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  1. #1

    New terrorist Threats Buildings or Americans?

    Now that the terrorist know we know their target, American Icons, government buildings, financial iinstitutions, will they now just target a train station, a large shopping mall, large hotels? We need to remember Terrorist don't care about their targets.

    Remember the target is not so much the US Government or its financial institutions as it is American People and those who protect them. Police agencies, social programs. American citizens, are the target, by Muslims. By a religious institution that practices what it preaches.

    Maybe its time to round them all up and if they don't renounce their former country and turn in their second passport and give up their dual citizenship status, then put them in retention camps in the Arizona dessert?

    Until we stop trying to be nice to the Middle East countries we will be their target, because they see that as a sign of weakness.

    They don't respect our friendship or standing in the world, that to them is a reason to strike at us. They respect our power and how we can retaliate, and that causes them to be more cautious before they strike...


    Gov't Warns of Threats Against Buildings


    Aug 1, 2:26 PM (ET)


    WASHINGTON (AP) - The federal government warned Sunday of possible terrorist attacks against "iconic" financial institutions in New York City, Washington and Newark, N.J., saying a confluence of intelligence over the weekend pointed to a car or truck bomb.

    Specifically, the government named these buildings as potential targets:

    _The Citicorp building and the New York Stock Exchange in New York City.

    _The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank buildings in Washington.

    (AP) Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Officers Patrick Riedel, left, and Dennis Esterow,...
    Full Image

    _The Prudential building in Newark.

    "The preferred means of attack would be car or truck bombs," Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said in a briefing with journalists. That would be a primary means of attack."

    The government said the new intelligence indicated the meticulous planning of al-Qaida. He identified explosives as the likely mode of attack, as opposed to a chemical or biological attack or a radiological "dirty" bomb.

    Ridge said the government's threat level for financial institutions would be raised to orange, or high alert, but would remain at yellow, or elevated, elsewhere.

    Ridge said it would be up to New York City officials to decide whether to move to the highest level, red. The city has remained on orange since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

    The threat potential remains through the Nov. 2 elections, Ridge said.

    The secretary said the government took the unprecedented step of naming specific buildings because of the level of specificity of the intelligence. "This is not the usual chatter. This is multiple sources that involve extraordinary detail," Ridge said. He said the government decided to notify the public because of the specificity of detail it had obtained.

    Ridge acknowledged that protecting these buildings, located in heavily populated areas, would require additional security measures, especially because thousands of cars and trucks travel through these cities daily.

    "Car and truck bombs are one of the most difficult tasks we have in the war on terror," Ridge said.

    Local and state officials were notified earlier in the day and Ridge said new security procedures were already being implemented.

    The government provided a wealth of detail that it had picked up in the past 36 hours, but a senior intelligence official described it only on condition of anonymity. The official described "excruciating detail" and meticulous planning "indicative of al-Qaida."

    The official said the intelligence included security in and around these buildings; the flow of pedestrians; the best places for reconnaissance; how to make contact with employees who work in the buildings; the construction of the buildings; traffic patterns; locations of hospitals and police departments; and which days of the week present less security at these buildings.

    To illustrate the level of detail obtained, the official cited these examples: midweek pedestrian traffic of 14 people per minute on each side of the street for a total of 28 people; that some explosives might not be hot enough to melt steel; and that the construction of some buildings might prevent them from falling down.

    The official said he had not seen such extraordinary detail in his 24 years in intelligence work.

    A White House spokeswoman, Erin Healy, said the intelligence on the threat is "very new, coming in during the last 72 hours."

    "The president made the final decision today agreeing with the recommendation of Secretary Ridge to go ahead and raise the threat level in these select areas," Healy said.

    This was the first time the color-coded warning system had been used in such a narrow, targeted way, Ridge said at a news conference at department headquarters.

    "With this kind of information comes action," Ridge said. "This is sobering news."

    This step will "bring protective resources to an even higher level" and alert industry employees to be extra vigilant, he said. Actions to tighten security around the five buildings he specifically named are under way, Ridge said.

    He said workers at those buildings should get guidance from security officers at each site and remain alert as they go to work.

  2. #2
    Big question here---how are we going to keep New York save if we can't keep Bagdad safe with a whole frig'in army?!

