Alerts go to law enforcement ahead of 9/11 anniversary

Story highlights

  • Alerts come from federal agencies
  • Officials say no indication of specific plots
Federal authorities have issued a series of general alerts to law enforcement for vigilance with the approach of the Sept. 11 anniversary and a possible U.S. military strike in Syria, law enforcement officials said.
U.S. law enforcement officials say there's no indication of specific plots in the Unites States related to the 9/11 anniversary, which is the first since the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.
The alerts from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security Department have been issued in recent weeks and address possible risks, including cyberattacks by the Syrian Electronic Army, a group that has been blamed for attacks that have disabled access to newspaper and other websites.
With U.S. lawmakers debating President Barack Obama's plans to launch military strikes on government forces in Syria, to retaliate for what the U.S. says were chemical attacks on civilians, the FBI has ordered agents around the country to re-examine open cases involving Syria and nearby countries.
Agents are being asked to talk to informants and suspects and to develop new information on possible threats from Syria, and its Iranian and Hezbollah allies.
Hezbollah, classified in the United States as a terrorist group, is known to operate fund-raising links in the United States, though U.S. officials say the group is believed to highly prize its U.S. fund-raising and wouldn't likely risk it by carrying out an attack inside its borders.
In recent weeks, the State Department issued a travel warning and temporarily closed embassies and consulates in several countries following what officials said were threats from al Qaeda-linked terrorists in Yemen.
The embassy threat hasn't subsided entirely, officials say. On Friday, the U.S. also announced steps to protect diplomatic staff in Lebanon and southern Turkey related to unspecified threats.
In Washington, authorities also are watching possible counter-protests tied to a planned Million American March, organized by several U.S. Muslim and civil rights groups on the National Mall on 9/11.
Such alerts are sent to law enforcement agencies every year at this time.