Buoys could be used as bombs

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The FBI this summer warned state and local authorities that floating material in and around the nation’s harbors and marinas could be booby-trapped by terrorists.

The warning, included in a weekly bulletin sent in late June to 18,000 state and local law enforcement agencies, says floating items such as plastic foam containers, inner tubes and even buoys could be rigged with explosives to explode on contact, according to CNN.

Officials say there is no intelligence to indicate that terrorists plan to do this; the weekly alert outlines possible terrorists tactics. The Coast Guard says although there is no imminent threat, boaters should continue to be vigilant while on or near the water.

“We are always on the lookout for anything suspicious and ask boaters to keep on the lookout as well,” says Coast Guard spokeswoman Jolie Shifflet.

In the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Coast Guard developed a community outreach program to encourage citizens to help protect the nation’s coastlines. Suspicious activity to look for includes:

• unfamiliar individuals who take photos, videos, notes or sketches of commercial and passenger vessels, bridges or waterside facilities

• individuals who attempt to buy or rent fishing or recreational boats with cash for short-term undefined use

• individuals who attempt to gain access to waterside facilities without proper identification

• vessels that circle in and around pilings, particularly near commercial traffic, or loiter offshore

• suspicious activity near bridges and overpasses