    You are right Cook, we need to get with the program. You are either for America or you're not. If not---you're out of here!

  3. #3


    Members of the New York City Police Emergency Services Team guard the New York Stock Exchange Monday after Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said al-Qaida was targeting it and other specific buildings. FREE VIDEO

    In New York, police closed several streets in midtown Manhattan and banned trucks from bridges and tunnels leading to Wall Street.

    Asked how confident officials are of the information, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge told NBC's "Today" show Monday that on a scale of 1 to 10, it rated a 10. "It is as reliable a group of sources as we've ever seen before," he said.

    Ridge on Sunday raised the terror threat level for financial institutions in the three cities to orange, or high alert, the second highest level on the government’s five-point spectrum. Elsewhere, he said, the alert would remain at yellow, or elevated.

    The new alert status is based on "new and unusually specific information," Ridge said Sunday. It marked the first time the nation's threat-warning system, devised after the Sept. 11 attacks, has been used to denote threats against specific targets.

    "Reports indicate that al-Qaida is targeting several specific buildings," Ridge said, specifically:

    the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington;
    the offices of Citigroup and the New York Stock Exchange in New York;
    the Prudential Plaza building in Newark, N.J.
    "The preferred means of attack would be car or truck bombs," he added.

    Ridge did not elaborate on the intelligence that prompted the change, but said it was specific to certain locations and added that officials believe al-Qaida was planning attacks in advance of the November election. He said the government was not sure precisely when attacks were planned.

    At the World Bank and IMF buildings Monday, police checked identity cards as employees filed in and guards swept the underside of cars with detecting devices as they entered the garage.

    In Newark, Prudential employees threaded through police and concrete barriers into their offices. “I’m a little nervous given the 9/11 situation, but I’m confident Prudential’s doing everything they can to ensure our safety,” said Tracy Swistak, 27, an analyst in the international finance department.

    High-profile convention
    New York’s status has remained at orange, indicating a high risk of terrorist attack, since Sept. 11, 2001. And with the Republican National Convention scheduled to begin Aug. 30 in the city's Madison Square Garden, the city is a high-profile target. Tens of millions of dollars in federal security funds are being spent to provide a visible security presence during the convention.

    The White House said new intelligence in the past 72 hours prompted the alerts.

    “The president made the final decision today agreeing with the recommendation of Secretary Ridge to go ahead and raise the threat level in these select areas,” White House spokeswoman Erin Healy said Sunday.

    Ridge also called Democratic candidate John Kerry before the announcement, Kerry's campaign said, and Kerry was scheduled to be briefed on the new intelligence. The alert "underscores the need to move aggressively" to put in place the recommendations of the 9/11 commission, Kerry national security adviser Susan Rice said.

    The White House has appointed its own panel to review the commission's recommendations, which include a major overhaul of the nation's intelligence system, but has not yet decided to take specific actions.

    New York Gov. George Pataki said state troopers have increased patrols of the state's borders and additional law enforcement officers would be riding commuter trains, including those from New Jersey and Connecticut.

    New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city would try to reallocate resources to provide security for the targeted locations as well as the Republican convention. Permits for some local events had already been cancelled due to limited police staffing.

    New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said his department would provide "significant security" at the named buildings and would step up both random and targeted searches of vehicles entering the city. Also, trucks will not be allowed from Brooklyn into lower Manhattan via the Williamsburg Bridge or Holland Tunnel.

    In Washington, the IMF and World Bank were getting additional security help from the FBI, the Secret Service and local police. World Bank spokesman Damian Milverton said they had not received any specific threats. The IMF said it would be open Monday, but had no other comment.

    Officials in Washington said additional security was also being planned for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, where the nation's money is printed, and the Federal Reserve, though those two buildings were not mentioned by Ridge as potential targets.

    Officials at Citigroup said they had contacted employees via e-mail Sunday to describe increased security.

    Police in Newark, armed with assault rifles, set up metal fences surrounding the Prudential building and blocked off two city streets. Officials told The Associated Press that a plan to target the building included specific dates.

    Five counties in northern New Jersey and all state facilities were elevated to an orange threat level, Gov. James McGreevey said.

