Jihadists' New Scam: Leave Suspicious Bags All Over

Extremists seek to exploit vigilance in NYC, DC
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2010 4:50 AM CDT
Jihadi Site's Latest Trick: 'Suspicious Bags' Campaign
This suspicious package closed down New York's Times Square last month. It was later found to not be a threat.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

It may sound more like the work of annoying pranksters than murderous fanatics but authorities have no choice but to take Islamic extremists' latest tactic extremely seriously. The FBI has uncovered postings on a jihadi website calling for a "suspicious bags" campaign, in which bags containing harmless items would be placed around Washington, DC, and New York in an effort to disrupt transport networks and exhaust emergency services, ABC reports.

Sowing fear through planting suspicious bags is a tactic other terror groups have tried in the past, although authorities say there's no evidence that this latest plot is actually being carried out. Reports of suspicious packages in New York City spiked to 140 a day from an average of 90 in the week after the Times Square bombing attempt, but they have since returned to normal.
(More FBI stories.)

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