Officials: Bin Laden Eyed Small Cities as Targets

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U.S. investigators say handwritten journals and computer files kept by Osama bin Laden while he was hiding in Pakistan showed he was still actively involved in plotting terrorism and wanted the next attack in the U.S. to be bigger than 9/11.

The al Qaeda leader apparently urged followers from Yemen to London to find new targets in the U.S., including major cities like Los Angeles and small municipalities least likely to expect an attack.

"It makes it more difficult for us to track because we're looking at more symbolic locations," former FBI agent Brad Garrett said.

"I think the reality is we do have a real threat and need to pay attention," said Frank Cilluffo, director of George Washington University's Homeland Security Policy Institute.

Click play to watch Mark Martin's report, followed by comments from CBN News Terrorism Analyst Erick Stakelbeck.

The information on potential al Qaeda targets was obtained during the U.S. Navy SEALs' May 1 raid on bin Laden's Pakistani compound.

"The fact that bin Laden wanted to kill thousands of Americans doesn't surprise me at all," said Maryland Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, a Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee.

Officials say the notes also describe potential plots like attacking the U.S. rail system.
Meanwhile, New York City police have arrested two men they say were planning a terrorist attack. Law enforcement officials say the plot predates the death of bin Laden.      
Police say the men were reportedly trying to buy weapons with the idea of staging an attack in Manhattan.
Law enforcement officers describe the plan as a "homegrown" plot along the lines of the plots to bomb John F. Kennedy airport, the Bronx synagogues, and the crowds in Times Square.
The two men may be of North African descent and are expected to be charged under New York State's terrorism law.     
The NYPD has warned of such terrorist attempts since the killing of bin Laden almost two weeks ago.

"We've kept pretty much in place the extra security that we put in motion last week," NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said. "We'll keep it in place and make judgments on a day to day basis."

Since Sept. 11, 2001, 12 terror plots against New York City have been thwarted. The latest one makes that number 13.

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CBN News
Mark Martin

Mark Martin

CBN News Reporter

Mark Martin is a reporter and anchor at CBN News, covering various issues from military matters to alternative fuels. Mark has reported internationally in the Middle East and traveled to Bahrain to cover stories on the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkMartinCBN and "like" him at