    Targeted approach
    The specific announcement may be an indicator of a new strategy by the Bush administration to disclose terrorist threats without the sort of broad-based announcements they have used in the past, notably during national holidays. Local officials have frequently complained that nationwide alerts are costly to states and localities, especially when National Guard troops and extra police officers must be put on duty to guard landmarks and public events.

    The new intelligence also led New York police to urge extra security precautions at various city buildings. Kelly said the level of specificity in the intelligence showed "there was clearly personal surveillance done at these sites," though Bloomberg added, "We don’t know when this information was collected."

    The NYPD has no information that any so-called "sleeper cells" or other terrorist operatives are in the city, Kelly acknowledged. He said he began discussions Friday with federal officials on whether to issue an alert based on the new details.

    While Pataki said the NYPD asked New York companies "to evaluate their current security plans, Bloomberg asked New Yorkers to act calmly: "We also have to, tomorrow morning, get up, get on the subway, go to work and enjoy the freedoms of New York."

    Ridge said the affected buildings might be given special buffer zones around their perimeters; additional use of ID badges and digital photos to monitor those entering and leaving the building; more law enforcement officers on the scene and additional security screening of deliveries and vehicles.

    He suggested workers in the affected buildings seek guidance from their employers on how best to prepare for additional security contingencies.

    The warning also mentioned specific things to look out for, including unanticipated deliveries or maintenance work, people taking unusual video or photographs, and visitors claiming to be lost or looking disoriented. It said bomb threats might be used to evaluate emergency response time.

    Detailed intelligence
    Senior intelligence officials told NBC News the threat assessment was based on "documentary evidence obtained by the CIA" as recently as Friday which corroborated other intelligence gathered over "several months from several sources." The intelligence was obtained by the CIA's clandestine service, one official said.

    The intelligence, which revealed sophisticated "casings" had been done on the five facilities, contained unprecedented detail, officials told NBC, including: the location of security desks and guards; the flow of traffic and pedestrians; locations where it was possible to talk with employees who work in the buildings; specific construction vulnerabilities of the buildings, including the melting points of construction materials; and exit routes for building tenants.

    Officials also told NBC they were not sure who had performed the surveillance, and whether that person or people might still be in the United States.

    One intelligence official told the AP he had not seen such extraordinary detail in his 24 years in intelligence work.

    Ridge would not say where the information originated, but specifically mentioned Pakistan as a key ally.

    On Friday, Pakistan announced the capture of a top al-Qaida operative, Tanzanian-born Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, wanted by the United States in the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa that killed 224 people.

    A computer and several disks were seized when Ghailani and 13 others were seized last weekend southeast of Islamabad.

    NBC News' Robert Windrem and Pete Williams, The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

  4. #4

    Most of Al Qaeda's communications were now done through the Internet,

    August 2, 2004
    Captured Qaeda Figure Led Way to Information Behind Warning

    ASHINGTON, Aug. 1 - The unannounced capture of a figure from Al Qaeda in Pakistan several weeks ago led the Central Intelligence Agency to the rich lode of information that prompted the terror alert on Sunday, according to senior American officials.

    The figure, Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan, was described by a Pakistani intelligence official as a 25-year-old computer engineer, arrested July 13, who had used and helped to operate a secret Qaeda communications system where information was transferred via coded messages.

    A senior United States official would not confirm or deny that Mr. Khan had been the Qaeda figure whose capture led to the information. But the official said "documentary evidence" found after the capture had demonstrated in extraordinary detail that Qaeda members had for years conducted sophisticated and extensive reconnaissance of the financial institutions cited in the warnings on Sunday.

    One senior American intelligence official said the information was more detailed and precise than any he had seen during his 24-year career in intelligence work. A second senior American official said it had provided a new window into the methods, content and distribution of Qaeda communications.

    "This, for us, is a potential treasure trove," said a third senior American official, an intelligence expert, at a briefing for reporters on Sunday afternoon.

    The documentary evidence, whose contents were reported urgently to Washington on Friday afternoon, immediately elevated the significance of other intelligence information gathered in recent weeks that had already been regarded as highly troubling, senior American intelligence officials said. Much of that information had come from Qaeda detainees in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia as well as Pakistan, and some had also pointed to a possible attack on financial institutions, senior American intelligence officials said.

