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U.S. says its embassy in Algiers receives 'threat information'

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The State Department is asked about reports of plans to attack oil company planes
  • Al Qaeda and its affiliates remain "a significant terrorist threat," it says

(CNN) -- The U.S. Embassy in Algeria has received "threat information," the State Department said Friday, noting that al Qaeda and its affiliates continue to pose a "significant terrorist threat."

State Department spokesman Mark Toner had been asked Thursday if there was U.S. reaction to reports that al Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb plans to attack planes chartered by oil companies in Algeria's Maghreb region. He said he would get an answer.

The State Department issued a statement Friday confirming the embassy received "threat information" and said that the embassy, located in Algiers, and the Overseas Security Advisory Council "acted quickly to alert potential targets to the threat."

"While we and our international partners have put considerable pressure on al Qaeda and have degraded much of the group's abilities, including its capacity to raise money, train recruits, and plan attacks outside of the region, we continue to face a significant terrorist threat from al Qaeda, its affiliates, and its adherents," the statement said.

The department cooperates "very closely with our key partners on the threat from international terrorism, including the role that al-Qaida continues to play." It said Algeria has been "one of our strongest partners" in the fight against terror.