U.S. issues terror attack warning


September 7, 2001 Posted: 4:16 PM EDT (2016 GMT)
TOKYO, Japan (CNN) -- The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo on Friday warned Americans living in Japan and South Korea of possible terrorist attacks.

"We have received unconfirmed information that terrorist actions may be taken against U.S. military facilities or against establishments frequented by U.S. military personnel," according to an embassy statement.

Patrick Linehan, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, said orders to issue the warnings came from the U.S. State Department and include all U.S. military facilities and establishments frequented by U.S. military personnel all over Japan, including Okinawa -- home to about 26,000 U.S. troops.

Jerry McLaughlin, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, confirmed the same warning had been issued in South Korea. About 37,000 U.S. forces are stationed in South Korea.

Pentagon: U.S. military not on higher alert
But U.S. military forces in the Pacific are not on higher alert, the Pentagon says.

A senior Pentagon official said he was not aware of why the State Department issued the public warning but said it might be related to continuing intelligence indicating that operatives of Saudi militant Osama bin Laden are looking for a "public venue" to attack Americans.

Nevertheless, U.S. military facilities in the region remain on routine alert status for possible terrorist activity, the official said.

Friday's warnings are part of a policy established by the State Department after the Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.

While the embassy had been notified before that incident occurred, other Americans had not been warned of a possible terrorist action.