Al-Qaida considered oil tankers as terror targets

By EILEEN SULLIVAN | May 20, 2011 | 9:00 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government says al-Qaida was eyeing oil tankers abroad last year as potential targets of terror attacks to hurt the economies of Western countries.

The FBI and Homeland Security Department are telling law enforcement around the country that al-Qaida was considering plots to hijack oil tankers in non-Muslim waters and blow them up, according to an intelligence bulletin obtained by The Associated Press.

There is no intelligence pointing to a specific plot or threat.

It was not immediately clear whether the details about the attack method were coming from Osama bin Laden's compound. U.S. intelligence officials are sifting through a treasure trove of information coming out of materials taken from the former terror leader's hideout in Pakistan earlier this month after he was shot and killed by Navy SEALs.