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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 June 2018

Top security chief: terrorists are planning another 9/11

“The terrorist organisations, be it ISIS or others, want to have the big explosion like they did on 9/11. They want to take down aircraft, the intelligence is clear on that,” said Elaine Duke, Donald Trump’s acting Secretary of Homeland Security

The Tribute in Light shines above a reflecting pool at the National September 11 Memorial on the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo
The Tribute in Light shines above a reflecting pool at the National September 11 Memorial on the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Terrorists are planning an attack on the scale of 9/11, according to a top US security chief.

Elaine Duke, Donald Trump’s acting Secretary of Homeland Security, said terrorists were using crude knife and van attacks to keep momentum up while they plot to take down planes to inflict mass civilian casualties, reports The Daily Mail.

“The terrorist organisations, be it ISIS or others, want to have the big explosion like they did on 9/11. They want to take down aircraft, the intelligence is clear on that,” she said.

Mrs Duke continued: “However, in the interim they need to keep their finances flowing and they need to keep their visibility high and they need to keep their members engaged, so they are using small plots and they are happy to have small plots.”

She added: ‘Creating terror is their goal and so a van attack, a bladed weapon attack, causes terror and continues to disrupt the world – but does not mean they’ve given up on a major aviation plot.’

She urged for the free movement of goods and people means security to be tightened in countries around the world.

She said: “The laptop is one of the many aviation threats, we will never be comfortable and we will always be evolving.

“What we believe is that because of the movement of goods and people, we have to raise the baseline worldwide, we can’t only consider our borders.” Mrs Duke went on: “We think the level of terrorist threat against the United States too is extremely high.”.

Mrs Duke warned that the number of home-grown violent extremists, mostly inspired by terrorist organisations, is growing in America, partially because of the accessibility of terrorist propaganda on the internet.

“We have worked on some strong [defence] measures that we can’t talk about. We are trying to play the away game and that is working against them in their terrorist safe havens and homes,” assured Mrs Duke.

A total of 2,996 people were killed during the September 11 attacks, when al-Qaeda suicide attackers hijacked planes and flew them into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington.

The news comes shortly after MI5 director general Andrew Parker warned Britain is facing its worst-ever terrorist threat.