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U.S. tightens security overseas

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Suicide bomber identified

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States is tightening security in the Middle East and Western Europe because of the possibility of terrorist attacks in the final days of the Muslim holy month Ramadan.

U.S. officials said Wednesday they are particularly concerned about December 23, which this year marks the Islamic "night of power," when the first verses of the Koran were revealed to the prophet Mohammed.

The last time the event was commemorated, on January 3, 2000, an unsuccessful attempt was made to bomb the Navy destroyer USS The Sullivans in the harbor of Aden, Yemen. The attempt failed when the attack boat, loaded with explosives, sank in the harbor.

Meanwhile, U.S. and Yemeni authorities said Wednesday they have confirmed the identity of one of the two men suspected of being the suicide bombers in the October 12 attack on the USS Cole in Aden.

U.S. officials told CNN the man's real name was Saeed Awad Al-Khamri. They said he used a false name to register the boat used in the bombing, and to lease a house overlooking the harbor.

The second suspected bomber has not been identified by name. Both men died in the blast, along with 17 members of the USS Cole's crew. Thirty-nine other Cole crew members were injured.

U.S. officials said Wednesday they have received a high volume of information about threats of attacks on U.S. targets by fundamentalist Islamic terrorists. The information points in particular to Turkey and Jordan, they said.

Pentagon officials confirmed this week that security had been increased at U.S. military facilities in Naples and Gaeda, Italy, and that the aircraft carrier USS Truman had been ordered to cancel a port call in Naples and go to Greece instead.

CNN National Security Correspondent David Ensor, Military Affairs Producer Chris Plante and Terrorism Analyst Peter Bergen contributed to this story.



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RELATED SITES:
U.S. State Department, Response to Terrorism
Counter-Terrorism - Terrorism and Security Information

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