Monday, February 28, 2005

Officials: Bin Laden Urges Zarqawi to Hit U.S.

(CNN) -- A classified bulletin has been sent by the Department of Homeland Security to state homeland security advisers and others regarding "credible but non-specific threat information" that "reiterates the desire by al Qaeda to target the homeland," officials said.

The officials stressed that there is nothing in the information to indicate when, where or how an attack might be carried out.

One official described it as "vague." Others said it was a "reaffirmation" of al Qaeda's goal of hitting the United States.

According to two officials, the information was picked up recently from an intercepted communication that was believed to have been between al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who is spearheading the insurgency in Iraq.

It is unclear who initiated the communication, or whether it was received.

In addition, one official cautioned that lines of communication can be "polluted." In other words, although a communications channel may once have been used exclusively by two people, others may begin to use it as well.

The department's threat bulletin was issued on Friday.

The Jordanian-born al-Zarqawi heads an insurgent group believed responsible for numerous car bombings and beheadings throughout Iraq. Last year, he declared his allegiance to al Qaeda and renamed his group from Unification and Jihad to al Qaeda in Iraq.

Hat Tip: Nuckin///' Futz