    The American officials said the new evidence had been obtained only after the capture of the Qaeda figure. Among other things, they said, it demonstrated that Qaeda plotters had begun casing the buildings in New York, Newark and Washington even before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

    Among the questions the plotters sought to answer, senior American intelligence officials said, were how best to gain access to the targeted buildings; how many people might be at the sites at different hours and on different days of the week; whether a hijacked oil tanker truck could serve as an effective weapon; and how large an explosive device might be required to bring the buildings down.

    The American officials would say only that the Qaeda figure whose capture had led to the discovery of the documentary evidence had been captured with the help of the C.I.A. Though Pakistan announced the arrest last week of a Qaeda member, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a Tanzanian wanted in connection with the bombings of American embassies in East Africa in 1998, the American officials suggested that he had not been the source of the new threat information.

    An account provided by a Pakistani intelligence official made clear that the crucial capture in recent weeks had been that of Mr. Khan, who is also known as Abu Talha. The intelligence official provided information describing Mr. Khan as having assisted in evaluating potential American and Western targets for terrorist attacks, and as being representative of a "new Al Qaeda."

    The Pakistani official described Mr. Khan as a fluent English speaker who had told investigators that he had visited the United States, Britain, Germany and other countries. Mr. Khan was one of thousands of Pakistani militants who trained in Afghanistan under the Taliban in the 1990's, the Pakistani official said.

    If indeed Mr. Khan was the man whose arrest led the C.I.A. to new evidence, his role as a kind of clearinghouse of Qaeda communications, as described by the Pakistani intelligence official, could have made him a vital source of information. Since his arrest, Mr. Khan has described an elaborate communications system that involves the use of high and low technology, the Pakistani official said.

    The question of how much to rely on information obtained from captured foes has always weighed on the intelligence business. In recent weeks, even as they cited accounts from some captured Qaeda members as the basis for new concerns about terrorism, American intelligence officials have acknowledged that another captured Qaeda figure, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, had recanted claims that Iraq had provided training in illicit weapons to Qaeda members.

    Mr. Libi's earlier claims had been the primary basis for assertions by President Bush and his top advisers that Iraq had provided training in "poisons and gases" to Qaeda members.

    In explaining the decision to call a new terror alert, American officials would say only that the evidence obtained by the C.I.A. after the arrest of the Qaeda figure in Pakistan had provided a richer, more credible source of intelligence than could have been provided by any single individual. They declined to say whether the "documentary evidence" included physical documents or might also include electronic information stored on computers, like copies of e-mail communications.

    The Qaeda communications system that Mr. Khan used and helped operate relied on Web sites and e-mail addresses in Turkey, Nigeria and the northwestern tribal areas of Pakistan, according to the information provided by a Pakistani intelligence official.

    The official said Mr. Khan had told investigators that couriers carried handwritten messages or computer disks from senior Qaeda leaders hiding in isolated border areas to hard-line religious schools in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province.

    Other couriers then ferried them to Mr. Khan on the other side of the country in the eastern city of Lahore, and the computer expert then posted the messages in code on Web sites or relayed them electronically, the Pakistani official said.

    Mr. Khan had told investigators that most of Al Qaeda's communications were now done through the Internet, the official said. After a message was sent and read by the recipient, the entire communication and related files were deleted to maintain secrecy, he said. Mr. Khan had told investigators that e-mail addresses were generally not used more than a few times.

    The young computer engineer, who received a bachelor's degree from a university in Karachi, is the unemployed son of an employee of Pakistan's state airline and a college botany professor, the official said. Heavily built and 6 feet 2 inches tall, he speaks English with a British accent, and was arrested carrying a fake Pakistani identification card.

    The Pakistani official said Mr. Khan told investigators that he had received 25 days of training at a militant camp in Afghanistan in June 1998. By the time Mr. Khan had risen to his current position, the official said, Qaeda figures had arranged his marriage and were paying him $170 a month for rent for his house in Lahore and $90 for expenses.

