6 January 2004. Thanks to W.
FBI Intelligence Bulletin No. 102
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).
The U.S. Intelligence Community has received a substantial increase in the volume of threat related intelligence reports. Reliable sources suggest the possibility of attacks against the United States by early 2004 that could possibly rival the terrorist attack of September 11 in scope and impact.
An FBI Counterterrorism Division communication disseminated via the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System on December 21 provides general guidelines relating to countermeasures law enforcement agencies can adopt in response to the heightened threat condition. Law enforcement agencies are encouraged to remain alert to possible indicators of terrorist planning and to report suspicious activity immediately to the nearest FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.
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].