FBI warns of possible shopping mall attacks

WASHINGTON Thu Nov 8, 2007 1:47pm EST

Holiday shoppers are seen at a shopping mall in Los Angeles, California, December 20, 2006. An FBI report warned that al Qaeda may be planning to strike shopping malls in Chicago and Los Angeles during the Christmas season, but a bureau official said there was no information that it was a credible threat. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

Holiday shoppers are seen at a shopping mall in Los Angeles, California, December 20, 2006. An FBI report warned that al Qaeda may be planning to strike shopping malls in Chicago and Los Angeles during the Christmas season, but a bureau official said there was no information that it was a credible threat.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An FBI report warned al Qaeda may be planning to strike shopping malls in Chicago and Los Angeles during the Christmas season, but a bureau official said on Thursday there was no information it was a credible threat.

ABC News first disclosed portions of the report that was based on intelligence received by the FBI in late September. The report said al Qaeda hoped to disrupt the U.S. economy and had been planning the attack for the past two years.

The document, called an intelligence information report, was intended for law enforcement and the intelligence community, FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said.

"In the post-9/11 era, sharing information is our top priority," Kolko said. "Al Qaeda messaging has clearly stated they intend to attack the U.S. or it interests; however, there is no information to state this is a credible threat."

The FBI said in the report that the veracity of the information was uncertain and had been obtained through "a lengthy chain" of sources.

Another FBI official said similar alerts have been issued in the past warning of threats around the holidays.

(Reporting by James Vicini, Editing by Lori Santos)

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