    Mr. Khan was in contact with the brother of the Indonesian Qaeda leader Hambali, who was studying in a religious school in Karachi, and who was deported in December 2003. Mr. Khan has told interrogators that his Qaeda handler was a Pakistani he knew as Adil or Imran, who assigned him tasks related to computer work, Web design and managing the handler's messages. His correspondents included a Saudi-based Yemeni, Egyptian and Palestinian nationals and Arabs in unknown locations, and someone described as the "in-charge" in the city of Khost in eastern Afghanistan.

    Asked about the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Mr. Khan has told interrogators that even the top Qaeda commanders do not know, the Pakistani intelligence official said.

    Douglas Jehl reported from Washington for this article, and David Rohde from Karachi, Pakistan.

  5. #5
    FYI..I work in the Export Import Bank in DC and the rent a cops in the lobby are clueless. I would guess anyone could get in here!
    Am I scared...hell no!

  6. #6

    Jihad in America

    Originally posted by greensideout
    Big question here---how are we going to keep New York save if we can't keep Bagdad safe with a whole frig'in army?!

    You are right Cook, we need to get with the program. You are either for America or you're not. If not---you're out of here!
    In law enforcement we had a saying that if we had to take police action, society had failed to do their job.

    New York crime rate has never been curtailed by adding more law enforcement officers on the street. The criminals just find new ways to commit crimes.

    It’s the same with the terrorist; we need to educate the public, so that they are informed in the profiles of the terrorist living in America today.

    Remember before 9-11 we posted the information on a released video about

    Jihad in America, that video which I haven't seen for some time, was on the internet for awhile;

    We need to re-visit that site and remember 9-11 and make it our own personal way of life to protect what we value, we can not allow any president or wannabee president believe they can do it with just law enforcement and our military involvement.

    We need to learn from Israel, because for us it is now a way of life and the suicide bombers are among us today, its just a matter of time..

    Think about today what happened today? The president of the US met with anti-terrorist experts, and law enforcement officials for over two hours before addressing the press. When he appeared he was visiably shaken. What does he know that we should be concerned about?

    It maybe time to be armed where ever you travel... Humm they have prevented us from doing that.... hummm

  7. #7

    Reports that led to terror alert were years old, officials say

    Reports that led to terror alert were years old, officials say
    By The New York Times

    Much of the information that led the authorities to raise the terror alert at several large financial institutions in the New York City and Washington areas was three or four years old, intelligence and law enforcement officials said on Monday. They reported that they had not yet found concrete evidence that a terrorist plot or preparatory surveillance operations were still under way.

    But the officials continued to regard the information as significant and troubling because the reconnaissance already conducted has provided Al Qaeda with the knowledge necessary to carry out attacks against the sites in Manhattan, Washington and Newark. They said Al Qaeda had often struck years after its operatives began surveillance of an intended target.

    Taken together with a separate, more general stream of intelligence, which indicates that Al Qaeda intends to strike in the United States this year, possibly in New York or Washington, the officials said even the dated but highly detailed evidence of surveillance was sufficient to prompt the authorities to undertake a global effort to track down the unidentified suspects involved in the surveillance operations.

    ”You could say that the bulk of this information is old, but we know that Al Qaeda collects, collects, collects until they’re comfortable,’’ said one senior government official. “Only then do they carry out an operation. And there are signs that some of this may have been updated or may be more recent.’’

    Frances Fragos Townsend, the White House homeland security adviser, said on Monday in an interview on PBS that surveillance reports, apparently collected by Qaeda operatives had been “gathered in 2000 and 2001.’’ But she added that information may have been updated as recently as January.

    The comments of government officials on Monday seemed softer in tone than the warning issued the day before. On Sunday, officials were circumspect in discussing when the surveillance of the financial institutions had occurred, and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge cited the quantity of intelligence from “multiple reporting streams’’ that he said was “alarming in both the amount and specificity of the information.’’

    The officials said on Monday that they were still analyzing computer records, photos, drawings and other documents, seized last month in Pakistan, which showed that Qaeda operatives had conducted extensive reconnaissance.

    ”What we’ve uncovered is a collection operation as opposed to the launching of an attack,” a senior American official said.

    Still, the official said the new trove of material, which was being sifted for fresh clues, combined with more recent flows of intelligence, had demonstrated that Al Qaeda remains active and intent on attacking the United States.

