* Threat focuses on Washington D.C. and New York City
* Intelligence information specific but unconfirmed
(Adds manhunt details, paragraphs 3, 11)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama
Thursday ordered a redoubling of counter-terrorism efforts in
the face of a "credible but unconfirmed" threat ahead of the
10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
U.S. officials, speaking to Reuters on condition of
anonymity, said the threat involved Washington D.C. and New
York City -- the sites involved in the al Qaeda attacks a
decade ago this Sunday that killed nearly 3,000 people.
A law enforcement source said a manhunt was underway for
two or three suspects.
But the officials used strong caveats when discussing the
threat information privately, with a national security official
cautioning that experts thought the threat would ultimately not
The White House said Obama was briefed on specific threat
information on Thursday morning, and noted that the U.S.
government had already "enhanced its security posture" ahead of
"Nevertheless, the President directed the counterterrorism
community to redouble its efforts in response to this credible
but unconfirmed information," a White House official said,
speaking on condition of anonymity.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which said only
last week that there was no credible information that al Qaeda
was plotting an attack around the Sept. 11 anniversary,
declined to offer details on the threat.
It cautioned that there were always threat reports before
important dates like the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
"Sometimes this reporting is credible and warrants intense
focus, other times it lacks credibility and is highly unlikely
to be reflective of real plots under way," spokesman Matt
"Regardless, we take all threat reporting seriously, and we
have taken, and will continue to take all steps necessary to
mitigate any threats that arise."
A second law-enforcement source played down an ABC News
report about missing rental trucks -- saying the vehicles had
been recovered and there was no connection to terrorism.
(Reporting by Phil Stewart, Mark Hosenball, Jeremy Pelofsky
and Alister Bull; Editing by Anthony Boadle)
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