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Pakistan Braces For Sept. 11 Attacks

Pakistan said Wednesday it had credible information that Islamic militants angered by President Pervez Musharraf's support for the U.S.-led war on terror might launch attacks in Karachi on Sept. 11.

CBS News Reporter Aamir Latif says the director-general of Pakistan's rangers, Major General Salahuddin Satti, said he has received credible information that Taliban and al Qaeda forces are planning to attack foreign missions and U.S. interests in Pakistan on Sept. 11, 2002.

Salahuddin told reporters his forces have beefed up security in the sprawling city ahead of the anniversary of the attacks on New York and Washington.

"There is credible information that they (Islamic militants) want to convey a message on Sept. 11," Salahuddin said.

"We have taken adequate security measures to prevent such attacks ... security arrangements on Sept. 11 is one of our top priority areas," he added. "Comprehensive security plans have been chalked out...and we are prepared to check any sabotage attempt."

He declined to disclose possible targets in a city where 26 people, including 11 French naval engineers, have been killed in two attacks by suspected militants in recent months.

"There are some hard targets and some soft targets ... I will not disclose any specific targets."

Latif reports U.S. interests in Pakistan include its consulate, its embassy, and the U.S. aid program. Most U.S. citizens have left Pakistan but a few still remain.

Pakistan has seen a rise in Islamic militancy, including a series of attacks on foreign targets after Musharraf threw his weight behind the U.S.-led war in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks last year.

The French engineers and three Pakistanis were killed in a suicide bombing in Karachi in May while 12 people were killed in a car bomb attack outside the U.S. consulate in the city on June 14.

American journalist Daniel Pearl was kidnapped from the city in January while researching a story on Islamic militants and was later murdered.

The Rangers arrested four members of militant group Harkat-ul-Mujahideen al-Almi in July in connection with the attack on the U.S. Consulate and an attempt to kill Musharraf. Three were later formally charged with the consulate bombing.

Salahuddin said India's intelligence outfit — the Research and Analysis Wing — could also use the cover of the Sept. 11 anniversary to carry out violent attacks in the country.

Nuclear-armed neighbors Pakistan and India have been locked in a military standoff over the disputed Kashmir region since a December attack on the Indian parliament that New Delhi blamed on Pakistan-based Islamic militants.

Meanwhile, Pakistani police said Wednesday they had arrested 12 activists from the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen militant group near the northwestern city of Peshawar and seized a large number of hand grenades and explosives. Harkat-ul-Mujahideen al-Almi is an offshoot of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen.

Islamic militant groups have been incensed by Pakistan's decision to turn its back on the radical Taliban rulers and support for the U.S.-led war on terror.

The Taliban was toppled last year with the help of U.S.-led air strikes on Afghanistan.