While not disclosing a specific threat, a homeland security bulletin warns that Al Qaeda is seeking to target small aircraft and train flight instructors to participate in terrorist attacks, the Associated Press reported Sunday. The bulletin comes just before the ten-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The alert, issued ahead of the summer's last busy travel weekend, said terrorists have considered renting private planes and loading them with explosives.
"Al-Qaida and its affiliates have maintained an interest in obtaining aviation training, particularly on small aircraft, and in recruiting Western individuals for training in Europe or the United States, although we do not have current, credible information or intelligence of an imminent attack being planned," according to the bulletin obtained by The Associated Press.
The bulletin also says al-Qaida would like to use sympathetic Westerners to get flight training, then get them to become flight instructors.
The government has warned about small planes before, including the grounding of crop-dusters and other small aircraft in the immediate aftermath of the 2001 attacks.