Private Cargo Carriers on “High Alert”

15 November 2003:The Northeast Intelligence Network has received copies of internal memos from two major airline cargo carriers citing an “extreme risk” of terrorist operations involving both carriers. Both memos carry warnings to the carriers to be aware of the high probability of attempted “truck and aircraft hijackings.” Both carrier companies were advised to heighten security at “less visible and less prominent” terminals, noting that security at the major shipment hubs has been “effectively enhanced” and “is much more difficult to penetrate.” The carriers have also been advised to scrutinize the credentials of all personnel to insure that they have not been stolen or forged. Although this threat has been in existence for some time, much more recent information has been received that plans to use “Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices” (VBIEDs) are in the planning stage.

RELATED: The Northeast Intelligence Network has viewed copies of a threat advisory issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security (initial date 16 March 2003, revised on 12 November 2003), advising a “high probability” of the use of VBIEDs in the form of car, truck or cargo plane bombs against “soft targets.” The memo details that this was the method of attack used in the most recent attacks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where the explosive-laden vehicle used was either a hijacked police vehicle or a vehicle painted to appear as one. The DHS memo states, in part, that “it is possible terrorists may attempt to employ VBIED operations against targets in the US. “VBIEDs have been used successfully here in the past…” citing the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the 1995 Oklahoma City blast. The advisory also states that “terrorists have learned that hitting multiple soft targets simultaneously with multiple VBIEDs is a tactic that works.”