    The concern about the possibility of an attack was apparent on Monday. Armed guards were positioned at the five targets listed by Mr. Ridge: the New York Stock Exchange and the Citigroup buildings in Manhattan, the headquarters of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington and Prudential Financial in Newark. The buildings were subjected to their highest level of security since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, with barricades, rapid-response teams and bomb-sniffing dogs providing rings of protection.

    With intelligence reports specifying a possible truck bombing, police stopped and searched vehicles in the Wall Street area, while vans and trucks were banned from bridges and tunnels entering lower Manhattan.

    In Washington, President Bush said the alert issued on Sunday reflected “a serious business.’’ He said at a White House news conference, “We wouldn’t be contacting authorities at the local level unless something was real.’’

    Despite the new terror warnings, the stock market gained ground, denting expectations that it would drop with the heightened security alert. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 39 points.

    A sizable part of the information seized in Pakistan described reconnaissance carried out before the Sept. 11 attacks, officials said. The documents do not indicate who wrote the detailed descriptions of security arrangements at the financial buildings or whether the surveillance was conducted for a current operation or was part of preparations for a plan that was later set aside.

    In a briefing on Sunday, a senior intelligence official said that the threat to the financial institutions “probably continues even today.”

    Federal authorities said on Monday that they had uncovered no evidence that any of the surveillance activities described in the documents was currently under way. They said officials in New Jersey had been mistaken in saying on Sunday that some suspects had been found with blueprints and may have recently practiced “test runs’’ aimed at the Prudential building in Newark.

    Joseph Billy Jr., the special agent in charge of the F.B.I.’s Newark office, said a diagram of the Prudential building had been found in Pakistan. “It appears to be from the period around 9/11,’’ Mr. Billy said. “Now we’re trying to see whether it goes forward from there.’’

    Another counterterrorism official in Washington said that it was not yet clear whether the information pointed to a current plot. “We know that Al Qaeda routinely cases targets and then puts the plans on a shelf without doing anything,’’ the official said.

    The documents were found after Pakistani authorities acting on information supplied by the Central Intelligence Agency arrested Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan, an engineer who was found to have served as a middleman in facilitating Qaeda communications. His capture led the C.I.A. to laptop computers, CD-ROM’s, and other storage devices that contained copies of communications describing the extensive surveillance.

    Mr. Khan had been essentially unknown to the United States as recently as May, according to information provided by a Pakistani intelligence official, who said the C.I.A. had described him to Pakistani authorities that month only as a shadowy figure identified by his alias, Abu Talha.

    The lack of knowledge about Mr. Khan reflected how hard it has been for American authorities to penetrate Al Qaeda. He operated successfully without the government learning of his existence even after three years of an intensive intelligence war against Qaeda that has emphasized efforts to intercept the terror network’s communications traffic.

    In pursuing the new leads, intelligence and law enforcement authorities were working at several different levels, American officials said, in trying to make sense of what some described as a “jigsaw puzzle” that included first names, aliases, and temporary email addresses but little hard identifying material that could lead to suspects in the United States or overseas.

    The scope of the inquiry ranged from “individuals who were orchestrating it from far-off lands to individuals who were in charge of different cells, to the actual operating of cells,” a senior intelligence official said. The priority effort to identify people connected to the surveillance of the financial institutions has been under way since counterterrorism officials received the new information from Pakistan beginning Thursday evening, counterterrorism officials said on Monday.

    The information, which officials said was indicative of preparations for a possible truck- or car-bomb attack, left significant gaps. It did not clearly describe the suspected plot, indicate when an attack was to take place nor did it describe the identities of people involved.

    As a result, federal and local authorities began an effort to locate possible suspects who might have carried out the surveillance. Intelligence officers began interviewing Qaeda detainees asking whether they knew Mr. Khan or anyone who might have been involved in monitoring the targeted buildings and allied foreign intelligence services were asked if they had any information about the suspected plot.

    At the same time, federal agents and local police began canvassing the buildings regarded as likely targets seeking to determine whether anyone recalled seeing people who appeared to be conducting surveillance. They sought lists of employees to determine whether anyone suspicious might have worked at any of the buildings and names of vendors, searching for anyone who might have visited the buildings to study security arrangements.

