WASHINGTON – The U.S. National Counterterrorism Center on Wednesday released its annual calendar, featuring terrorist incidents, bad guys with bounties on their heads, deadly chemical agents, and terrorist organizations.
"There's a PDF version that you can download and print and a multimedia version where you can scroll through and see different pictures, a map you can mouse over and other bells and whistles," Leslie Jewell, spokeswoman for the government counterterrorism agency, told AFP.
The calendar follows both the Gregorian and Islamic calendars, but is far from the usual desk planner on which people jot down dental appointments or friends' birthdays.
In fact, noting down events on the calendar would require printing out the 160-page PDF file because the multimedia calendar is only a reference work and does not allow users to add personal data.
Some days, such as Feb. 22, are so full of terrorism history, including what Jewell described as "dates that terrorists may believe are important when planning 'commemoration-style' attacks," that it would be impossible to add any more information.
Produced since the 1990s for government policymakers and analysts, the calendar has a strong following among law enforcement officers.
"They love it because, the way the index is set up, they can quickly scroll through and read things about anthrax and other exciting topics," Jewell said.
For the first time this year, the U.S. Government Printing Office could offer a limited number of hard copies of the calendar for sale via its Web site.
"We have not offered hard copies publicly before but there is some discussion that the Government Printing Office will do so this year, largely to gauge public interest in the calendar," Jewell said.
The technical pages of the online calendar run alphabetically and include sections on anthrax, biological threats, chemical agents, radicalization, Ramadan - the Muslim holy month of fasting - sarin and toxic industrial chemicals.
The al-Qaida terrorist network features prominently in both versions of the calendar, as does its founder Osama bin Laden, who tops a list of wanted terrorists.
The calendar can be viewed or downloaded at www.nctc.gov.
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