National Infrastructure Protection Center  

Security Information Update-Beginning Of Ramadan
Information Bulletin 02-009
November 6, 2002

NIPC Information Bulletins communicate issues that pertain to the
critical national infrastructure and are for informational purposes

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins on 11/06/02 and continues
through 12/05/02. A period of reflection and spiritual discipline,
Ramadan is observed by Muslims around the world, including those in the
United States.

Al-Qaeda and sympathetic jihadists may view Ramadan as having religious
incentives and symbolic and operational advantages for conducting
terrorist attacks. Nonspecific intelligence reporting also indicates
al-Qaeda may strike this Ramadan. Information indicates that al-Qaeda
appears increasingly willing to grant lower-level operatives greater
autonomy and to rely on local jihadists--groups that may be more likely
to time attacks to symbolic dates and events. In recent weeks, several
terrorist attacks--including the bombing of a French oil tanker off the
coast of Yemen, firearms attacks against U.S. Marines in Kuwait,
multiple bombings in the Philippines, and the bombing of a nightclub
district in Bali, Indonesia--have been attributed to al-Qaeda or
sympathetic groups.

Al-Qaeda has attempted to execute attacks during the Ramadan time period
in the past, including the thwarted millennial plots in December 1999
and the aborted attack against the USS Sullivans in January 2000.
Disrupted plots to attack U.S. Naval ships and the U.S. Embassy in
Singapore in late 2001 also may have been timed for Ramadan.

Recipients should remain alert to possible attacks throughout this time
frame. Recipients should also remain alert to possible acts of violence
against Muslim and Arab targets in the United States during Ramadan. In
the aftermath of the 09/11/01 terrorist attacks on the World Trade
Center and the Pentagon, there was an increase in hate crimes against
Muslims and Arabs, as well as against mosques and other Islamic and Arab
sites throughout the United States. Increased religious and social
activities at mosques and Islamic cultural centers during Ramadan may
attract added attention to these sites. 

Due in part to the lack of specificity of method, location, and timing,
the Homeland Security Advisory System threat level will remain at Yellow
(Elevated) at this time. 

The NIPC encourages individuals to report information concerning
suspicious activity to their local FBI office,, the NIPC, or to other appropriate
authorities. Individuals can reach the NIPC WATCH AND WARNING UNIT at
(202) 323-3205, tol1 free at 1-888-585-9078, or by email to

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