    Senior counterterrorism and intelligence officials based in Europe said the information targeting the five buildings was developed by Qaeda operatives before Sept. 11, 2001. But a senior European counterterrorism official cautioned that “some recent information’’ indicated that the buildings might remain on a list of Qaeda targets.

    ”Al Qaeda routinely comes up with ways to hit targets for years at a time, so it may not mean much that these buildings were first targeted more than three years ago,’’ the official said.

    © The New York Times Company

  8. #8
    Reporting Terrorist Threats: Damned If You Do...

    August 3, 2004

    by Joe Mariani

    No matter what response the Bush Administration concocted to the recent discovery of specific terrorist targets, the Left was bound to condemn it as "wrong." It's an election year, and attacking President Bush is far more important to most Democrats than cooperating to ensure the safety of American citizens. Following the arrest of al-Qaeda operative Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani in Pakistan, Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge announced a list of specific buildings that are targeted for al-Qaeda attacks, most likely by truck or car bombs. Extra security has been put in place at the New York Stock Exchange and Citigroup in New York City, the World Bank Headquarters and the International Monetary Fund buildings in Washington DC, and Prudential Financial in Newark NJ. Unless an attack actually takes place, the Left will claim this is deliberately causing fear in order to rally support for President Bush. They consider the announcement ridiculous, since no specific date was mentioned for the planned attack. If a terrorist attack does happen, of course, they will claim that not enough was done to prevent it. Why can't the Left be consistent in their views?

    When the now-infamous 6 August 2001 PDB (Presidential Daily Briefing) was declassified, the outrage from the Left was as palpable as it was laughable. The memo, titled, "Bin Laden determined to strike in US," contained not a single specific threat. However, those on the Left continue to use the title of the memo as "proof" that President Bush had ample warning of the 9/11 hijacking, and insist that he should have made the public aware of the imminent danger. During the 9/11 inquisition, Democrats on the Commission attempted to use the memo's title as a blunt instrument with which to bludgeon National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice. Unfazed by Richard Ben-Veniste's and Bob Kerrey's unfair attacks and grandstanding, she explained that the memo was merely a historical list of general threats from al-Qaeda. The memo did make a reference to a five-year-old threat to hijack airplanes, but in the "standard" context of using hostages to bargain for the release of prisoners. "We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a ---- service in 1998 saying that Bin Laden wanted to hijack a U.S. aircraft to gain the release of 'Blind Sheikh' Omar Abdel Rahman and other U.S.-held extremists." The memo did mention New York -- but only stated that federal buildings there were under surveillance. Note that no federal buildings in New York were attacked on 9/11. However, with that magical 20/20 hindsight the Left seems to possess, they can see that these bits and pieces of fragmentary intelligence clearly spelled out a new type of terrorist attack just over a month later. Now, President Bush has informed the public of specific and detailed threats -- and is castigated for it. Where is the consistency?

    If the Bush administration keeps a lid on newly-uncovered threats and an attack occurs, the Left will slam the President for not informing the public. If they release what details they have and nothing happens, the Left will claim that there never was a threat. According to the New York Times, "News of the terror threat on Sunday also stirred renewed suggestions from some Democrats that the White House was manipulating terror alerts for Mr. Bush's political gain." Howard Dean, once the favorite for the Democratic Presidential nomination, said during an interview on CNN, "I am concerned that every time something happens that's not good for President Bush, he plays this trump card, which is terrorism." The biggest shame in this country is how the Left has politicised the struggle to keep Americans safe in order to score political points against President Bush.

    Joe Mariani


  9. #9
    I can't blame the left, or anyone else for that matter, for criticizing Bush when federal agents have said that in the past the Bush administration has manufactured terror alerts almost out of thin air. Bush has himself to blame for being the boy who cries wolf too many damn times.

    Terror alerts manufactured?
    FBI agents say White House scripting 'hysterics' for political effect

    Posted: January 4, 2003
    1:00 a.m. Eastern

    By Jon Dougherty
    © 2003

    Intelligence pros say the White House is manufacturing terrorist alerts to keep the issue alive in the minds of voters and to keep President Bush's approval ratings high, Capitol Hill Blue reports.

    The Thursday report said that the administration is engaging in "hysterics" in issuing numerous terror alerts that have little to no basis in fact.

