Global Terror Alert

DEBKAfile Intelligence

24 December 2003

Turkey warns of al Qaeda threat to strike US and Israel embassies in Ankara on Christmas Day, also shopping mall in Istanbul. Some terrorists have crossed in from Syria. Iran tightens security on Western embassies in Tehran.

US says it has received “specific information” of possible al Qaeda terror attack in Bahrain where US Fifth Fleet based. Americans in Israel are also mentioned. Alerts updated for Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Kenya. Warning refers to possible use of non-conventional weapons.

Since US up-scaled terror alert Sunday - with accent on al Qaeda aviation threat – authorities working with airlines to improve security, impose extra protection at airports for holiday period. Some foreign pilots have been arrested. Pentagon drilled move to secret locations at a moment’s notice in “continuity of government” exercise Tuesday in Washington.

Missile batteries weredeployed around Washington and New York City and irregular air patrols were ordered. Governors were given lists of measures and sites to be protected. Bush urged Americans to go about holidays normally amid beefed up security

DEBKAfile Exclusive: US High Terror Alert prompted by intelligence of large numbers of al Qaeda heading out of Hadhramauth strongholds to Najran and Jezin airports with masses of anti-air missiles and explosives – some for destinations in Saudi Arabia, others overseas aboard unmarked civilian planes.