Tuesday, 6 January 2004

Beware of travellers bearing almanacs

FBI Intelligence Bulletin No. 102 (from Cryptome.org)

FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT USE ONLY
TO: Law Enforcement Agencies
FROM: FBI Counterterrorism Division
December 24, 2003

Threat Level: Orange (High).

THE FBI INTELLIGENCE BULLETIN, DISSEMINATED ON A WEEKLY BASIS, PROVIDES LAW ENFORCEMENT WITH CURRENT, RELEVANT TERRORISM INFORMATION DEVELOPED FROM COUNTERTERRORISM INVESTIGATIONS AND ANALYSIS. THE INTELLIGENCE BULLETIN DOES NOT CONTAIN THREAT WARNING INFORMATION.

ITEM I: HSAS THREAT LEVEL RAISED TO ORANGE (HIGH)

On December 21, 2003, the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) threat level was raised from Yellow (Elevated) to Orange (High), the second highest level on the HSAS, which characterizes the terrorist threat based on a five-tier scale of threat conditions and corresponding colors: Low (Green), Guarded (Blue), Elevated (Yellow), High (Orange), and Severe (Red)....

ITEM II: POTENTIAL TERRORIST USE OF ALMANACS

Investigation has revealed that terrorist operatives may rely on almanacs to assist with target selection and pre-operational planning. Almanacs, available both in print and online, provide comprehensive information on a variety of topics, including government, geography, vital statistics, the economy, health matters, science and technology, weather trends, and tourism. Information commonly found in almanacs that may be exploited for terrorist use includes profiles of U.S. cities and states and information on geographic and structural features such as waterways, bridges, dams, reservoirs, tunnels, buildings, and landmarks. This information is often accompanied by photographs and maps.

The use of almanacs or maps may be the product of legitimate recreational or commercial activities; however, when combined with suspicious behavior or other information such as evidence of surveillance activities, these indicators may point to possible terrorist planning. The practice of researching potential targets is consistent with known methods of Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations that seek to maximize the likelihood of operational success through careful planning.

During the course of authorized searches, traffic stops, and other contacts, law enforcement officers should be alert to the potential terrorist use of almanacs for pre-operational activities. Indicators of the use of almanacs for this purpose may include suspicious notations concerning high-profile locations such as tall buildings or landmarks and references to specific dates. Agencies should report any suspected use of almanacs in this manner to their nearest FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Departments are requested to contact the nearest FBI field office or resident agency in their area should additional information be developed related to the above matter. Questions regarding the content of these Bulletins should also be directed to the nearest FBI field office or resident agency. Specific comments or suggestions about the format or content can be provided to [removed].

If this makes you want to carry an almanac (epsecially while travelling), or to place one conspicuously in your vehicle, keep in mind that second-hand almanacs can often be obatined free, or for only a dollar or two, from thrift stores or used book stores.

Remember, report all almanac sightings to the FBI! If you see an almanac, call the FBI at +1-202-324-3000, or write to them at the J. Edgar Hoover Building, Washington, D.C. 20535, USA. I'm sure that their operators are standing by, eager to take your calls.

Link | Posted by Edward on Tuesday, 6 January 2004, 12:05 (12:05 PM) | TrackBack (0)
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