CNN BREAKING NEWS
Multiple Sources Warn of Imminent Terrorist Attack in Kenya
Aired June 20, 2003 - 13:10 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Word just in to us here at CNN -- possible terrorist attacks in Kenya. Our Barbara Starr working the story from the Pentagon. Barbara, what can you tell us?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kyra, multiple sources and intelligence agencies in Washington are now confirming to CNN that yesterday the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency issued what is called a defense terrorism warning report regarding Kenya, and the Horn of Africa. This report has gone to government decision makers and government authorities, warning them -- we are told -- of the threat of a possible, imminent attack against U.S. assets in Kenya.
We are told that this report also includes the specific reasons that the Defense Intelligence Agency has come to this assessment yesterday. Those reasons, of course, highly classified, and are not being disclosed. We are told by several sources in the government that the information is considered specific.
We can also confirm to you, Andrea Koppel, our State Department correspondent, tells us that the U.S. embassy in Kenya is now closed today. The reason being given is that they are reviewing their security procedures.
We do not know at this point if any other embassies in the region are closed.
Now, you'll remember several weeks ago there was a great deal of information about the possibility of a terrorist attack, possibly by the al Qaeda in Kenya and the Horn of Africa region, and that led to some stoppage of commercial airline traffic into that region. We are told this is not an extension of that warning, that this is new, fresh information, that has come to the U.S. intelligence community, that has led to this report now being issued -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: Barbara, with regard to travel, what about Americans wanting to go to that area now? Are they being told don't go, Americans in the area, are they being asked to leave?
STARR: We don't have any specific information yet today about the State Department issuing any new travel warnings. But of course, the whole area of Kenya and the Horn of Africa has been an area of concern for many weeks and months now, an area that terrorist groups are known to be active, that the U.S. government has consistently warned U.S. citizens to be on alert and to be cautious in that region. Of course, the al Qaeda, having suspected of conducting previous attacks against hotel there, the embassy attacks back in 1998, but we are told this information from the Defense Intelligence Agency, again, very fresh information. Multiple sources telling CNN that this report came out yesterday, that government authorities, decision makers, and authorities in the region being warned about the possibility of an imminent attack, being warned that concern is at the highest levels right now -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr, thank you.
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