Washington: Several former US law enforcement authorities have said that officials have been alerted about the possibility of female suicide bombers attempting to enter the country.
According to one official, at least two of them are believed to be connected to al Qaeda in Yemen, and may have a non-Arab appearance and be travelling on Western passports.
“They (al Qaeda) have trained women,” ABC News quoted Richard Clarke, former White House counterterrorism official, as saying.
He also said that a US air strike on Christmas Eve against suspected al Qaeda training camps is believed to have killed many, but not all, of a group of suicide bombers being trained in Yemen.
“There are others who are still out there who have been trained and who are clean skins -- that means people who we do not have a record of, people who may not look like al Qaeda terrorists, who may not be Arabs, and may not be men,” said Clarke.
The alert comes during a week in which American law enforcement officials described an “unusually high” number of people on the no-fly list attempting to board flights to or in the United States.
At the same time, enforcement agencies have quietly begun an intense and widespread effort to investigate any American resident, who travelled to Yemen in recent months or who was in contact with the radical cleric Anwar Awlaki, who authorities believe serves as an al Qaeda recruiter.