Al Qaeda group contemplated poisoning food in U.S., officials say

None
None
WASHINGTON. December 22. KAZINFORM The al Qaeda group that built two toner-cartridge bombs in an unsuccessful attempt to blow up planes in October also has contemplated spreading poison on salad bars and buffets at U.S. hotels and restaurants, U.S. officials told CNN Tuesday; Kazinform refers to CNN.

But U.S. officials sought to downplay the threat -- first reported by CBS News -- saying it was months old, and that it was more in the nature of a discussion of "tactics" than an actual plot. Officials implied the tactic is beyond the capabilities of the terrorist organization, which is based in the Middle East.

The United States has received information the group -- al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula -- was considering the tactic of placing ricin and cyanide poisons into food supplies, Department of Homeland Security officials confirmed to CNN.

In response to that information, U.S. officials met through regular channels with representatives of the hotel and restaurant businesses to discuss the possibility that terrorists could target the food supply, and to reiterate "best practices" to ensure the food supply is safe.

Officials, however, likened the threat to numerous others discussed in jihadist publications such as the online magazine Inspire, where al Qaeda members and sympathizers discuss various ways to attack Western countries; Kazinform cites CNN.

See www.edition.cnn.com for full version.

Currently reading
x