Skip to main content /US /US

FBI retracts warning about fire trucks

By Kelli Arena
CNN Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The FBI retracted Wednesday a warning it had issued Tuesday to firefighters across the country that terrorists could hijack their trucks and use them as bombs.

Attack on America
 CNN NewsPass Video 
Agencies reportedly got hijack tips in 1998
Intelligence intercept led to Buffalo suspects
Report cites warnings before 9/11
Timeline: Who Knew What and When?
Interactive: Terror Investigation
Terror Warnings System
Most wanted terrorists
What looks suspicious?
In-Depth: America Remembers
In-Depth: Terror on Tape
In-Depth: How prepared is your city?
On the Scene: Barbara Starr: Al Qaeda hunt expands?
On the Scene: Peter Bergen: Getting al Qaeda to talk

"I was advised that that was a mistake, that that message was sent out," said Special Agent John Sennett of the FBI's office in Albany, N.Y.

"It's not considered to be a credible or specific threat."

Tuesday's FBI warning had said fire and emergency service vehicles could be stolen by terrorist groups and turned into rolling bombs aimed at military bases or other government installations.

The warning was sent by the FBI to the National Volunteer Fire Council and the International Association of Fire Chiefs, which passed it on to local fire departments.

The FBI had asked fire services to review the security of their stations and vehicles and, if a vehicle was stolen, to notify the FBI immediately.

The FBI did not say there was any specific and credible threat that caused it to issue the warning. But one official said, "In an abundance of caution, the FBI has taken a number of steps in reaction to every bit of information and threats received during the course of this investigation regardless of the reliability of the source."

That is, whether the information turned out to be true or not, the FBI was passing along all information it was gleaning from interviews and tips.

Some firefighters told CNN their vehicles -- even those carrying patients -- were stopped and searched upon entering medical facilities.

See related sites about US
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.


Back to the top