Wall Street warned about bioattacks

Security officials have issued a warning to the leaders of Wall Street banks that al Qaeda terrorists in Yemen may be plotting attacks against them or their financial institutions that include the use of chemical or biological weapons.

Intelligence officials have said that the threats are general in nature and that there is no clear indication of some type of assassination plot. Nonetheless, there is word that the names of some top banking executives have been discussed by al Qaeda operatives, according to MSNBC.com.

There is a growing concern that operatives in Yemen may try to mail chemical or biological weapon agents or package bombs to Wall Street Bankers.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task force and New York Police Department officials have been briefing the executives and their security departments on the nature of the information they have received. Much of it has been gleaned from al Qaeda writings such as “Inspire” magazine, MSNBC.com reports.

The latest issue of “Inspire” made reference to using anthrax in an attack, the officials said.

Banks that may have been targeted and are receiving security briefings include Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Barclays and others.

Spokesmen for the banks have refused to comment and have directed inquiries to law enforcement agencies. The FBI and NYPD have declined to comment about the recent briefings.

One official familiar with the briefings told MSNBC.com that there was added concern even though most of the threats have been non-specific.

As a precaution, police are encouraging Wall Street banks to increase security in and around their mail rooms and urge precaution when dealing with packages, especially those delivered to the firms’ top executives.