In an unusual 9:30 p.m. televised news conference on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg warned New Yorkers of a terrorist threat that’s been called by U.S. officials as "specific, credible but unconfirmed."
Bloomberg said the threat–of which he did not give details–has not been corroborated.
However, a report about the treat by ABC News said "Officials say the alleged terror plot was initiated by new al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s successor."
The report also gave more details about the threat: "U.S. authorities are scrambling to sort through information that the CIA developed in the past 24 hours indicating that at least three individuals entered the U.S. in August by air with the intent to launch a vehicle-borne attack against Washington, D.C. or New York around the anniversary of 9/11, according to intelligence officials."
Bloomberg, during his news conference, encouraged New Yorkers to "refuse to be intimidated" by the threat, encouraging them to "be vigilant" but to go about their daily routines. As has been the case since the World Trade Center attack of September 11, 2001, Bloomberg encouraged the public to say something if they see something suspicious. New York has long had a 311 phone number to accept such calls.
Later, analyzing Bloomberg’s remarks on CNN, John Miller, a former ABC News correspondent who is also a former Associate Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analytic Transformation and Technology, said that it was clear that the mayor (and others who spoke at the press conference) were deliberately using "very measured language" partly "to prevent panic."
During the conference Bloomberg said that he felt as comfortable taking the subway to work on Friday morning as he had Thursday morning.
The ABC News report, written under the "Nightline" banner by Brian Ross, Rhonda Schwartz, Richard Esposito, Pierre Thomas, Jason Ryan and Matthew Cole, also said, "Intelligence and law enforcement officials told ABC News that at least one of the individuals is a U.S. citizen and one official said that two of the individuals may have had U.S. documentation — whether green cards or passports was unclear."
The article also noted that "Earlier this evening, top Congressional leaders were briefed on the terror threat by White House counterterrorism advisor John Brennan."