    "Unfortunately, we haven't made a lot of progress against al-Qaida or the war on terrorism," one FBI agent familiar with terrorism operations told CHB. "We've been spinning our wheels for several weeks now."

    Other sources within the bureau and the Central Intelligence Agency said the administration is pressuring intelligence agencies to develop "something, anything" to support an array of non-specific terrorism alerts issued by the White House and the Department of Homeland Security.

    "Most of the time, we have little to go on, only unconfirmed snippets of information," a second FBI agent, who also was not named in the report, said. "Most alerts are issued without any concrete data to back up the assumptions."

    Indeed, the most recent terrorism alerts have been issued absent specific threat information. Each of the accompanying warnings comes without any shift in the nation's new color-coded alert system; the current warning level of yellow, or "elevated," has been in place since late September.

    Even recent reports regarding five Arab men who may have slipped into the country via Canada using phony identification could be politically motivated, one expert said.

    "We have very, very little to support the notion that these five represent any more of a threat than any of the other thousands of people who enter this nation every day," terrorism expert Ronald Blackstone said. "It's a fishing expedition."

    On Wednesday, one of the five, a Pakistani jeweler, Mohammed Asghar, was tracked down in Pakistan by The Associated Press. He told reporters there he'd never been to the U.S., though he said he tried once – two months ago – to use false documents to get into Britain to find work.

    "I imagine the finger pointing has started at the White House," Blackstone said.

    On Thursday, President Bush said of the Asghar case: "We need to follow up on forged passports and people trying to come into our country illegally."

    "Don't misunderstand, there is a real terrorist threat to this country," another FBI agent told CHB. But, the agent continued, "every time we go public with one of these phony 'heightened state of alerts,' it just numbs the public against the day when we have another real alert."

    Last year, the FBI issued alerts that terrorists may attack stadiums, nuclear power plants, shopping centers, synagogues, apartment houses, subways, and the Liberty Bell, the Brooklyn Bridge and other New York City landmarks, reported Knight-Ridder newspapers. The bureau also advised Americans to be wary of small airplanes, fuel tankers and scuba divers.

    CHB reported that FBI and CIA sources said a recent White House memo listing the war on terrorism as a definitive political advantage and fund-raising tool is just one of many documents discussing how to best utilize the terrorist threat.

    "Of course the White House is going to exploit the terrorism threat to the fullest political advantage," said Democratic strategist Russ Barksdale. "They would be fools not to. We'd do the same thing."

    The White House did not return phone calls from WorldNetDaily seeking comment.

    Knight-Ridder Newspapers, meanwhile, reported the FBI has never meant for all its warnings and advisories to be made public.

    "Everything is being described as a terror alert, and that's not what this stuff is," said Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, in a July interview.

    But, he added, "if information is becoming public, then we naturally cannot work in a vacuum and pretend like all this information is not becoming public."

    "We live in a world of threats; not all of them necessitate a warning," says FBI terrorist warning chief Kevin Giblin, a 27-year veteran of the bureau. He told Knight-Ridder there should be a generally increased level of vigilance, and he looks to the color-coded advisory system – not the alerts intended for police – to signal it.

    The threat of terrorism may also be helping the White House manage the sagging economy. Officials at home finance giant Freddie Mac said yesterday that the threat of terrorism may have played a role in bringing 30-year mortgage rates down to 5.85 percent, their lowest since an average 5.83 percent in 1965.

    "Current issues such as the possibility of military actions abroad, heightened terrorism alerts and an unexpected drop in consumer confidence contributed to the decline in mortgage rates this week," Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist, told Reuters.


    Jon E. Dougherty is the author of "Illegals: The Imminent Threat Posed by Our Unsecured U.S.-Mexico Border."

  10. #10
    Registered User Free Member enviro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Hopefully, we will never know if the threat levels and the associated protections are working. The only way to find out is if one of them fails.

    I blame the left for politicizing this matter. People will begin to believe it's all just for show and let down their guard. Democrats will have you believe that Bush is lying when he says there is a threat to this country - You need not worry.

    Then BAM - another 9-11.

    The liberal train of thought would be that we don't want to raise the terror level, because we may offend the islamic extremists.

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