White House responds to CBS bioterror story

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs responded Tuesday to a question connected to the CBS News investigation about how a poison attack on food could be the next terrorist plot for al Qaeda.

According to the report, a plot uncovered earlier this year was an attempt to slip the poisons ricin and cyanide into buffets and salad bars. The group responsible, al Qaeda, was the same responsible for the attempt to destroy cargo planes over the east coast in October, CBS News correspondent Armen Keteyian revealed.

"Our counter-terrorism and Homeland Security officials take every credible threat very seriously," Gibbs said, according to CBS News. "As you know, there is significant planning for and coordination to prevent unconventional attacks using chemical, biological, or radiological weapons. We will continue to remain vigilant to ensure we're doing all that we can to prevent it."

In his report, Keteyian said that the terrorist threat could occur in a simultaneous attack that targeted restaurants and hotels at multiple locations during a single weekend. Even a cyanide dose as small as 250 milligrams would be enough to kill a person who accidentally digested it.

A key intelligence source confirmed to CBS News that the threat was "credible" and that security officers from the restaurant and hotel industries have been briefed on the possibility.