Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has asked Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who has led insurgency in Iraq, to include the United States as his terrorist attack target, US officials said Monday.
There has been communication between bin Laden and Zarqawi within the past two months, during which bin Laden suggested to Zarqawi to involve himself in attacks in the United States, a counterterrorism official told local media on condition of anonymity.
Zarqawi, a Jordanian militant, has been leading insurgency in Iraq but has not attacked targets outside the Middle East.
Meanwhile, the Homeland Security Department issued a classified bulletin warning state officials over the weekend that new intelligence indicated that al Qaeda was still planning to attack the United States.
Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said the intelligence about the continued al Qaeda desire was "credible but not specific." He said there is no plan to raise the national alert level.