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Homeland Security Warns Airports Against New Al Qaeda Threat

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI have issued a warning to airports across the nation that al-Qaeda might be looking for small airplanes to use in terrorist plans.

Although there's no word of any specific or credible terrorist threat, security is being stepped up days before the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

The bulletin warns terrorists might be looking to rent planes and load them with explosives.

KCBS' Chris Filippi Reports:

Michael Shoyer, a former senior intelligence officer for the CIA claimed this new information verifies what U.S. intelligence found in Osama bin Laden's headquarters when it was raided and he was killed in May.

"Al-Qaeda was looking for ways to stage smaller attacks in the United States than 9/11 which was significant change in their method of operation," Shoyer said.

The message also mentions al-Qaeda's desire to use Western supporters to get flight training.

CBS News Senior National Security Analyst Juan Zarate said authorities are growing more concerned about Westerners drawn in to the al-Qaeda core in addition to being inspired by their "ideology and mythology", in not only joining the group, but also to "mobilize on their own and to attack."

A Homeland Security spokesman said the information is meant to highlight the need for continued awareness and vigilance.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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