Here is the text of the FBI bulletin sent to law enforcement agencies warning about the possibility of a terrorist attack:
On Nov. 12, 2002, the al-Jazeera satellite television network broadcast an audio taped message purported to be from Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
In the message, the speaker praises the recent attacks against Western interests worldwide: firearms attacks against U.S. Marines in Kuwait, the fatal shooting of an American diplomat in Jordan, the bombing of a nightclub district in Bali, the attempted sinking of the French oil tanker Limburg, and the taking of hostages by Chechen guerrillas at a Moscow theater. The speaker also threatens further attacks against the United States and its allies should the United States attack Iraq.
The U.S. government is currently analyzing the tape to determine its authenticity.
Based on the release of the audiotape, intelligence reporting, a resurgence of Al Qaeda operational activity, and what is known about Al Qaeda's modus operandi, the NIPC (National Infrastructure Protection Center) is notifying Information Bulletin recipients of possible attacks in the United States.
In selecting its next targets, sources suggest Al Qaeda may favor spectacular attacks that meet several criteria: high symbolic value, mass casualties, severe damage to the U.S. economy, and maximum psychological trauma. The highest priority targets remain within the aviation, petroleum, and nuclear sectors as well as significant national landmarks.
However, target vulnerability and likelihood of success may be as important to a weakened Al Qaeda as the target's prominence. Sources also suggest that small-scale terrorist operations against softer targets would be easier for sleeper cells already in the U.S. to carry out and would minimize the need to communicate with central leadership, lowering the risks of detection.
Thus, Al Qaeda's next attack may rely on conventional explosives and low-technology platforms such as truck bombs, commercial or private aircraft, small watercraft, or explosives easily concealed and planted by terrorist operatives.
Due in part to the lack of specificity of method, location, and timing, the Homeland Security Advisory System threat level will remain at Yellow (Elevated) at this time.
The NIPC encourages individuals to report information concerning suspicious activity to their local FBI office, http://www.fbi.gov/contact/fo/fo.htm, the NIPC, or to other appropriate authorities. Individuals can reach the NIPC Watch and Warning Unit at 202 323-3205, toll free at 1-888-585-9078, or by email to nipc.watchfbi.gov.