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Memo Named Pasadena as Potential Terrorist Target

Police chief says no credible threat of attack, despite memo

Published on Friday, August 9, 2013 | 1:40 pm

A memo obtained by Pasadena Now lists Pasadena and Austin, Texas as sites of possible terrorist attacks this month.

According to the July 19 “Force Protection Alert” issued to U.S. military commanders in Texas, “a group of trained terrorists are planning to conduct attacks in Austin, Texas and Pasadena, California at the conclusion of the Ramadan period. The period lasts from 8 July to 8 August.”

The memo states that the group plans to use “backpack style bombs” and plans to attack a school and theological seminary in Texas. If Aug. 8-9 is not a viable date then the group plans to wait until Aug. 29.

Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said that he has spoken to several federal agencies, including the FBI, since the White House reported the possibility of terrorist attacks last weekend.

“After the embassies closed in the Middle East there was memo sent to law enforcement in Northern California saying there was a possible threat there,” Sanchez said. “I had our counter terrorist team reach out to the federal government and ask them if there were any specific threats to Pasadena and there were none. Pasadena maintains a high level of readiness. If there were specific threats to Pasadena, I would initiate the appropriate protocol which would involve county and state officials which would mitigate and eliminate that threat.”

Calls to phone numbers listed at the bottom of the threat memo were not returned. Television station KXAN in Austin, Texas reportedly confirmed the memo’s veracity with military forces earlier this week and the Austin Police Department said it was aware of the threat.

“The Austin Police Department was aware of the threat made. We vetted all the information with our Regional and Federal partners as we do with all threats. APD will continue to monitor the situation and have in place an appropriate response plan if necessary.”

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