of al-Qaeda plots, the NBC network reported Tuesday.
NBC’s New York affiliate said that intelligence officials are worried that al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen may try to mail package bombs or biological or chemical agents to Wall Street bankers.
The threats are not specific and there is “no indication of a targeted assassination plot” against any Wall Street executive, NBC reported. But, officials are concerned that the names of some top banking executives have been discussed by terror operatives overseas.
Marquee banks including Goldman Sachs, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, Barclays and others, have been briefed by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, security officials told NBCNewYork.com.
Police are urging Wall Street bankers to increase security in and around their mail rooms and package delivery, especially after last October’s failed plot by Yemen terrorists to explode package bombs on airliners bound for US cities.
Since the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York, terror suspects have been caught scouting targets like the Citicorp Center and the New York Stock Exchange.
Much of analysts’ concern stems from writings in al-Qaeda’s “Inspire” magazine.
Republican Congressman Peter King, who has new security after his name appeared in “Inspire,” told NBC when al-Qaeda terrorists publish threats — those threats should be taken seriously.
“Whenever a name is included … it’s always a cause for more concern because again the fear is that that’s sending a specific signal to specific operatives in this country to take action,” King, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, said.
Security officials said any banking executive whose name may have been discussed by al Qaeda-linked operatives overseas has been notified.